The study suggests that therefore supply chains need to be reinvented in order to adapt to the change in paradigm. Supply chains were primarily conceived to optimise financial costs. In today's world, they must, however, also be robust and flexible, in order to be able to react to increasing uncertainties in supply. At the same time, they are becoming an important competitive advantage to make future growth possible. A key term: just-in-case. Meaning the storage of necessary materials for production.
Storage space is not cheap. However, in the light of the growing uncertainty surrounding supplies and political developments that are difficult to predict, companies have to ask themselves whether this isn't the lesser evil compared with, at worst, a stand-still of production because of a lack of materials.
The model can be supplemented by digital aids. Gathering new data sets, including real time data, from inside and outside the company and along the entire value creation chain, will be vital. Automation and artificial intelligence will enable companies to identify new data patterns quickly so that they can make better decisions.
"The key will be to invest in new technologies for better use of data – from digital twins and analyses to supervisory bodies for supply chains – and in the Cloud Continuum, which offers enormous processing power in a non-expensive, flexible and sustainable way," Timmermanns concludes.