Supply Chain Report 2020: A Wake-Up Call for the Future of Consumer Goods

Just five short months ago, the consumer goods industry was focused on building a supply chain to support the omnichannel era, focusing on four key areas: demand planning, fulfillment, manufacturing, and last-mile delivery. However, since then, the industry has been flipped on its head.

Earlier this year, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus was linked to Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, but it quickly became a global issue as it spread across just about every community and as it has continued to unfold. Although the severity and speed of such a health crisis has always been a possibility, no one was truly prepared for something so massive and sustained.

As it became necessary to social distance, consumers realized that in order to slow the spread effectively, buckling down and staying indoors was required. Stay-at-home orders necessitated a certain number of supplies, and as the shelves began to empty, the spotlight began to shine on the importance of the supply chain — not to mention its strengths and weaknesses.

Manufacturing facilities began to pivot to help fulfill demand faster, which prompted the fast tracking of technology implementations to support the onslaught of e-commerce orders, curbside pickup orders, delivery orders and DTC shifts.

Tom Madrecki, VP, Supply Chain and Logistics for Consumer Brands Association, perhaps sums it up best: “Prior to COVID-19, I think it’s fair to say that most people weren’t thinking about the state of U.S. supply chains. And yet, they undergird everything we do and rely on every day.”

So, where do we go from here? The 7th annual CGT Supply Chain Report 2020 enlists the help of research partners IDC and Supply Chain Insights, to dive in to find out. Regardless of the outcome, one thing is for certain: This pandemic has served as a wake-up call for the industry.