Strategy

Trends and Strategies in Logistics and Supply Chain Management

In July, BVL published the latest edition of its study “Trends and Strategies in Logistics and Supply Chain Management”.

The study provided the actors in the logistics sector with guidelines that could be particularly useful in the uncertain times of the corona crisis. The study was prepared by BVL.digital in cooperation with and under the scientific supervision of Prof. Wolfgang Kersten from the Institute of Business Logistics and General Management at Hamburg University of Technology. The focus was on the topics of digital transformation, data analytics and sustainability.

Some 300 logistics managers were polled in the period from February 5 to March 11 – with 16 percent from the trading sector and the remainder in equal parts from industry and logistics services. The analyses are based on comparison with the preceding edition of the study published in 2016. The study addresses the sustainable and digital transformation in logistics and supply chain management, processes that involve adjustments to both the value-added process and business models. One of the central success factors is the holistic consideration of the dimensions “people”, “technology” and “organisation”.

The study findings are available at www.bvl-trends.de. For illustration purposes and to provide the necessary context, readers will find real-world reports and statements from experts, podcasts, webinar clips or content from major logistics events like the International Supply Chain Conference that reference the trends determined by the survey. In addition, the data centre features a range of useful interactive graphics on such things as greenhouse gas emissions per country in Europe or the global risk landscape in 2020. “The creation of the website was a collaborative project for which we received valuable input from many quarters of the BVL network. This means that visitors to the website will be able to explore the trends and the many different facets of these trends in a multimedia setting”, says Dr. Christian Grotemeier, Managing Director of BVL.digital.

Impacts of the corona pandemic on logistics

How seriously have the value added and supply chains of German companies been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic? How successfully have companies been able to respond? And – above all – what conclusions are companies drawing from the crisis in terms of digitalisation for their supply chain strategy? These and other questions are the focal points of a joint study by BVL.digital and Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences (UAS) in cooperation with industry partners.

The most serious impacts for industrial companies are in procurement costs, availability of materials and surplus production capacity. On the logistics front, major challenges have been created for companies by fluctuating demand and delayed processing. Nevertheless, the adaptability of the respondent’s own company was rated higher on average than the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this is a strong indicator for resilient companies.

The degree of digitalisation has been identified as a central success factor in the resilience of companies. More than 76 percent of companies say that the COVID-19 pandemic has in fact accelerated their digitalisation projects. Digitalisation is also seen as the measure of choice when it comes to changes to the strategic orientation of the value-added chain. Although 45 percent of companies have shortened or are planning to shorten their value-added chains, 80 percent are gearing their efforts towards intensifying the process of digitalisation.