Supply chain management of the near future will be nimble and effective, but above all else, it will be pragmatic. The Covid-19 pandemic unleashed upon the world a master class in global supply chain management. Professionals across all manufacturers, distributors, and retailers encountered textbook-style sales and operations planning challenges. They overcame once-hypothetical risks of supply interruption, wide demand variance, and even legal uncertainty by applying the best tactical solutions available at each moment in time. Along the way, as C suites and the media watched, rational risk mitigation and tactical execution prevailed over more lofty ideals.
Supply chain strategy remains a highly visible part of any company's value proposition, which will only grow in importance as the world learns hard lessons. This article examines the near future of supply chain management that is being forged from this difficult environment. It contextualizes the starting position for many supply chains, conceptualizes supply chain challenges in a meaningful way, and then identifies the thought process for drafting contracts in response to the newfound practical reality that may temper certain extreme market positions.
Originally published in Bloomberg Law - April 2021.
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