When Globalisation Hits Home: Using Real-Time Data to Stay Ahead of Disruptions


Supply chain disruption remains a serious consideration in the overall enterprise risk management strategies of today’s global businesses. For example, despite being on the other side of the world, fires in the Amazon are affecting production of leather and sourcing of beef in the United Kingdom. In fact, many events across the globe —from disease outbreaks to extreme weather — have the power to bring your production to a standstill and affect your organisation’s bottom line. Therefore, it’s vital for companies to have a global perspective of the threats that could disrupt their supply chains.

Given their reliance on global supply chains, today’s shippers, in particular, need the ability to detect and monitor breaking events in real time. In an emergency situation, every second is valuable to protect employees, enterprise assets, and the bottom line—and having the right resources at your disposal can save precious time. Staying abreast of these global events and their potential implications as they occur is the key to an efficient and secure supply chain.

One strategy to help enterprises stay ahead of disruptions and mitigate risk effectively involves making the most of real-time information on breaking events to guide the efforts of supply chain leaders. By doing so, shippers gain additional time and have the right data and insights, at the right moment, to inform their risk mitigation responses. Companies routinely should also test the effectiveness of such complementary data and the supply chain team’s ability to analyse and respond to potential events by conducting what-if scenarios.

Market volatility makes the need for effective risk mitigation responses even more pressing. This, in turn, creates a demand for speed, responsiveness, and business agility when faced with dynamic market conditions. Since global companies rely on highly refined logistics systems, a minor disruption can create major headaches, cost millions, and alienate customers in the process.


Doing Business in an Increasingly Volatile Marketplace

Whilst shippers embed many forms of sophisticated technology within their supply chains, some still lack the ability to monitor real-time data and stay ahead of breaking events. By embracing artificial intelligence (AI) and real-time alerting, companies will be able to separate themselves from their competitors, which includes possessing the means to revisit shipping plans, proactively manage risk, and minimise the potential for lost revenue.

With this in mind, publicly available data sources provide early detection of disruptive events. Given the volume and variety of data from social media, blogs, information sensors, and the dark web, companies cannot rely on manual tracking alone to stay ahead of a crisis and protect disruption to the supply chain.


Playing to the Strengths of AI

That’s when it makes sense to rely on AI-powered solutions to analyse thousands of data sources, discern patterns, and deliver timely and relevant information to guide your company’s supply chain logistics. Where humans struggle on their own is in processing so many disparate data points at the scale and speed of AI.

Furthermore, to function at the highest level, AI-enabled tools must exist within workflows designed to facilitate the sharing of information quickly and seamlessly across the organisation.

With the right AI approach in place, organisations can make insight-led decisions faster and establish a wider awareness of emerging markets and specific sectors that affect your supply chain. They can also utilise AI technology to gain a boots-on-the-ground view of a high-impact event on the other side of the world—even if one’s business is not present at that location—which, in turn, allows for a better understanding of the overall industry impact on the supply chain ecosystem.

With the appropriate infrastructure in place, your shipping managers can adopt an agile approach to risk mitigation, designed to function no matter the operating environment your company faces. In specific terms, real-time alerting allows a business to function at the highest level of efficiency and deliver on its commitments to customers, all while remaining ever-vigilant to supply-chain threats.