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Weightmans Evolve: The supply chain of the future - update

Since the publication of our report and our first panel event, we have had to advise on issues which have moved on.

Following the launch last year of the 'Weightmans Evolve: The supply chain of the future' campaign, we have continued to work with our clients and wider industry bodies to provide insight on the many areas of the law and business processes which make up the modern supply chain. Needless to say, we have had to advise on issues which have moved on even since the publication of our report and our first panel event.

Whilst the findings of the report were corroborated and the more traditional issues facing manufacturers, retailers, 3PLs as well as others involved in the supply chain (such as fuel costs, increasing consumer demand, reduction in delivery time, shortage of workers, rising property costs) were still issues at the forefront of people’s minds, the event was particularly enlightening as to new issues which are coming to light – both as opportunities and threats – and which industry now has to face. For example, if a developer/ owner occupier/ 3PL can find a suitable site, can it be energised adequately for the processes that will be undertaken there? Is the site’s energy supply sustainable?

We are asking if the applications and opportunities brought about by the Internet of Things and the use of smart contracts are truly becoming more commonplace. Once the reserve of Amazon and those with R&D budgets, does the reach and availability of this tech mean that smaller operators can adopt it to enhance and make business practices more efficient and profitable, and perhaps more excitingly, does this new way of working open up entirely new revenue streams? Is tech empowering some businesses to venture into areas where they have not previously been able or felt competent to do so?

As a result of exposure to these issues our next panel event will be looking at how manufacturers, retailers and logistics providers need to adapt their offering to take into account these changes and how those entities can use their own digital transformation to leverage the tech that is out there.

Change does bring potential risk however and crucially we will be focusing on the practical steps businesses can take to mitigate these risks when adopting these new ways of workings – crucial, given the pace of change in industry at present.

For more information on how we can help you with your supply chain, please contact Matthew Williamson, Partner on 0151 243 9883 or at matthew.williamson@weightmans.com or you can download our free report.

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