Uncertainty in supply chains is driving new behaviours as the pandemic and global trade disruption have taken their toll on confidence. The concept of reshoring is fast becoming a reality and the intention is there in the year ahead, according to a joint study by Infor and Make UK.
Supply chain pressures on the UK’s manufacturing sector are expected to continue with the overwhelming majority of companies reporting such pressures in 2023 and looking ahead to 2024. Forty per cent of manufacturers surveyed said that they have increased their supply from the UK with a similar number saying they will do so in the coming year.
Companies are focusing on building a resilient supply chain that can withstand these disruptions, manage the risk of further instability, and continue to function. There is no one strategy that manufacturers are exploring, and each company will take account of several factors, including complexity of supply chains as well as distance from disruption. The most common trends include the diversification of supply, increasing stocking levels, and shortening of supply chains, with a trend towards reshoring and near-shoring.
Supply chain monitoring is firmly on manufacturers’ agendas, with 82 per cent reporting that this is critical to their business. However, there is a lag between citing its importance and using digital technologies that can help enhance supply chain monitoring. While manufacturers are dipping their toes in the water by using data analytics and dashboards, more sophisticated technologies such as AI and machine learning, which could be even more impactful, are yet to be considered overall.
The energy crisis, access to raw materials, labour shortages, input costs, and wider supply chain disruption have created unprecedented times for businesses across the globe. UK manufacturers have prioritised keeping their heads above the water and continue to meet demand when supply side constraints are making this challenging.
Fibre2Fashion News Desk (NB)