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What Lies Ahead for the International Supply Chain Industry?

Posted on April 2022

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​The international supply chain has undergone huge changes over the past few years. There have been moments of challenge, opportunities for development, and situations that have exposed breaks and fractures right along the line. In our role as a supply chain recruiter, we’ve seen businesses scramble to adapt to shifting conditions - with firms upping the ante on their recruitment efforts to build resilient teams and cope with seismic change. But, as we start to emerge from the impacts of the global pandemic, what lies ahead for the international supply chain industry and the people within it?

  • Supply chain disruptions have become public knowledge. Before the recent supply chain crisis, most people who weren’t in the industry knew very little about the international supply chain. However, today - thanks to media coverage - there is a lot more understanding of it. For many consumers, this quest for greater knowledge has often been the result of trying to find out why they don’t have access to preferred goods or products.

  • Transparency is a priority. Partly due to the increased focus on the supply chain, and also because of the problems that have been revealed within many networks during the crisis, transparency is being prioritized. CEOs, consumers, and investors have all been shocked by the fragility of supply chains in many areas and this has led to a surge of transparency-focused change. In the future, this approach will become the norm and all stakeholders will expect transparency, as opposed to asking for it.

  • China has a bigger role on the world stage. China may have started out as a low-cost manufacturer but today it has moved from being a key seller to an impressive buyer, and competitor too. China is going to continue to have a big influence on the international supply chain industry in the years to come, expanding beyond out-of-date perceptions of its potential to be an even bigger player on the world stage.

  • Digitization on a much bigger scale. Like many sectors, businesses within the supply chain are currently going through a wave of digitization - and this looks set to accelerate in the years to come. As a supply chain recruiter, we’ve seen an abundance of opportunities arise in digital skill sets and jobs that support organizations that leverage intelligent supply chains using technology. There are many advantages to doing this, not least in terms of transparency and being able to gain real-time insights on which to base better business decisions.

  • Automation across the board. Greater digitization will also pave the way for the use of more automation across the industry in the coming years. There are many ways in which automation has the potential to make a difference, whether that's with respect to speeding up processes by automatically generating documents or automatically sharing information for the purposes of collaboration or analytics.

As a supply chain recruiter, we’ve helped many organizations, and individuals, to overcome challenges in the past few years. Looking ahead to the future, these are some of the key factors signaling what lies ahead for the international supply chain industry. Request a call back from one of our specialist recruiters if you need to get the talent in place to help overcome some of the key industry challenges.

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