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Logistics UK Supply Chain Resilience Conference key message...


"Embrace technology to enhance resilience, but it is we, the people working in logistics, that will still power the sector".

Over 70 senior logistics representatives attended Logistics UK Supply Chain Resilience conference in central London on Wednesday, 20 March.

The day began with a keynote address from Minister for Industry and Economic Security Nusrat Ghani MP highlighting the objectives of the new Critical Imports and Supply Chains Strategy and reiterating that resilient supply chains can only be achieved through close partnerships and collaboration between government and industry.

Partnerships and collaboration were themes which extended throughout the day with a number of sessions recognising how, irrespective of which technological threat, geopolitical situation or act of god that is being faced, it is people and good relationships which will ultimately provide the solutions.  To ensure resilience from an HR point of view, businesses need to ensure that people management is integrated with overall business objectives. Louisa Hosegood, Transformation and Strategy Director, Visku, said, “When a company shows you their HR policy, you know you are in trouble. People are intrinsic to businesses so a separate policy is meaningless.”

The role technology will have cannot be downplayed, however, and when implemented correctly, it will allow supply chains to inherently manage risk rather than merely exposing organisations to risk. Supply chains can never be risk free so the challenge is to ensure resilience to prevent critical failures.

There is no doubt that technology will affect employment in the sector but, rather than merely replacing jobs, it will create better and more fulfilling roles. Tim Morris, Group Head of Associated British Ports, highlighted how port cranes can now be operated remotely from a computer terminal meaning operators are working in a safe office environment rather than in a cab 30m from the ground. Another example highlighted how robotic sensors which can move through grain silos taking quality measurements removing the need for an individual to physically crawl up through full grain silo.

The next challenge is to then ensure cyber defences are strong or as James Doyle, Managing Partner at Boston Warrick said, it is essential to ‘protect the tech’.  Stewart Room, Partner DWF LLP, highlighted the risk legacy systems present to cyber attack and urged the sector to ensure Cyber Security is fully integrated into Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery plans.

Published On: 21/03/2024 15:03:21

 

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