SAP: Focusing on supply chain resiliency
In the first of four articles, we zone in on the importance of supply chain resiliency.
The COVID-19 pandemic has showcased the importance of lean and efficient supply chains, highlighting the necessity for flexibility and innovation during uncertain times. In SAP’s global survey, 1,000 executives from business functions spanning the supply chain were asked questions about the state of the supply chain landscape and the current complex environment. SAP identified a small group of companies among its survey respondents that are successfully managing their supply chains - called Supply Chain Leaders. SAP highlighted their best practices, enabling SAP to quantify the benefits of a well-run supply chain and a balanced approach to difficult objectives.
The research showed that companies with stronger strategies for customer-centricity, visibility and sustainability, through the application of intelligent technologies are seeing results from their efforts in terms of supply chain effectiveness, resilience and overall financial performance. While all supply chains are vulnerable to risks in a global economy, execution on clear strategic objectives is vital. This supported by the correct tools and tactics to mitigate risks and minimise complexity will make such events more manageable.
COVID-19 has demonstrated supply chain vulnerabilities and its impact of these on the new world economy. As a result, the importance of supply chain resiliency has never been more important. SAP’s survey, created in early 2020 as COVID-19 began to take hold worldwide, found that 39% of its respondents had experienced negative risk events at some point in their supply chains over the past three years. A similar proportion - 40% - found that their exposure to supply chain risks had increased over the same period of time. In contrast, just a quarter of its Supply Chain Leaders reported suffering a negative risk event and 31% say their risk exposure increased.
The research leader group stands out in several key ways. 76% of the leader group agreed that their employees are agile and can react to unforeseen events (compared to 52% of others). They are also significantly more likely to report high levels of collaboration with their risk management and compliance functions - 75% vs 63%. In addition, leaders have significantly higher levels of visibility into their supply chains and have successfully broken down silos within their organisations. This combination of agile employees, seamless collaboration with risk management and other functions, and a flatter organisational structure will reinforce supply chain resiliency.
While no supply chain can ever be fully prepared for a pandemic such as COVID-19, a highly collaborative company culture and strong visibility into all areas of the supply chain, can create resilience and agility, while lessening the impact of risk events.
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.