85% of UK businesses don’t believe in enhancing supply chain resilience

9th May 2024

Research from Dun & Bradstreet has found that 85% of UK organisations don’t believe that enhancing supply chain resilience and diversification is crucial for future-proofing their businesses, yet 77% of business leaders are concerned about their level of resilience for future disruptions. 

The findings reveal that over half of UK businesses (57%) admit that their businesses were not as prepared as they could have been for previous disruptions, and a similar number (56%) were negatively impacted by disruption in the past. This comes as the latest Global Business Supply Chain Continuity Index f fell 8% in Q2 2024, suggesting further deterioration in supply chain continuity.

Despite this, supply chain challenges were not rated as one of the biggest threats to business survival in 2024 (at 21%), falling behind cyber security (26%), staffing and access to talent (25%) and the increased costs of doing business (24%).

Stuart Swindell, Third Party Risk & Compliance Strategy Director at Dun & Bradstreet said “It’s clear that businesses are prioritising more immediate threats to their operations such as cybersecurity and staffing. However, the current conflict in the Red Sea won’t be the only supply chain disruption this year, and businesses must begin preparing to experience more regular shocks – especially with many organisations maintaining a just-in-time supply chain.

“Looking ahead, businesses must start leveraging data-driven insights to scenario plan and model outcomes. This will help them maintain stability and navigate challenges and make smarter decisions, which can ultimately lead to a more resilient supply chain.”

Dun & Bradstreet says that data underpins so many supply chain operations and decisions, it’s crucial that organisations maintain a high-level of data quality. However, poor data quality remains a concern for organisations, with businesses rating supply chain mapping (23%) as one of the areas most negatively impacted by poor data quality.

Only half (49%) of UK organisations believe that their current data provides them a competitive advantage. This is likely due to businesses experiencing continued challenges around data utilisation, including data silos, inaccuracies, and inconsistencies. These barriers will impact the successful use of data in decision making and ensuring that processes make the best use of data.

Swindell continues: “Companies are facing the herculean task of making their supply chains more resilient and sustainable as a way of securing better protection from unanticipated events caused by climate change or conflict. By investing in the right data, analytical tools, and technological solutions, businesses can enhance their performance and streamline processes, creating a powerful defense. Through these measures, business operations will gain greater resilience against turbulent conditions both at home and abroad.”