Market Trends

Globalization an irreversible trend for supply chains, report says

Globalization remains one of the keys to ensuring the efficiency and healthy development of supply chains around the world and efforts are needed to continue pursuing a multilateral and open global trade governance system, despite the challenges brought by the COVID-19 outbreak and geopolitical uncertainties, a new report said.

The report, published by the Beijing-based University of International Business and Economics, focuses on the post-pandemic revolution of global supply chains and discusses how enterprises should use cutting-edge technologies to build a flexible and agile supply chain system.

Qi Yinan, an expert in supply chain and director of development planning at the University of International Business and Economics, said globalization is an irreversible trend for companies.

The COVID-19 outbreak has posed challenges for companies' supply chain management. Enterprises that have the resilience, and can quickly respond to abrupt changes and recover their businesses are in a better position to survive the outbreak and emerge stronger, Qi said.

According to him, companies are accelerating their efforts to push forward digital transformation, which can help them better optimize supply chain and boost efficiency.

The university's latest report gives an example by detailing how Chinese tech giant Lenovo Group Ltd is embracing digital technologies to build a robust and flexible supply chain. Lenovo has been ranked 15th in market research company Gartner Inc's list of supply chain top 25 for 2020.

Amid the outbreak, the company's plants have demonstrated their resilience. Its Shenzhen factory, for instance, quickly restarted production in late February and hit full capacity in March despite the initial disruptions caused by the COVID-19 epidemic. Lenovo's largest personal computer manufacturing base in Hefei, Anhui province also saw its PC shipments climb 32 percent year–on-year in the first five months of this year, despite the epidemic.

Yang Yuanqing, chairman of Lenovo, said earlier, "The COVID-19 outbreak cannot damage China's leading role in the global supply chain as the country has the world's largest manufacturing system with the most complete industrial chain and supporting facilities."

China is also undergoing a critical stage of moving from a manufacturing powerhouse to a smart-manufacturing center, which will generate more opportunities, Yang said.

Lenovo has over 30 global manufacturing bases and more than 2,000 core suppliers, which has also helped the company maintain its business resilience.

Yang said, "We are investing in the most advanced digital transformation technologies and capabilities so that we can build predictability, visibility and agility into every element of our supply chain."

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