1. How have technology supply chains been affected by the coronavirus crisis?
The sector has been through two distinct phases already and is now entering a third. At the onset of the crisis, our customers had to contend with supply constraints, as production and logistics capacity were limited by pandemic response measures. After that, many saw a dramatic increase in demand, driven by the global shift to working from home, e-commerce and digital social interaction.Now we are in a recovery phase, which is putting further pressure on capacity, as customers rebuild inventories and ramp up technology projects that were delayed or postponed last year.
2. Has the last year changed the structure of technology supply chains?
I believe we have seen a significant acceleration of trends that were already underway. In particular, the gap between B2B and B2C supply chains has narrowed. Companies that previously shipped in bulk to resellers or distribution centers have been delivering more product directly to end customers. We have also seen a shift in our customers’ priorities. Cost and efficiency are still important, but there is also more focus on visibility and resilience.
3. What’s the next challenge for the sector?
We all hope that this year will be about recovery from the crisis, but we know that recovery will put more pressure on the sector to meet delayed demand. Technology companies already have some of the most sophisticated supply chain processes in the world, but they will need to adapt to further complexity as the industry seeks to drive simultaneous improvements in efficiency, resilience and sustainability.
Published: June 2021