Three questions for Eric Gantier
1. After all the challenges of 2020, how are your customers preparing for the coming year?
The coronavirus situation affected different parts of the sector in very different ways. Some of our customers experienced record levels of demand last year, while others faced extremely difficult commercial conditions. Whatever their starting point, however, companies in the sector are now making the transition from crisis to recovery mode, with the knowledge that the return to any form of normality may take some considerable time.
2. What are the implications of the post-crisis transition for supply chains and logistics activities?
The pandemic put supply chains under great pressure, as companies were forced to react to manufacturing and logistics disruption on a global scale. Our customers want to ramp up their resilience and responsiveness; but in difficult economic conditions, they also need to keep a very close eye on costs.
Many senior supply chain leaders see this time as an opportunity to make bold moves that could unlock significant improvements in performance. Supply chain issues are at the top of the agenda today, and companies are ready to consider strategic changes; the introduction of new technologies; and alternative approaches to the design, management and operation of their networks.
3. Has the virus changed your customers’ business forever?
The engineering, manufacturing and energy sectors have been around for a long time, and they have been through difficult periods before. Our customers provide products and services that underpin the global economy, and that isn’t going to change. At the same time, the crisis certainly accelerated some of the major ongoing trends, including digitization and the growth of e-commerce in the B2B sector. Those changes are likely to be permanent.
Published: March 2021