Global Supply chains are transforming.
Shipping things around has been the defacto method of international trade. Computers, clothes, shoes, cars, shampoos, washing machines may have parts and materials sourced from all across the world. Over the last three decades, governments and most of the large global companies have focused on building efficient supply chains. These economies and businesses function on zero-stock, just-in-time supply-chain models. This format has worked by outsourcing manufacturing to cheaper countries, eliminating needless stocks, warehousing space and making manufacturers responsible for almost everything.
But things are changing. With climate change and wild weather events, these global supply chains are increasingly at risk. The emissions from logistics and transportation are perhaps the biggest culprits in our high carbon economy. The top five in the Global Risk Report, released at Davos, are environmental risks. In such a situation, global companies are looking at new technologies that can create products out of local materials. This will mean an increased emphasis on understanding local customer needs, new materials and the creation of brands with purpose. The coming decade will be about changing the way we produce and consume things because processes currently, across sectors, are hugely wasteful.