A Generational Shift in Sourcing Strategy



Alex Hadwick | Reuters Events & Maersk

There are only so many times you can shake the foundation of a structure before it changes what is built above it. With supply chains almost constantly feeling the effects of repeated shocks in the last half decade, recovering and strengthening have become front of house for supply chain professionals.

We are now in a rebuild that is not just looking to construct the same edifice all over again, but to improve and shift it to firmer ground. In practice, that means reassessing and contracting closer to home and spreading sourcing functions in more locations than before.

Companies around the world are now moving towards making the leap to source components and materials in the near vicinity of their final markets in the hope of having shorter, more reliable, less risky, and increasingly sustainable supply chains.

There will be winners and losers from this change, but it is clear from the recent past that continuation of long-distance, low-cost labour sourcing comes with its own price tag, which is driving change.

The emphasis is no longer low cost at all costs, but a more nuanced search for reliability, proximity and the right skills mix. This will drive the next phase of global manufacturing and logistics in an automated age.

These trends are shown clearly in our research, which surveyed logistics, supply chain and transport professionals to understand how sourcing and production are changing to fit more unstable times, as well as a changing global labour force and consumer base.

The results were conclusive: We are now well into a new phase of supply chain strategy, one where sourcing is being prioritised and brought into closer orbit of the contracting company and intended market.

Read on to get a global and European analysis of the state of near-sourcing, nearshoring and reshoring in the post-pandemic era.



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