January 2021 | Commentary | Good Question

If you were writing a book on the supply chain in 2020, what would you call it?

Tags: Logistics, Supply Chain


The Shift from Efficient to Effective. 2020 was a gut punch to any supply chain organization that pursued operational efficiency without keeping a pulse on the risk factors that threaten disruption. Effective supply chains designed out risk by addressing safety, security, and reliability vulnerabilities.

—John Reichert, Senior Director, Supply Chain Execution Solutions, Tecsys


The Wake-Up Call for Supply Chain Management. Although recent natural disasters should have prompted supply chain stakeholders to create comprehensive risk mitigation strategies, it was COVID-19 that woke up the industry. Protocols will be introduced to protect the integrity and fluidity of the supply chain.

—Sebastian Wulff, Head, Ocean Freight USA, Dachser USA Air & Sea Logistics


Unpredictable. What we saw in 2020 was a breakdown of all paradigms set into place after the financial meltdown of 2008. Supply chain optimization thrives on predictability and 2020 was anything but that. If we learned anything in 2020, it is the notion that unpredictability is the new normal.

—David Stuver, Executive Vice President, Supply Chain Solutions, Americold




Flexible and Open: The Keys to Logistics Success. 2020 taught us nobody knows exactly what the future holds in terms of opportunities and challenges in the logistics space. Instead of trying to predict market conditions, if you operate in a flexible technology environment (structured to accommodate multiple use cases) that is also open (where additional outside capabilities can easily be integrated), you are better set up for success.

—Larry Klein, VP, Logistics, Bringg


Journey to the Last Mile: How RFID Saved the Supply Chain. It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. Supply chain management in 2020 saw challenges that shook the industry to its core. A rapid, seismic shift from B2B to D2C meant consumers demanded more goods delivered to their doorsteps, ever faster and faster. Supply chains racing to meet customer expectations found RFID solutions allowed them to navigate this uncharted territory and through unforeseen obstacles at the last mile.

—Ryan Yost, VP/General Manager, Printer Solutions Division, Avery Dennison Corporation


Supply Chain Silver Linings. While 2020 was full of challenges, it ultimately made us more agile and resilient. As e-commerce boomed, we shifted from previously held beliefs to find new ways to provide unique solutions for our customers. This allows us to meet our customers' needs into the future.

—Pal Narayanan, EVP, Chief Information Officer, Americas, GEODIS


Flash Forward. The book would explore how the pandemic exposed vulnerabilities and accelerated secular trends by more than five years in less than five months to support increasingly complex and constantly evolving e-commerce supply chains.

—Gaurang Shastri, Managing Director, Head of Logistics and Transportation Group, Lincoln International


Reefer Madness: How the Supply Chain Kept Its "Cool" During a Global Pandemic. While the initial coronavirus outbreak in China brought significant cold chain disruption, it took only four weeks to implement logistical solutions that ensured the world's population had continued access to chilled and frozen perishables.

—Greg Tuthill, Chief Commercial Officer, SeaCube Containers


The Year the Supply Chain Broke—and How We Fixed It. It would recap the supply chain breakdowns of 2020, what we learned, and how we resolved them.

—Clifford F. Lynch, C. F. Lynch & Associates


A Brave New Supply Chain. The pandemic exposed supply chain holes, especially areas that weren't enabled digitally. Common practices, including physical bills of lading, didn't work as efficiently as they used to. Although the supply chain worked to adapt, holes continued to grow. Now, shippers, carriers, and retailers must work together to not only patch gaps but to better prepare for the future.

—Will Chu, CEO & Co-founder, Vector


The Perfect Storm: Supply Chain's Imperfect Businesses. For many industries, the desire to innovate and scale with technology drives lasting change. Most businesses are fraught with a complex web of globally interconnected systems that inherently fail supply chain logistics. Couple that with natural disasters and a pandemic, and it was the perfect storm.

—Alexi Cashen, CEO, Elenteny Imports


Taking Back Control of Your Supply Chain. In 2020, companies were forced to re-examine their supply chains and reconsider how they have happily relinquished control to increasingly opaque and dubiously controlled partners and vendors. The impact of this reclaimed control creates new strategic opportunities in 2021.

—Bill Denbigh, Senior Director, Product Marketing, Tecsys


Agile Network Transformation: The Path to Keeping It Together. Supply chain management in 2020 called for creative pivots, technology, flexibility, and new ways of operating to keep up with rapid changes. The companies that implemented these concepts proved to be the most successful.

—Sarah Johnson, EVP, Mobile Warehousing and Storage, Milestone


Resilient and Agile Supply Chains for a Chaotic World.

—Antony Lovell, VP, Applications, Vuealta


Supercharging the Supply Chain with Agile Planning and Seamless Execution.

—Andrew Butt, Co-founder + CEO, Enable


How the Pandemic Flipped Logistics on Its Head.

—Roy Rosell, Head of Product Marketing, NEXT Trucking


What a ShipShow: How a Stormy 2020 Almost Buried the Shipping Industry.

—A.J. Hernandez, CEO, SkyPostal


Frantic: How the 2020 Pandemic Challenged Global Supply Chains.

—Scott Deakins, COO, Deacom


Supply Chain 2020—From Fragile to Agile: How a Global Pandemic Strengthened the Supply Chain.

­—Mike Wilson, CEO, Consolidated Chassis Management


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Disruptions.

—Aaron Galer, Senior Vice President, Strategic Partners, Arrive Logistics


Freight-ened 2020: A Tale of Economic Survival, the Race for a Vaccine, and the Most Complex Supply Chain Challenges of our Generation.

—Park Williams, VP, North America Sales, BDP International


Disturbed, Positioned, and Delivered.

—B. Lakshminarayanan, Managing Director/Country Head, Orient Star Transport International Pvt Ltd.

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