Do you need to digitally transform your supply chain?

01/02/2019

Robot checking a piece of equipment

Robot checking a piece of equipment

Why talk supply chain?

The pressure is on. Rising transportation costs, sourcing shifts, retaliatory tariffs and increasing consumer expectations are just some of the challenges that are impacting global trade in 2019. Top industry experts have predicted that global supply chains will continue to feel the pressures of increasing freight rates, transportation capacity struggles and continued volatility in global trade policy.

What can be done to mitigate these challenges and the risks that come with them? How can small business successfully navigate these minefields? Is the answer to invest in big data, automation and technology solutions?

We asked a panel of supply chain gurus in January’s #TradeElite Twitter chat and gathered some valuable insights:

  • Challenges can also present opportunities – taking a fresh look at your operations, sourcing and product lines is beneficial and may potentially even lead to cost savings opportunities
  • Appreciate the power of research, knowledge and training – more you know, the more you can plan and mitigate your risk – invest in your people in your supply chain
  • Be diligent with forward planning to mitigate the shipping, capacity and logistics pressures
  • Importance of strong partnerships, collaboration and communication with partners, suppliers and customers
  • Be careful about jumping to tech solutions – technology can help but only when it’s used to make the right decisions

Moderated by FITT (@FITTNews), this chat featured these four excellent panelists:

  • Sarah Barnes Humphrey, CITP (@bevictoryus), the CEO of Shipz Inc, as well as founder and host of the “Let’s Talk Supply Chain” podcast.
  • Irina Rosca (@sustain_SCM), global supply chain and logistics expert.
  • Audrey Ross, CITP (@tresAudrey), expert on global shipping, supply chain operations, customs compliance, free trade agreements and international tax.
  • Simon Slyper, CITP (@SimonTradeBuzz), Senior Customs Compliance Specialist.

The ‘global trade scramble’ is on. We’re facing changing trade agreements, retaliatory tariffs, rising transportation costs and sourcing shifts but some say that the uncertainty might be the most difficult part to contend with – do you agree?

Experts are predicting that trends of ecommerce, global trade destabilization and the transportation capacity shortage will continue in 2019. How can businesses, especially small biz, prepare and deal with all this in 2019?

There’s a lot of talk about ‘agile’ supply chains. What does this mean and should it be a priority now?

The trade and shipping environment has changed drastically. Ocean freight and air shipping rates are increasing and capacity is fluctuating. How to deal with this rapidly shifting situation?

Investments in digital and tech are accelerating, to yield better demand planning, product traceability, real-time visibility, and anomaly detection. It can be a game changer but it comes at a cost. How can small biz get in on the game?

Some companies are making decisions in silos and reacting to changes by rushing their decisions. How do you balance the need to move quickly to get to market with risk mitigation? How do you best manage risk in this unpredictable environment?

Read the rest of the chat and join future discussions by following the #TradeElite hashtag. Stay tuned for the next #TradeElite chat, coming up Thursday, February  21 at 2:30-3:30 PM ET, and if you haven’t yet, join us on Twitter at @FITTNews.

About the author

Nicole Chevrier

Author: Nicole Chevrier

I am a digital media writer and a Content Marketing Specialist with the Forum for International Trade Training (FITT). My background is in digital marketing and communications. Creating content that inspires, informs or delivers on results is my passion.

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