In our previous newsletter, we have critically analyzed the trends we discovered from the happenings in 2020, it is however noteworthy that these trends would have a ripple effect on our continuous day lives, as a result, we would be detailing what changes we should be expecting in 2021.
Unlike several companies in different industries that closed down last year, raising the level of unemployment, the need for logistics workers was on a high. As the African economy now begins to revive, there would be great pressure for hr in supply chain management, to not only attract but retain professionals who possess relative solutions, and the competitive battleground in the supply chain will become a positive feeling environment. Unfortunately, there would most likely not be an adequate talent to cater to this pressure, it is therefore imperative for individuals who are wishing to get into the supply chain field to certify themselves with relevant certifications, and also acquire relevant opportunities that would enable them to take advantage of this talent gap pressure.
Intelligent Forecasting Levels
As we previously explained, the behavior of consumers was very drastic, unpredictable, and spontaneous, which made the use of previous tends to forecast and manage inventory very difficult. As we return to stability in 2021, intelligent forecasting tools such as machine learning and AI (Artificial Intelligence) would claim their position at the forefront of the African supply chain. A lot of professionals have realized the crucial relevance of these tools in facilitating the supply chain industry, especially during difficult times, and as a result, they would be willing to adapt and even further explore forecasting and advanced analytics.
Early last year, there was considerable momentum bringing sustainability before the unfortunate events that occurred, following these events, priority for supply chain business switched from sultana lights to business continuity, as supply chain companies in Africa struggled to stay afloat. In 2021 however, the need for sustainability would become top of the African supply chain priority list forcing players in this industry to devise and apply strategies that would facilitate sustainability.
Challenges With The Capacity Of Transportation
There will be transportation capacity challenges throughout the year and probably. This is largely due to the fact that a good number of flights within Africa are still grounded. Although the transportation capacity situation in Africa may normalize around the middle of the year, reverting to normal supply chain swings as the economy improves and vaccines for Covid become widely available. This notwithstanding, securing transport capacity, managing the volatility in transport price, and strengthening relationships that are hindered by the limits on transportation would remain a priority throughout the year 2021.
Increased Pressure On Supply Chain Organisations In The Healthcare Industry
Another major disruption/challenge that would happen for supply chain management in Africa is the increased pressure on healthcare and pharmaceutical companies to manage and control surges in their inventory. There is going to be a great possibility of a “bullwhip” effect occurring which would mean that close monitoring, planning of inventory, and efficient warehouse processes must be ensured, thereby placing extra strain in the last mile and the supply chain in Africa as a whole. In addition, the distribution of vaccines would bring more complexities to the African supply chain in terms of cold chain requirements, the urgency of distribution, the variation of the distribution models, and general sheer scale.