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How work-from-home culture exasperated supply chain industry globally?

supply chain

In the modern inventions of the world, the global supply chain is one of the greatest and unappreciated at the same time. Thousands of individuals from around the globe came together to unitedly develop the concept over the years, spanning cultures, countries, and many political and ideological divisions, united by economies. The basic concept of global supply chains explained that manufacturers created goods and shipped them to central warehouses, which further sent them to retailers. This way goods become available for consumers to purchase and use.

‘Last-mile’ delivery was conducted by the consumers which meant delivery to the consumer’s home, where they moved in cars and carried the items. However, since the sale was completed at the register before the merchandise was loaded into the customer’s trunk, it was never formally recognized as a link in the supply chain. In the present-day scenario, a new culture of ‘work (and shop) from home (WFH) has been introduced, which has created a mindset of people that they can order something on platforms like amazon and it will show up the next day or even faster, but there are other instances as well, where in case the delivery takes longer, you can pick your order from the store.

supply chain

The reliability of people in online shopping has entirely transformed the supply chain.

The reliability of people on online shopping has entirely transformed the supply chain industry over the two years since online shopping has been available. People are left with fewer reasons than ever to leave their house as more businesses are adopting partial or full-time WFH cultures. Also becoming less frequent are the numerous shopping activities that were frequently undertaken on the route to and from work. Online shopping thus has been incentivized by the spike in global prices and less driving.

Looking at this particular dynamic from the perspective of the supply chain, it has put an end to numerous last-mile delivery drivers namely the customers themselves, globally, and on a large scale. Shifting online, many retailers now must carry the burden of last-mile shipping which requires thousands of truck drivers for transporting the manufactured items to compete with platforms like Amazon to recover the scale of lost economy. Hiring more drivers also puts pressure on the entire supply chain. To resolve the issue, retailers and distributors planned the construction of warehouses near the consumer-resident region.

Many retailers will require thousands of truck drivers for transporting the manufactured items.

Thus, retailers and distributors came up with a solution of ‘elastic’ warehouses where they can expand or shrink the space according to their needs. To adapt to the new logistics strategies, the processes and enterprise resource planning needed recomposition, which takes years and is costly as well. For this transformation, the availability of technical expertise is also required due to the advancement in technology with the onset of data lakes, AI, IoT, cloud, and more. However, traditional transferable systems for some areas are still needed for the business.  There is not enough technical skill leaving colleges today to meet this demand. Additionally, this new generation is more eager to work on cutting-edge technology than on the less interesting transactional systems.

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