The future of the global trade system faces more risk and uncertainty than at any time since it was created after World War II. This year and beyond promises to be a decisive one for worldwide trade with protectionism and populism growing across the globe. The world’s top 60 economies have adopted more than 7,000 protectionist trade measures 1 on a net basis since the financial crisis of 2008.
Ultimately, these actions ripple back through the entire supply chain; landing squarely on the shoulders of the suppliers. In order to lift some of the weight from the lower rungs, companies need to establish solid working relationships with every layer of the supplier base to facilitate collaboration, communication and clear visibility.
Multi-tier supply chain visibility is now fully achievable. The obstacles that used to exist have been removed; once sparse in many regions where sourcing was prevalent, internet access is widely available to factories that need to provide on-hand raw material levels, detailed production milestone events, and shipment readiness. With cloud-based platforms in place and all of the parties in the supply chain accessing them, real-time visibility is no longer just a pipedream - market leaders in every industry segment have visibility not just into their important tier 1 suppliers, but also a limited cross-section of their tier 2 and tier 3 suppliers as well.