May 17, 2020

MENA: Mitigating global supply chain risks

Supply Chain
Technology
Georgia Wilson
3 min
digital globe made of particles
According to experts,new technologies need to be embraced to mitigate global supply chain risks.

Experts who are set to convene at the Procurement and...

According to experts, new technologies need to be embraced to mitigate global supply chain risks.  

Experts who are set to convene at the Procurement and Supply Chain MENA Summit 30 October 2019, have highlighted that Middle Eastern businesses need to develop their capabilities and embrace new technology to tackle increasing threats to the global supply chain.

Among those attending are Sam Achampong, Head of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) MENA, Dirk Karl, MTN Group Executive and CPO, and Maha Bouzeid, VP Head of Sourcing in the MEA region for Ericsson

While Achampong, Karl and Bouzeid all agree that the Middle East is relatively well positioned to tackle key issues such as protectionism and global trade wars, Achampong believes more needs to be done to ensure the right tools and capabilities are in place to deliver industry best practice.

“Technology itself is an enabler rather than a risk,” says Achampong. “However, the lack of readiness to deploy the correct systems and solutions, as well as a shortage of talent with the relevant skills to be able to operate and add value in today’s business environment, is a risk.”

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Achampong also believes that while the region is proactive to technology, training and development must be prioritised. “Industry 4.0 technologies provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for procurement and supply practitioners to re-examine what skills are needed, what tasks are crucial and what activities can be better undertaken by the technology at our disposal. The availability of increasingly effective technological tools allows procurement and supply practitioners to focus on strategic objectives aimed at generating real value and competitive advantage for an organisation, free of repetitive and transactional tasks.” says Achampong. “There is some way to go, however, to ensure that capability development initiatives continue to be in line with the skills required by employees now and in the near future.”  

Karl agrees that technology has a major role to play in strengthening supply chain management in the Middle East, believing that proactivity will be the best way to mitigate potential supply chain issues. 

Bouzeid, also commented that “The UAE is well equipped to deal with supply chain risks as it facilitates a base for international companies to establish themselves in the region. Safety, telecom infrastructure, schooling and healthcare are key factors for companies to choose the UAE over less safe or stable options. That is why Ericsson has invested in the establishment of a Supply Hub in Dubai to support the Middle East and East Africa markets. Businesses need to highlight the safety and the added value of doing business both with the Middle East, and within the Middle East through the UAE.”

Did you know? participating organisations of the Procurement and Supply Chain MENA Summit 30 October 2019 include: DHL, Motorola Solutions, Visa, Jaguar Land Rover and Emirates NBD.

For more information on all topics for Procurement, Supply Chain & Logistics - please take a look at the latest edition of Supply Chain Digital magazine.

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Jun 21, 2021

Pandora and IBM digitise jewellery supply chain

supplychain
IBM
Pandora
omnichannel
2 min
Jewellery retailer Pandora teamed with IBM to streamline supply chains as sales of hand-finished jewellery doubled across ecommerce platforms

Pandora has overhauled its global supply chain in partnership with IBM amid an ecommerce sales boom for its hand-finished jewellery. 

The company found international success offering customisable charm bracelets and other personalised jewellery though its chain of bricks and mortar retail destinations. But in 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak forced physical stores to close, Pandora strengthened its omnichannel operations and doubled online sales. 

A focus on customer experience included deploying IBM’s Sterling Order Management, increasing supply chain resiliency and safeguarding against disruption across the global value chain.

Pandora leverages IBM Sterling Order Management as the backbone it its omnichannel fulfilment, with Salesforce Commerce Cloud powering its ecommerce. Greater automation across its channels has boosted the jeweller’s sustainability credentials, IBM said, streamlining processes for more efficient delivery. It has also given in-store staff and virtual customer service representatives superior end-to-end visibility to better meet consumer needs. 

Jim Cruickshank, VP of Digital Development & Retail Technology, Pandora, said the digital transformation journey has brought “digital and store technology closer together and closer to the customer”, highlighting how important the customer journey remains, even during unprecedented disruption. 

"Our mission is about creating a personal experience and we've instituted massive platform changes with IBM Sterling and Salesforce to enable new digital-first capabilities that are much more individualised, localised and connected across channels and markets,” he added. 

 

Pandora’s pivot to digital 

The pandemic forced the doors closed at most of Pandora’s 2,700 retail locations. To remain competitive, it pivoted to online retail. Virtual queuing for stores and virtual product trials via augmented reality (AR) technology went someway to emulating the in-store experience and retail theatre that is the brand’s hallmark. Meanwhile digital investments in supply chain efficiency was central to delivering on consumer demand. 

“Consumer behaviour has significantly shifted and will continue to evolve with businesses needing to quickly adapt to new preferences and needs,” said Kareem Yusuf, General Manager, AI Applications and Blockchain, IBM. “To address this shift, leading retailers like Pandora rely on innovation to increase their business agility by enabling and scaling sustainable supply chain operations using AI and cloud.”

Yusuf said Pandora’s success was indicative of how to remain competitive by “finding new ways to create differentiated customer experiences that protect their enterprises from disruptions to help mitigate risk and accelerate growth”. 
 

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