Kearney: are UK supply chains adapting to COVID-19
The survey interviewed over 400 senior operations and supply chain executives about the resilience of their supply chains. Results showed that almost two thirds of UK leaders (63%) ranked their organisation at a 4.8 out of 10 for their adaptation.
Currently the country in response to the crisis is conducting a number of different measures to combat the impact of COVID-19, including:
- 69% are protecting their suppliers by providing purchase guarantees
- 43% are supporting suppliers by analysing the risks for certain components
- 40% are reporting that they have shut down non-essential facilities in order to free up national energy and infrastructure resources
In contrast to this the organisations discovered different strategies from global firms including:
- 44% adapting transportation methods to ensure that the supply chain continues
- 40% prioritising critical facility and vulnerable customer orders
- 48% preparing measures to completely overhaul their entire procurement and supply chain strategy if the crisis is prolonged
When it comes to managing during the crisis, the organisations spoke with leaders in the supply chain industry who emphasised the importance of risk management, as well as communication and transparency with suppliers, in order to keep people safe while ensuring supply.
“Supply chain leaders have been confronted with one of their biggest challenges to date in the shape of the coronavirus crisis. As a result, supply chain resilience is now at the forefront of discussion, with the sector severely rattled. Global trade has been heavily impacted and issues such as food waste and diversion of supplies dominate the agenda. Simply put, supply chains have proven to not be resilient enough. In some cases, they are collapsing altogether. Supply chain leaders are realising that they’ll have to adapt in order to minimise exposure in the future, but adapting so rapidly is a challenge in itself,” commented Nigel Pekenc, Partner at Kearney.
In its report, Kearney highlighted some key ways in which supply chains can adapt and pivot during the current crisis, including:
- Rapid tailoring of manufacturing and supply systems in order to cater for changes in consumer behaviour
- Harnessing advanced technology for agile manufacturing and supply systems
- Coordinating logistics across and within global value chains
- Sharing responsibility and collaboration between companies and authorities in order to address social and environmental challenges
“Whilst the coronavirus crisis continues to affect both health and economies worldwide, it also presents opportunities. The sheer speed of the onset of the pandemic has short-circuited many firms’ standard adaptation strategies, but leaders who are nimble enough to find a way through this crisis are likely to reap substantial rewards in market share and supply chain resilience,” added Pekenc.
For more information on business topics in Europe, Middle East and Africa please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief EMEA.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.