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Manufacturers turning to digital solutions to address Covid-19 supply chain disruption

(Image credit: Image Credit: Firma V / Shutterstock)

The vast majority of manufacturers have been severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and are still trying to tackle the disruptions it caused to their supply chains, according to a new report from technology research and advisory firm Information Services Group (ISG).

To solve the many issues that have presented themselves, including hygiene guidelines, lockdowns, border closures and remote-work requirements, most of these companies - especially in EMEA - are eyeing up digital transformation.

The digitization of supply chains, customer engagement and other aspects of the manufacturing business is being perceived as a silver bullet of sorts, but not everyone knows how to utilize these advanced methodologies properly.

Further, many firms don’t yet know how they will adapt to the crisis, be it through mergers and acquisitions, industry consortia or a return to internal sourcing.

Most companies, the report states, do not see a strong need to adapt their digital transformation roadmaps, despite cost efficiency becoming high priority.

Almost all manufacturers claim their customers demand more digital engagement, with two thirds also saying their customers asked for more choice in how to communicate.

While almost half of the companies polled for this report said they were well-prepared to meet emerging customer needs, almost four in ten said internal resistance and slow processes are holding them back.

“Now, more than ever, enterprises need to understand the customers’ changing needs and be able to respond to them quickly,” says ISG Partner Christian Decker, leader of the firm’s EMEA Smart Manufacturing practice.

“Achieving the necessary level of customer orientation requires cross-functional collaboration between all areas of the value chain, which calls for a new operating model.”