Our 2021 Annual Report is here! Covered topics included the supply chain tumult of 2021, trends affecting key commodities like aluminum, silicon, and cobalt, and the evolving risk landscape for reshoring, cybersecurity, ESG issues, and more. The report (available for download here) draws on the extraordinarily comprehensive risk and trend monitoring data that Resilinc provides to customers through our EventWatchAI, CommodityWatchAI, and WeatherWatchAI tools.
Throughout the report, Resilinc’s leaders express optimism about the new attention that has been focused on supply chain risks due to the pandemic. We’re also enthusiastic about our profession’s growing capabilities to use data analytics, AI, machine learning, and other advanced technology to map and monitor risks in supply chains and work proactively to increase resilience. For us at Resilinc, strengthening the supply chains that power our lives is more than a business model—it is a core value.
The report is titled Translucence, reflecting the murky and tenuous status of global supply chains (which we expect to continue well into 2023 unless inflation discourages consumption or spending snaps back to services). “We can see the filtered light through the trees [and] the fog is slowly lifting,” writes CEO Bindiya Vakil in the report. “But there is still a ways to go before we hit a clearing.”
As in past years, EventWatchAI data shows clearly that most supply chain disruptions were human-caused events. While hurricanes/typhoons and other extreme weather events wreaked havoc—especially the disruptive deep freeze that settled on Texas in February—factory fires, factory disruptions of other kinds, leadership changes, port disruptions caused by labor shortages, and other human-caused events created far more disruption than natural disasters.
EventWatchAI alerts on factory fires increased 129% YOY, with the uptick due mostly to gaps in regulatory and process execution and warehouse labor shortages and turnover—when factories were short-staffed and scrambling to keep up with unexpected demands, fire safety standards suffered.
Port disruptions were headline news throughout the year, from the COVID-19 lockdowns at Ningbo and other busy Chinese export hubs to the blockage of the Suez Canal by the Ever Given cargo ship. Logistics downstream of ports were also incredibly congested, and Resilinc expects those challenges to continue, especially in the United States where the trucking industry is short more than 80,000 drivers and needs to recruit 1 million new drivers to replace retirees by 2030.
CommodityWatchAI ,a first-of-its-kind tool that leverages AI and historical data to predict price fluctuations across key commodities, launched in 2020, and in 2021 the forecasting tool produced its first full year of data. While the tool’s real-time forecasts are exclusive to Resilinc customers, the annual report provides high-level analysis of the 2021 supply and pricing stories for silicon, aluminum, and cobalt—as well as some forward-looking assessments of risks and opportunities. In silicon, for example, the ominous threats to supply chains for polysilicon—needed for solar panels, and largely sourced from China’s controversial Xinjiang province—are discussed by Resilinc’s analysts.
As the pandemic initiated a major shift to remote work, cybersecurity weakened, vulnerabilities multiplied, and 2021 saw a dramatic increase in cyberattacks: up 116% as tracked by EventWatch. In the report, Resilinc’s top cybersecurity experts discuss the increasing vulnerabilities caused by the Internet of Things and operational technology, as well as best practices for monitoring and mitigating cyber risks in supply chains.
The report also provides in-depth analyses of trends in ESG risk monitoring, reshoring and nearshoring, the continuing semiconductor shortages—as well as providing customer perspectives on pharma and healthcare supply chains from GSK and medical technology company BD. Download the report here to receive a complimentary overview of the complex and dynamic state of supply chain risk management.