In our eBook Emerging Above & Beyond: 21 Insights for 2021 from Manufacturing, Supply Chain & Technology Executives, many executives discuss the critical importance of adaptability and resiliency. The pandemic kicked off with volatility of customer demand (toilet paper and hand sanitizer were in scarce supply whereas aerospace and hospitality fell of the cliff as the lockdowns started). During the pandemic, customers changed buying patters (moving to e-commerce, trying new channels). Buying behaviors evolved with changing customer perceptions. And the supply chain tried to keep up.

Executives tried to adjust to the changing conditions. Some laid off employees; others pulled back on production schedules and found new projects to keep employees involved while the rest could barely keep up and were challenged to find enough people to keep up with customer demand. If they thought ahead, they innovated and found ways to create new products and service offerings to meet changing needs. Proactive clients explored new technologies to support adaptability and resiliency, rapidly re-evaluated their supply chain network, thought about insourcing and reshoring, and took action to reconfigure their supply chain with a regional focus.

Michael Smith, President and Managing Director at George Fischer Signet talked about the fact that 2020 highlighted the need for adaptability and cooperation. He said that continuing to develop the company culture and aligning with processes and systems will be key to success. He also talked about the importance of adopting new technologies and new solutions to foster growth and set a strong foundation for the future.