ChannelLife Australia logo
Industry insider news for Australia's technology resellers
Story image

Strengthening supply chain resilience amid VUCA

By Contributor
Fri 26 Nov 2021

Article by Kalypso, a Rockwell Automation company, partner, Vipin Gopal.

As Australia begins to emerge from lockdown, there are uncertainties ahead; on top of that, a potential third wave of the pandemic looms. As such, regardless of geography or sector, manufacturers continue to suffer from shortages of raw materials, intermediate parts, and other components, hindering the recovery of their downstream customers. Whether it's shipping and transportation bottlenecks or crippling ransomware attacks and labour shortages, shocks to supply chains now reverberate on a global level.

To cope with volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA), supply-chain players can adopt three key actions: 

1) Flexible production speeds responses

Three challenges most commonly facing manufacturers amid the pandemic are: customer demand, availability of materials, coupled with staffing and labour shortages, driven by changing consumer behaviour. But these challenges are also encountered in the industrial sector, where demand for petroleum, lumber, steel, and semiconductors fluctuates because of global lockdowns. 

Flexible manufacturing and improved supplier integration are crucial to navigating this landscape. Suppliers should implement a single global manufacturing operations management (MOM) system to alleviate supply-chain snags. Rigid operating models should be redesigned with revised controls and responses that allow manufacturers to rapidly switch models and products. By harmonising operations, MOM helps industrial players effectively manage disruptions by alerting them to assembly-line changes, local training needs, and other issues. 

Greater integration with suppliers is also essential, collaborating with engineering experts and contractors to develop preassembled modules instead of a box of loose parts. For example, a toy manufacturer with factories across Asia worked on new designs by sharing computer-aided design models and geometries in near real-time among their designers, engineers, suppliers, and marketers, partnering with their management teams to set up a collaborative internal digital platform. This resulted in a 30% reduction in data management and transaction times, speeding up turnaround and reducing costs.

2) Smarter staffing

Another major impact of the pandemic has been persistent staffing shortages. Many employers also face higher ratios of fewer industry-skilled employees, more staff in new and unfamiliar roles, and costly shift-scheduling difficulties.

Workforce enablement and labour-supporting technology are more important than ever. Data analytics can be deployed to better understand employee availability and skillsets, generating models to determine optimal resourcing for running complex equipment and processes at any given point in time. This streamlines tasks and improves productivity and worker satisfaction. Autonomous robots can also free up simple, manual tasks and help workers tap into colleagues from different markets for enhanced knowledge sharing and training while adhering to social-distancing measures. 

3) Analytics assist materials shortages 

VUCA issues related to deviations in raw materials – such as the shortfall in semiconductor chips impacting automotive manufacturers – can be managed through data analytics applied in the form of product lifecycle management (PLM) software. Model predictive controls (MPC), AI, and even "chaos engineering" functions that simulate problems in production systems can all help manufacturers become more adaptative.

PLM is a sophisticated software platform that serves as an orchestration backbone of sorts. By using digital production definitions, worker management functions and advanced visualisations, users can connect their production and equipment lifecycles with a digital thread that enables control changes.

Future-proofing supply networks to bolster long-term resilience 

With change being the only constant, the onus is on supply-chain players to digitalise to counter VUCA and other impactful events. Building greater agility, resilience, and sustainability into supply-chain processes accelerates access to actionable information, allowing businesses to respond more effectively when challenges arise.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Frost & Sullivan recognises Genesys as leader in new reports
Frost & Sullivan has recognised Genesys as a leader in the cloud contact centre market for its robust cloud and digital capabilities.
Story image
Manhattan Associates
Shortening the click-to-customer cycle through smart technologies
Speed of delivery without accuracy is a dealbreaker for consumers. How can retailers operating in an omnichannel environment overcome the challenge of click-to-customer cycle times.
Story image
Vectra AI
Vectra’s inaugural Partner of the Year Awards revealed
APAC companies Baidam, Firmus, ShellSoft and Macnica have been recognised in Vectra AI's inaugural Partner of the Year Awards.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity prompts upgrade for 1.3 billion electricity meters
ABI Research finds Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and cybersecurity concerns are prompting the upgrade of 1.3 billion electricity meters by 2027.
Story image
Broadband
Telstra enters into new RSP agreement with Opticomm
Telstra has entered into an RSP agreement with Opticomm (A Uniti Group Limited subsidiary) to provide network fibre services to customers.
Story image
Getac
Getac and Optalert expand partnership to promote industrial safety
Getac’s ZX70 Android tablets will be used to support Optalert’s Eagle Industrial early-warning drowsiness detection system for use in mining and transportation.
Story image
Digital Transformation
How to modernise legacy apps without compromising security
At a time when digital transformation has become central to business, even the most important applications come with a ‘use-by’ date.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Pluralsight and Ingram Micro Cloud team up on cloud initiative
Pluralsight has teamed with Ingram Micro Cloud to build upon cloud competence and maturity internally, and externally support partners’ capabilities.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
AI-based email security platform Abnormal Security valued at $4B
"A new breed of cybersecurity solutions that leverage AI is required to change the game and stop the rising threat of sophisticated and targeted email attacks."
Story image
Digital Marketing
Similarweb acquires SEO and rank tracking company Rank Ranger
Digital intelligence company Similarweb, which specialises in analysing web traffic, has acquired Rank Ranger, a market leader in SEO and rank tracking.
Story image
ChildFund
ChildFund launches new campaign to protect children online
ChildFund says WEB Safe & Wise aims to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse online while also empowering them to become digitally savvy. 
Story image
Cybersecurity
Noname Security partners with Netpoleon to target API issues
Specialist API security firm Noname Security has appointed Netpoleon as its distributor in Australia and New Zealand.
Story image
WolfVision
WolfVision announces new range of visualisers
WolfVision has announced a new range of visualisers to help meet multiple industry demands for remote learning and educational solutions.
Story image
Surveillance
Motorola Solutions acquires Videotec S.p.A for security portfolio
Motorola Solutions has acquired Italian ruggedised video security company Videotec S.p.A, along with its portfolio of highly versatile cameras.
Story image
Gaming
PNY launches XLR8 Gaming EPIX memory products in A/NZ
PNY has launched its XLR8 Gaming EPIC-X RGB™ DDR4 Silver 3200MHz and 3600MHz memory products in Australia and New Zealand.
Story image
Alteryx
Decision Inc. Australia enters partnership with Alteryx
Independent data and analytics consultancy Decision Inc. Australia has partnered with automated analytics company Alteryx, expanding its offering to clients.
Story image
trust
9/10 Aussies to stop spending if personal data compromised
"Based on the patterns we are seeing among Australian consumers, it is evident that trust in a brand is exceptionally important."
Story image
Sift
Sift shares crucial advice for preventing serious ATO breaches
Are you or your business struggling with Account Takeover Fraud (ATO)? One of the latest ebooks from Sift can provide readers with the tools and expertise to help launch them into the new era of account security.
Story image
Microsoft
New Relic enters multi-year partnership with Microsoft Azure
New Relic has announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft to help enterprises accelerate cloud migration and multi-cloud initiatives. 
Story image
Lightspeed
Lightspeed launches all-in-one marketing platform in A/NZ
ECommerce provider, Lightspeed has launched a new all-in-one marketing solution, Lightspeed Marketing & Loyalty in Australia and New Zealand.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Comcast to use ThreatQuotient for cybersecurity operations
Comcast, the parent company of NBC Universal and SKY Group, has chosen ThreatQ Platform and ThreatQ Investigations to meet their cybersecurity needs.
Story image
Ransomware
Cybersecurity starts with education
In 2021, 80% of Australian organisations responding to the Sophos State of Ransomware study reported being hit by ransomware. 
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
SAS announces new products amid cloud portfolio success
Analytics and AI company SAS is deepening its broad industry portfolio with offerings that support life sciences, energy, and martech.
Story image
Nozomi Networks
Nozomi Networks, Siemens reveal software integration
Nozomi Networks and Siemens have extended their partnership by embedding Nozomi Networks’ software into the Siemens Scalance LPE local processing engine.
Story image
Apple
Apple previews new features for users with disabilities
Apple says new software features that offer users with disabilities new tools for navigation, health and communication, are set to come out later this year.
Story image
Manufacturing
HINDSITE wins Aerospace Xelerated Pitch Challenge with solution to support Boeing
Brisbane-based startup HINDSITE was the winner of the first ever Pitch Challenge organised by Aerospace Xelerated in partnership with Queensland XR Hub. 
Story image
Sustainability
Legrand unveils Nexpand, a data center cabinet platform
Legrand has unveiled a new data center cabinet platform, Nexpand, to offer the necessary scalability and future-proof architecture for digital transformation.
Story image
Workato
Workato unveils enhancements to enterprise automation platform
"The extra layer of protection with EKM, zero-logging, and hourly key rotation gives customers a lot more visibility and control over more sensitive data."
Story image
Phishing
KnowBe4 celebrates reaching 50,000 customers worldwide
KnowBe4 has reached the milestone of 50,000 customers, adding nearly 2,500 in the first quarter of 2022 alone.
Story image
Application Performance Monitoring / APM
Why SolarWinds Partners will have big wins in 2022
We summarise the key recent changes that the monitoring software vendor has made to accelerate its channel business.
Story image
Data solutions
South Australia state satellite makes significant progress
South Australia’s first state satellite has successfully completed the Critical Design Review (CDR), moving it closer to providing tangible data solutions.
Story image
Wireless
Cradlepoint expands its Cellular Intelligence capabilities
Cradlepoint has announced additional Cellular Intelligence capabilities with its NetCloud service.
Story image
Data Protection
Barracuda launches new capabilities for API Protection
"Every business needs this type of critical protection against API vulnerabilities and automated bot attacks," Barracuda says.
Story image
Training
Delinea enhances partner experience with new training initiatives
Delinea has announced a range of training and certification initiatives to help scale the capacity of VARs, System Integrators, MSPs and MSSPs to meet the demand for PAM solutions.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Infoblox's State of Security Report spotlights Australian remote work hazards
Attackers exploit weak WiFi, remote endpoints, and the cloud, costing 50% of organisations over $1.3 million in breach damages.
Story image
Vectra AI
Understanding the weight on security leader’s shoulders, and how to shift it
Millions of dollars of government funding and internal budgets are being funnelled into cybersecurity to build resilience against sophisticated threats, indicating how serious this issue has become.
Story image
Silver Peak
The path to an adaptive, modern network
Managing and securing the network looks different than it did just two years ago—especially given that most of these networks are made up of multi-generations of infrastructure stitched together over time.
Story image
Telstra
Telstra, Google and Accenture launch 5G AR experience for AFL
Telstra, Google and Accenture are developing a new 5G powered augmented reality (AR) experience at Melbourne's Marvel Stadium for the footy season.
Story image
Cybersecurity
BlackBerry offers Kaspersky replacement cybersecurity for the channel
BlackBerry advises that users of Kaspersky software in Australia and New Zealand undertake a rigorous risk analysis of their current security posture.
Story image
Remote Working
Australia’s remote workers face connectivity and security issues
SOTI's new report finds better video conferencing technology and improved security measures are top concerns for remote workers in Australia.
Story image
Fintech
Airwallex launches new bank feed integration with NetSuite
Airwallex has launched a new bank feed integration with NetSuite, developed in partnership with NetSuite solution partner, Onlineone.
Story image
Application Security
What are the DDoS attack trend predictions for 2022?
Mitigation and recovery are vital to ensuring brand reputation remains solid in the face of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack and that business growth and innovation can continue.
Story image
Wireless
Hands-on review: Technics EAH-A800 Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones
Designed in Osaka, Japan, these headphones just exude quality. They aren’t heavy, but they feel well built and solid.
Story image
Employment
Tech job moves - Forcepoint, Malwarebytes, SolarWinds & VMware
We round up all job appointments from May 13-20, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.