Letters: A new look at supply chains

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[Re: UK business fear supply chain chaos will ruin Christmas trading, December 5]

In the last week, City AM has run several stories on the continuing chaos engulfing global supply chains and the industries this is affecting.

The articles rightly identify problems such as key materials shortages, a shrinking labour market, and rising energy costs, all compounded by soaring inflation. Still, this framing takes the possibility for improvement out of the hands of supply chain stakeholders. Organisations need to look at what they can control, not wring their hands over what they can’t.

When external pressures are squeezing supply chains, the key is to look more closely at individual processes, the micro rather than the macro of supply chains. Workers need the highest quality and most innovative (without being disruptive) tools they can get their hands on. In addition, organisations need to ensure these tools improve worker well-being in a shrinking labour market.

In the piece on the automotive sector, “innovation, productivity and (a) highly skilled workforce” were mentioned as strengths of the UK automotive industry, and arguably they are cornerstones of any thriving industry. However, more should be done to emphasise them.

By investing in human-centred technologies that improve worker processes, organisations can make valuable productivity gains, at a micro level, that are amplified across entire organisations. Solutions like wearable technology, with accurate data insights, can achieve this. Individual process improvements can have the most significant impact in an increasingly complex and fraught global logistics landscape.

Ilhan Kolko



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