Building a trustworthy and resilient supply chain


Imagine a scenario where the demand for your products suddenly shoots up, and you are unable to meet this spike in demand. Such a situation not only results in loss of revenue but also creates a trust deficit, particularly if your product is related to a life-saving drug or a critical basic necessity. This trust deficit can be costly in a competitive marketplace. Even if there is no sudden change in demand, there is always a possibility that you did not receive the raw materials from your suppliers in a timely manner or in adequate quantity, and that impacted the service level to your customers.

While efficiency was the traditional focus of supply chains, there is at present a pivot towards building a resilient supply chain that promotes continuity and trust with stakeholders. Resilient supply chains are helping businesses sustain their operations and service customers without interruptions. Such supply chains have the ability to weather multiple known and unknown risks, along with the capacity to recover from disruptions emerging from various sources. Thus, resilient supply chains empower organisations to deliver continuous and consistent outcomes, resulting in increased trust among its customers and society at large.

Developing a trustworthy supply chain

To develop resilient supply chains, it is imperative to balance efficiency and responsiveness. This is done by developing proactive decision-making capabilities which go beyond the understanding of historical trends and their root causes.

Supply chain modelling and simulation technology can help organisations create a digital twin of the entire network and perform extensive scenario analysis for developing mitigation strategies in case of any unforeseen event. This can also assist in improving and expediting the decision-making process by providing dynamic, accurate, data-centric predictions and insights in times of crisis. While supply chains are prepared to handle the ‘known-known’ kind of disruption or maybe a ‘known-unknown’, the real ability to continue serving customers and winning their trust gets unlocked when supply chains can handle ‘unknown-unknown’ scenarios.

Improving customer satisfaction

The ability to perform an accurate impact assessment of a disruption and subsequently identify an optimal course of action can improve the sustainability of a business. As the sustainability of a business improves, its ability to service customers also increases, thereby significantly improving the customer satisfaction quotient.

Also, digitalising the supply chain by establishing digital control towers can enable an organisation to track key metrics that impact its health in real time. By combining visibility of the entire value chain through digital control towers with the predictive and scenario analysis capabilities of modelling and simulation, decision making can improve significantly, and supply chains can become more resilient, leading to increased trust among the key stakeholders in the ecosystem. Moreover, it is possible to develop an integrated planning approach for the entire supply chain which helps in scenario-based planning based on changing events and disruptions in the external environment.

With our broad industry sector expertise and supply chain risk management knowledge, combined with our experience of using advanced tools and technologies, we can help our clients build trustworthy, resilient and responsive supply chains.

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Sudipta Ghosh

Sudipta Ghosh

Partner, ESG - Technology/Data Analytics Leader, PwC India

Ajay Nair

Ajay Nair

Partner and Leader - Supply Chain Transformation, PwC India