The events of this past year illustrated how hyperconnected our world has become and simultaneously how fragile connections can be in the face of supply chain disruption. Enterprises understand the risk the warming climate presents to their product supply and the value of demonstrating green credentials.  

90% of CEOs see sustainability as important to success as it can mitigate environmental, social and economic unrest, and thus, overall risk. 

And CEOs aren’t the only ones noticing. There is a growing consumer awareness and preference for brands that follow sustainable practices. Since the pandemic, nearly half of consumers are making more sustainable choices when shopping and will likely continue to do so.   

The eco-wakening is here. 

Individuals, businesses and governments are committing to decisive, meaningful change to help save our planet and our livelihoods. It’s critical that businesses take this time to fundamentally re-evaluate operating models for both sustainability and resilience.  

Recovering from the cycle of disruption bullwhip 

COVID-19 poked holes in our supply chains, emphasizing how the world was unprepared for this level of unprecedented disruption. 

Demand drops and surges. Skewed forecasting. Over ordering. Long lead times. Inventory placement challenges. Rising costs for consumers. The need for change is clear. 

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Big or small, disruption is here to stay. But it is possible to break this cycle of disruption whiplash.  
We can’t predict the next disruption, but we certainly do have an exciting future ahead as this possibility is now within reach.  

Turning responsible shared values into sustainable outcomes 

The world is changing at unprecedented speed and scale. The pandemic hit the giant fast-forward button as it accelerated into a tech-enabled future at a rapid new pace. In some ways, this past year pushed us over the tipping point, forcing us to focus and recover and rebuild—and build—for a more sustainable and resilient future together, to be better prepared for whatever may come. It is perhaps the most valuable lesson learned over the past several months.  

The collaboration component is critical. It has been inspiring to see leaders across industries come together to solve these challenges, share new ideas and innovate. Leaders are coming together as ONE with a united, forward-looking approach to rebuild the world better than it was before the pandemic.  

The definition of value is expanding to include not just profitability, efficiency, and cost savings, but how well people thrive, the impact left on the environment, growing inclusion and more. Business partnerships are moving from 1-1 relationships, to 1-many and many-to-many in collaborative ecosystems. 

Leveraging data to improve visibility together 

Today, the siloed nature of systems between suppliers requires all parties to manually reconcile disparate data sets across the network, making variance accounting extremely difficult. The current linear supply chains make it impossible to obtain complete visibility across all the transactions and inventory movements from sourcing of raw materials to individual components.  

Imagine a network economy that enabled organizations to collaborate with their most critical trading partners. What if they had complete visibility across the entire supply chain? Could access to truly accurate data allow them to be more responsive to disruption? What if entire production histories tracked and guaranteed sustainable practices every step of the way? Would that improve consumer trust?  

Businesses can now tackle persistent challenges like traceability and data transparency, and transform their supply chains into supply networks.  

Multiparty systems leverage technologies like blockchain, biometrics, identity, tokenization and confidential compute to provide a shared permissioned data infrastructure between multiple organizations.  

Competitors can trust each other and co-innovate without compromising IP thanks to privacy and security measures like revocation, and collective accountability maintained by an established governance framework.  

90%

of executives state that multiparty systems will enable their ecosystems to forge a more resilient and adaptable foundation to create new value with their organization’s partners.  

Real-time data sharing eliminates the need for constant reconciliation, thereby improving agility and value delivery as companies have a single line of sight into the data, not a copy of the data, but the actual data itself. Then encoding that data with functionality that allows it to be used in entirely new ways lays the groundwork for processes and services to be completely redefined.  

Rigid, siloed supply chains of today are ready to transform into the frictionless business ecosystems of the future. 

Transforming supply chains into sustainable supply networks 

Platform integration can solve many of these traditional problems in a multi-tiered supply chain system. With multiparty systems, businesses can tackle persistent challenges like traceability and data transparency and transform their supply chains into supply networks. And it’s good for business. Companies that leverage both technology and sustainability are 2.5x more likely to be among tomorrow’s strongest-performing businesses in their industries than others.  

As businesses reinvent themselves, forge new ecosystems, replatform foundations and move to this new shared data model, sustainability should be baked into the core design. Technology intertwined with sustainability is critical for how we operate and guide our businesses moving forward.  

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A holistic view into all the customer relationships, materials, processes and transactions on a more intelligent network is key to solving some of today’s biggest economic and environmental issues. And this profound level of transparency is possible when cloud is combined with the capabilities of blockchain & multiparty systems.  

Sustainability by design through technology + collaboration 

By harnessing the power of technology and innovation to help industries evolve towards sustainable futures we can design and deliver a new type of value chain where everyone stands to benefit.  

Think: Trusted data. Resilient supply. Responsible value chains. End-to-end ecosystems. 

In these ever-changing market dynamics and increasingly complex supply chains, a unified network approach is key. In my next blog, I’ll share my guiding principles for how to methodically create a consortium that will allow your ecosystem to thrive long-term.  

 


Disclaimer: This document is intended for general informational purposes only does not take into account the reader’s specific circumstances, and may not reflect the most current developments. Accenture disclaims, to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, any and all liability for the accuracy and completeness of the information in this presentation and for any acts or omissions made based on such information. Accenture does not provide legal, regulatory, audit, or tax advice. Readers are responsible for obtaining such advice from their own legal counsel or other licensed professionals. Accenture, its logo, and Let There Be Change are trademarks of Accenture.  

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Melanie Cutlan

Managing Director – Blockchain MPS Co-Lead

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