This shift in supply chains present opportunities for female leaders in particular
The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the already existing issues that the global supply chain had been facing. From port congestion to global inflation, supply chains have been feeling the pressure. Because of this, there has been a shift in supply chains which has changed the way peopleo business and has also created new opportunities for female supply chain leaders in particular.
The Issues in Supply Chains
- Port Congestion
This has been an issue long before the pandemic started. Bottlenecks have been created in ports around the globe as ships have to wait long periods before being allowed into ports. In some ports, ships have to wait up to a whopping 45 days before being allowed in to dock. The pandemic has worsened this as lockdown and social distancing restrictions have resulted in fewer ships and people being allowed on the docks at one time.
- Global Inflation
Usually, inflation depends on supply chains. Now we see supply chains being affected by inflation. As the price of goods increases, such as raw materials, so will prices along supply chains. An example of this has been the increase in fuel prices. The price of fuel is consistently increasing, due to inflation, and this will result in interest rates going up for the rest of the year. As inflation increases, the cycle continues.
- Shipping delays
to popular belief, shipping delays are due to shipping and courier companies but this is not true. Port congestion and labour shortages result in shipping delays as the courier and shipping companies often do not receive the product within the promised time
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses have had to retrench workers or even close due to a lack of business. Now, there are labour shortages within the supply chain industry which lead to there being shortages of materials as there has not been enough manpower to process raw materials and produce the needed products.
Although the worst of the pandemic has passed, the supply chain industry has been unable to forecast what the demand will be as the demand data collected throughout the pandemic is unreliable. There were stricter lockdown restrictions and unstable consumer behaviour which means that the supply chain industry cannot use that data to make informed predictions regarding demand.
The Opportunities Within The Supply Chain Industry
Every dark cloud has a silver lining. These issues and obstacles within supply chains have provided opportunities for leaders, female leaders in particular. According to research, there is just over 20 percent of females in Vice President and Director-level positions within supply chains. Seeing that the issues and obstacles within supply chains have existed before the pandemic, the current leadership has shown that they are buckling under the pressure. And in this case, just under 80% of the current leadership are males.
According to study by the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment, girls are better at solving problems than boys are especially when working in teams. The study tested 125,000 15-year-olds in 52 regions around the world and found that girls performed dramatically better than boys when solving problems. The study also found that girls were 1.6 times more likely than boys to be top performers when collaborating to solve problems.
Based on this research, women who have leadership roles within supply chains can take advantage of these issues and obstacles by collaborating with their female colleagues to focus on solving these issues and are likely to solve them. This would work in their favour as they would be able to advance their careers and repair supply chains. If the females in leadership are able to do so, they also open more doors for other females who are currently in supply chains or who are interested in joining a supply chain workforce.
The Bottom Line
Although supply chains are currently negatively affected by global port congestion, inflation, shortages of labour and materials, undetermined demand, and shipping delays, these issues are able to be resolved. Females, according to research by the OECD Programme, are better equipped to solve problems when collaborating with other females and this may just be the answer to the issues within the supply chain industry.