In the latest instalment of our supply chain executive interview series, we spoke to Paul Clifford, Head of Professional Services at Sage UKI X3, about his company, industry opportunities, the challenges of COVID-19 and the impact of news technology…
Tell us about your company, products and services.
I manage the Medium Segment X3 Professional Services team at Sage. We specialise in implementation projects of X3 ERP for customers and providing Centre of Excellence Services to our business partners.
What have been the biggest challenges the Supply Chain industry has faced in light of the Covid-19 Pandemic?
The industry has faced challenges that could never have planned for, some stockrooms and distribution centres have been closed so alternative shipping arrangements had to be put in place at short notice with restricted transport options. Other businesses have had contingency plans for problems in a hub or a region but no one anticipated a full global impact including transport. Finally factor in the surge in consumer demand and reduced manpower and the industry have had some unprecedented challenges to solve with no rehearsals. At Sage we have provided support to our customers to amend configurations to help them over come some of their challenges.
And what have been the biggest opportunities?
Optimised stock holdings and optimising replenishment with just in time purchasing of raw materials and manufacturing.
What is the biggest priority for the Supply Chain industry in 2020?
Resilience, efficiency and flexibility!
What are the main trends you are expecting to see in the market in 2020?
There will be a bigger focus on authenticity of product, traceability and systems driving temporary legislation such as social distancing regulations enforced.
What technology is going to have the biggest impact on the market this year?
Collaborative technologies that help authenticate traceability and authenticity of products such as blockchain.
In 2023 we’ll all be talking about…?
How we have prevented the supply chain challenges we hand in 2020!
Which person in, or associated with, the Supply Chain industry would you most like to meet?
Eddie Stobart – the founder, they turned a distribution brand into a household name.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learnt about the Supply Chain sector?
The complexity of getting food from source to consumers dinner tables.
You go to the bar at the Total Supply Chain Summit – what’s your tipple of choice?
A local real ale. There are so many to choose from and they are all different.
What’s the most exciting thing about your job?
Meeting people from different businesses and helping them solve their problems.
And what’s the most challenging?
Switching off when on holiday.
Peaky Blinders or Stranger Things?
Peaky Blinders if I am forced to choose!