New survey finds business confidence in supply chain operations

More than 90 per cent believe last year's problems are behind them.

A new survey by GlobalTranx, provider of logistic technologies for shipping companies, and Edelman, a data and communications firm, finds that most US supply chain organisations are optimistic about their business performance in 2021.

The survey, published in April 2021, involved more than 200 US-based supply chain leaders and managers contacted between March 2-17, 2021.

The study noted that last year, many supply chains were “overburdened” due to COVID-19 and had difficulty meeting product demand.

However, 91 per cent of those surveyed believe those problems are behind them and that they can better meet customers’ needs in 2021.

As to the reasons for their confidence, the survey uncovered the following:

  • 7 in 10 respondents believe the COVID-19 vaccine rollout will stimulate business.
  • 94 per cent believe there will be a robust economic recovery in 2021, again due to the vaccine rollout.
  • 60 per cent think the recently passed stimulus package will have a long-term positive impact on the economy, supply chain operations, and business revenue.
  • More than half anticipate regulatory policy coming out of the new U.S. administration will positively impact supply chain operations, especially if the infrastructure bill being discussed is passed.

Michael Wilson, vice president of AFFLINK, says many of the organisation’s 350+ member distributors, most of whom market jansan, paper, food service, and packaging materials, also are more upbeat about their businesses compared to a year ago.

“Last year, many of our members grappled with changing buying behaviors, inventory management issues, and fluctuating customer demand, such that they had never seen before.

However, they made necessary changes, including boosting their e-commerce capabilities. This has helped them become much more resilient.”

The survey also pointed out some new challenges the supply chain may encounter in 2021. For instance, there are concerns about rising fuel and transportation costs; finding enough workers; and having sufficient warehouse space to meet customer demand.

“Overall, it is a very positive report,” adds Wilson.

“COVID still makes things a bit iffy, so let’s keep our fingers crossed.”

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