- The COVID-19 crisis has revealed a general lack of connectivity and data exchange built into our global supply chains.
- Future resiliency will depend on building transparent, inter-operable and connective networks.
When it became clear that many of us would soon be working from home, a majority took a cursory glance at their home office set-ups and decided it needed upgrading. What ensued was an unanticipated rush and surge of online orders for office desks, chairs, lamps and computer hardware. But such was the sudden spike that it has unsurprisingly caught suppliers large and small unprepared, off guard and exposed gaping holes in their ability to track purchases from one end of their supply chains to the other. Some customers, who have spent no small amount on revamping their home offices are still waiting to do so, without the consolation of being able to see where their orders are, or when they can expect to receive them.
Of course, no one could have foreseen the unprecedented upheaval caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic which has disrupted and dislocated economies and ecosystems across the planet but COVID-19 has brought supply chains to their knees. And while it would be easy to point fingers at consumer-facing companies caught unawares, what’s important now is rebooting and rebuilding the global trade network by putting into practice the harsh lessons we are forcibly learning now.
What has become abundantly clear over the last three months is a general lack of connectivity and data exchange built into our global supply chains. Quite staggering considering the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) era and Internet of Things (IoT) days we are living through. The fact we can track our Uber driver but not shipment placed three weeks ago from a department store less than 10 miles from our home is startling, humiliating and needs addressing.
The World Economic Forum has…