This week we are witnessing the latest ramifications of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has been dubbed the “pingdemic” whereby over 1 million people across the UK have been notified to isolate by Test and Trace after coming into contact with a Covid-19 positive case. As a result, supply chains up and down the country are already starting to buckle under the strain and many supermarket shelves are empty as a result. The industries hardest hit include manufacturing, transport and logistics with over 180,000 employees in these sectors alone currently isolating.
The question we ask is whether the complications supply chains are facing are new, or whether they are longstanding issues that have been bought to light by the current situation? It comes as no surprise that only 2% of businesses said they felt prepared for the unprecedented pandemic and that 55% of businesses admit the Covid-19 pandemic has had a negative affect on their business.
Efficiency, resilience, and visibility were among the biggest reasons supply chains have struggled over the past year, and these issues have raised their heads once more as we encounter the “pingdemic”. At the heart of these issues there are old, outdated systems which aren’t robust enough to cope with the rapid onset of change and provide the reporting needed to help businesses respond quickly to changing circumstances.
In times of uncertainty the investment in technology normally slows while businesses take a cautious approach, but during the pandemic, businesses introduced technology improvements almost overnight and accelerated the move to technology by three to four years. This is a very strong indication of how little confidence businesses had in their current systems and reinforces that in 2021, digitisation is king.
How can digitisation help overcome the issues faced by the pandemic and the “pingdemic”? By moving towards centralised systems, businesses can integrate all their departments and third parties with the joined-up approach that is required to overcome challenges such as those being currently faced. It provides the communication and visibility needed to make fast decisions and identify bottlenecks and potential issues quickly before they have detrimental effects upon the entire business.
More importantly, robust systems will grow with the business and adapt to changes, rather than hold it back which is where many businesses across the UK have struggled over the past year. Scalable and flexible systems are proving to be essential to overcome the issues facing businesses in the 21st century world we live in.
In uncertain times, the one certainty is the importance of digitisation and robust systems for businesses to survive and thrive. Those being dealt the hardest hand are businesses with outdated systems which are struggling to keep up with the rapid onset of challenges the pandemic has bought, and the current “pingdemic”.