Sustainability, digitisation, and eCommerce top priorities for Supply Chain Leaders

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt and challenge global supply chains, new research shows that Australian businesses are directing their focus to sustainability, digitisation and preparing for a permanent world of eCommerce.

According to Australia’s first Supply Chain Leaders Sentiment Report, produced as supply chain issues challenge the global economy, Australia’s Supply Chain Leaders are focusing on these areas as they plan for the future, improve their overall resilience and create new sources of value for their customers.

70 per cent of survey respondents reported they had invested in their eCommerce capabilities during the last two years, while 57 per cent stated supply chain was playing a central role in determining and delivering their overall digital strategy.

Ethical sourcing and sustainable supplier selection were among the main strategies businesses were using to improve the sustainability of their supply chains, with almost half of those surveyed piloting circular supply chains.

Australia Post Executive General Manager Business, Government and International, Gary Starr, said a strong and resilient supply chain was critical in enabling business growth and success in a post-pandemic world.

“Supply chain disruptions are a growing challenge, and it is important businesses have processes in place to weather potential impacts, while also continuing to improve their speed and flexibility, reduce costs and manage their logistics and fulfillment to ensure they can meet the needs of their customers,” said Mr Starr.

“With national eCommerce growth topping 76 per cent for the 12-months to September 2021, when compared to just two years ago, there are significant growth opportunities for Australian businesses and we trust this research will assist businesses to build resilience and agility in their supply chains,” Mr Starr added.

John O’Connor, National Lead Partner, Supply Chain at Deloitte Consulting said with unprecedented and ongoing disruptions across supply chains, business leaders are looking deep into their internal capabilities and external supply networks to identify not only potential risks, but also new sources of value and competitive advantage.  

“For many industries, whether they are consumer or business focused, supply chain has become the new strategic battle ground.  Digitisation of supply chains and the rapid shift to eCommerce has quickly shifted from being a defensive response to COVID-19 disruptions, to an offensive play where completely new business models are battling for market share against traditional players and routes to market.

“What this report has highlighted is that accelerating investments in technologies such as supply chain automation and AI, as well as collaboration and integration with your strategic supply chain partners are crucial to improving resilience, agility and the ability to sense and respond to the next new threat or emerging opportunity,” Mr O’Connor concluded.

The report from Australia Post and produced in partnership with Deloitte, details insights captured from 87 Australian businesses spanning 15 industries including retail and wholesale trade, transport, warehousing and manufacturing and is available at auspost.com.au/supply-chain.   

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