No surprise this time is offered by the ADCONIA trend analysis we conducted for the 4th quarter of 2021 in the SME sector.
The conspicuous shifts, if there have been any at all, are primarily in the area of supply security – an overarching issue. Allocations in material supply in all areas leads to bottlenecks that cascade through the supply chains and have long been reflected in consumer perceptions. Delivery times and costs for standard materials and raw materials have skyrocketed since Q3 2021. At the same time, there is growing uncertainty among procurement and supply chain executives as to how and when supply chains will return to normal. Due to numerous interruptions and the resulting manifold bullwhip effects, a forecast in this regard is almost impossible. It is therefore not surprising that risk management has moved from a shadowy existence to become a dominant tool in corporate management, even if it has limited positive impact on the current situation. But the realisation that the stable security of supply that has existed for decades will no longer exist in this form in the future (for the foreseeable future) is rightly pushing those responsible to introduce new structures and processes here. From our experience, this can only be confirmed. And in the current situation, it is indeed evident that those companies in which comprehensive risk management was introduced in good time in recent years are faring comparatively better through the crisis. Too one-sided an emphasis on cost management as an instrument for controlling supply chains does not pay off. Balanced risk management and cost management is and will remain a supporting pillar of a stable and competitive supply chain.
In addition, not least due to the political developments in Germany, the top issue of sustainability in connection with transparent CO2 balancing of the supply chains retains a prominent position. ADCONIA is focusing on this area of responsibility, which extends from the company management to all levels of the value chain and all areas of responsibility. A transparent, continuous recording of the CO2 balance across the entire external and internal value chain is beginning – the necessary methodologies and tools are being introduced; employees are being trained accordingly. We expect this trend to continue in the long term. Fortunately, standards are slowly emerging in the approach, so that sustainable implementation is plannable and feasible.
Yes, the survey on the top trending topics shows no real surprises. What is perhaps surprising, however, is that it will take a full-blown supply crisis before many companies start a real rethink.