In 2020, organizations in nearly every industry faced disruption on a scale many have never seen before. Rapidly fluctuating consumer demand, bottlenecks in the supply chain, and uncertainty related to trade regulations and the pandemic left many executives struggling to mitigate risks, reduce costs, and find new ways to deliver customer value in an exceptionally complex world.

As these disruptions continue into 2021, businesses face challenges from many sides, including demanding customers, rapid technological advancement, changing trade regulations, and complex geopolitical landscapes. To thrive in a complex environment, executives need trustworthy input to help address challenges and make better decisions.

To learn more about the current challenges in the supply chain and how organizations address them, we surveyed supply chain executives from various sectors, including retail, manufacturing, and consumer goods, about their approach to global trade disruptions in 2020. The survey revealed several differences in how various industries had differing levels of success in dealing with supply chain issues.

While structural shifts were already taking place in the supply chain, respondents indicated that COVID-19 had exacerbated specific trends. Read on for the trends and key themes we observed.

  • Executives are trying to deliver more value while balancing cost and risk
  • Supply chain executives need a new way to improve decision-making and trade-offs: we recommend using the "value-cost-risk" framework