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An overwhelming majority of grocery and home appliance firms intend to re-evaluate their supply chain strategies in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, including adopting automation, robotics and AI technologies, according to a survey.

Logistics consultancy SCALA’s survey found 95% of businesses are looking for ways to future-proof their operations in order to respond to the “new normal”, which includes expectations of increased e-commerce sales.

The survey found supply chain resilience and agility were the highest priority, with firms aware of the need to build additional robustness into their supply chains to cope with potential future disruptions, such as further pandemic disorder, political uncertainty or environmental disasters.

Two thirds of respondents saw a greater need to focus on managing their suppliers, working more closely with them and reassessing the diversity of their supplier base.

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They also told SCALA that the future of their supply chains would need to be supported by emerging technologies, such as AI and robotics.

John Perry, SCALA MD, said: “Following the challenges of Covid-19 for many businesses’ supply chains, it is clear from our research and working with our clients that future-proofing supply chains is a top priority across the grocery and home appliance sectors.

Scala’s findings reflect recent predictions by third-party logistics provider CH Robinson, which last month said the current pandemic would lead to diversified supply networks.

It also said there would be greater investment in technology: “For too long, industries have been using traditional and outdated siloed systems that act as a barrier to generating business-critical intelligence,” said Chris Mills, regional MD at CH Robinson.