Filling our shelves – supply chain workshops kick off

Following a pilot workshop in Manchester, United Kingdom, the first of a series of Global Supply Chain workshops took place at the end of February in New York.

The workshop participants represented a wide variety of companies in the food supply value chain, expert consultants in the food sector, and logistics operators from the New York area.

The Resilience Shift has partnered with a specialist Arup advisory services team, led by Darren Briggs, to explore the dependency of global supply chains on critical infrastructure resilience.

Global research programme:

Darren Briggs presented to participants on the high-level findings of some initial research carried out in 2018 with a focus on the UK. One of the aims of the project is to expand the scope of this research to a world-wide perspective.

Workshops in Manchester, New York, San Francisco, Johannesburg, Hong Kong, Madrid and Brisbane are a key part of this information gathering.

In addition, the project team has launched a global survey and encourages all those with experience of logistics and supply chains, whether as clients or suppliers, to contribute using this link.

Workshop highlights:

Global supply chains rely on critical infrastructure resilience to function. Workshop participants discussed the shocks and stresses of relevance for their jobs, classifying them according to the potential impact and their ability to respond to them. This analysis was later used to discuss opportunities to improve resilience, including specific actions where they felt the Resilience Shift could contribute.

Among the priorities discussed, technology was high on the list, specifically the application of green technology for transport and the use of information technology and systems across the value chain. Participants felt that it would be of value to have case studies to show low hanging fruit opportunities for companies to embed technology, demonstrating the value to them.

Professional education came also across as an important topic, improving the training of professionals in large infrastructure projects, and generally providing the workforce with the necessary skills for resilience thinking which can contribute to the shift from traditional risk management.

Finally, it was recognised that embedding resilience thinking at the early stages of the value chain would help to embed resilience early on the process, already influencing the planning stage, for example by involving the freight industry in the discussions.

Public and private collaboration was also identified as an important lever to unlock resilience opportunities.

Connecting with specialists:

Xavier Aldea Borruel, Programme Manager for the Resilience Shift, also presented on this project to a gathering of Arup global freight and logistics specialists as an opportunity to further gather input from this skills group.

In addition, some of the participants in this forum are locally supporting the organisation of the remaining local workshops across different geographies.

The next workshop takes place in Johannesburg on 13 March. See other dates.

Survey link:

You can contribute your views and experience of supply chains using this link.

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