How has COVID impacted supply chain digital transformation?

COVID has accelerated innovation and transformation. I would also say the role of supply chain overall to move from expense to asset. I would say there is a lot more visibility to the role in general, for a couple different reasons. The first one would be, looking specifically into the global trading world, in which I've had a lot of experience with supply chain, a lot of times digital transformation consulting was just considered an expense but once 301 tariffs came into play and then also the subsequent challenges within the pandemic, it all of a sudden had a seat at the table. How do we mitigate these extra expenses? How do we break down barriers when we have, say, five different steps in our supply chain to get this product produced? If you think about the auto industry, they are notorious for having multiple layers of production within different countries and then assemblies and sub-assemblies. The knowledge of the supply chain and how to pull the levers elevated the role in which the supply chain teams interacted.   I think the second way that COVID has changed in the acceleration is industry 4.0. There is a lot of pressure to remain competitive and not be left behind because you aren't coming up with 4.0. Innovation and innovation acceleration is a big drive within most companies now, so my role has been more of a focus on that digital transformation. There is also a lot more visibility within companies and leadership because of the strategy going forward to get from where they are now to where they'd like to be in 1, 3, 5, or 10 years.

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COVID has accelerated innovation and transformation. I would also say the role of supply chain overall to move from expense to asset. I would say there is a lot more visibility to the role in general, for a couple different reasons. The first one would be, looking specifically into the global trading world, in which I've had a lot of experience with supply chain, a lot of times digital transformation consulting was just considered an expense but once 301 tariffs came into play and then also the subsequent challenges within the pandemic, it all of a sudden had a seat at the table. How do we mitigate these extra expenses? How do we break down barriers when we have, say, five different steps in our supply chain to get this product produced? If you think about the auto industry, they are notorious for having multiple layers of production within different countries and then assemblies and sub-assemblies. The knowledge of the supply chain and how to pull the levers elevated the role in which the supply chain teams interacted.   I think the second way that COVID has changed in the acceleration is industry 4.0. There is a lot of pressure to remain competitive and not be left behind because you aren't coming up with 4.0. Innovation and innovation acceleration is a big drive within most companies now, so my role has been more of a focus on that digital transformation. There is also a lot more visibility within companies and leadership because of the strategy going forward to get from where they are now to where they'd like to be in 1, 3, 5, or 10 years.
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