by AZALEA AZUAR / pic by TMR FILE
NEARLY half (46%) of businesses in South-East Asia prefer to adopt and invest in a comprehensive omnichannel strategy as a key business priority in the next three to five years.
According to the “Building Back Better from the Pandemic: A Look into Supply Chains in the New Normal” report commissioned by TMX, 40% of businesses have already invested in omnichannel strategies as a way to future proof their businesses.
This is responses that e-commerce stores would still be available but consumers still want to resume physical shopping as social restrictions loosened.
Therefore, an omnichannel would allow businesses to have a consistent presence and a seamless customer journey.
Other highlights of the report also include that the diversification of any part of the value chain — whether it be third-party logistics providers, vendors or shipping routes — is key in helping them chart the way forward from the pandemic.
More than half (52%) have begun diversifying their supplier base while another 35% are actively assessing their reliance on third party vendors.
TMX (Asia) president James Christopher (picture) said these insights reveal how business challenges as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic have made them understand how to improve their supply chains and operations moving forward.
“It is no longer news that the pandemic has brought about seismic shifts to the industry. Across the region, we have seen supply chains being pushed to new limits amidst a backdrop of fast-changing consumer demands and behaviours.
“However, insights from the report show that there are silver linings to what we have experienced,” he said.
These businesses are able to identify the areas where improvements and investments are required for the businesses and supply chains to become more resilient, and they are well equipped to overcome potential disruptions even with the emergence of the new Omicron variant.
“We expect that the next few years will be marked by further digitalisation in supply chains, diversification, and growth in the industry,” Christopher said.
Businesses are also required to focus on the wellbeing of their employees and that they are kept engaged through upskilling apart from their operations and supply chain where they need to tighten the labour and skills market that the industry is facing.
“Businesses are feeling the talent pinch, especially now that the skills set needed by the industry is different. No longer are businesses in the industry just looking for talent that can introduce new digital technologies and solutions in supply chains.
“They are also looking for those who take the initiative and possess the leadership and critical thinking skills that are crucial in navigating the businesses through periods of disruptions and uncertainties,” he added.
The report also showed that businesses are expected to build on the wave of digitalisation with synchronised physical and digital supply chains that provide full end-to-end operational visibility and practice sustainability through the environmental, social and governance commitments.
“As the world comes out the other side of the pandemic, now is the best time for businesses to already start putting some of these key lessons into practice.
“Using the valuable insights gathered from the last two years, the team at TMX is looking forward to working with businesses in the region to optimise their supply chains and business operations,” Christopher said.
The report was conducted with over 250 business decision makers and senior executives in the fast-moving consumer goods, logistics, e-commerce, retail and manufacturing industries across South-East Asia.