Post cover

Weekly Roundup - Businesses and Upcoming Elections, The Process Era, Battery Investments and Digital Trade

Yulia Fedorova

23 Feb 2024

Supply chain expert Tony Harris, SVP of SAP Business Network, warns business leaders to brace for further disruptions in global supply chains following key elections in the US, UK, and India. Harris emphasizes that volatility is a constant in today's supply chain landscape and advises leaders to proactively plan for challenges such as weather-related events, geopolitical conflicts, shortages in essential goods, and labor disputes. He highlights the potential impact of upcoming elections on businesses, including the swift implementation of new trade restrictions. Harris urges companies to research alternative suppliers, assess capacity constraints, logistics implications, and import tariffs, and consider domestic production incentives. He stresses the importance of integrating technology to monitor and manage suppliers, logistics data, and environmental impact, emphasizing the need for efficient collaboration within a global network of suppliers.

A recent report by Celonis highlights that almost half of supply chain leaders are not effectively optimizing their mission-critical processes due to various barriers. The study, based on a survey of 300 senior supply chain leaders from large enterprises in Europe and the US, identifies siloed data, difficulty in identifying improvement opportunities, process complexity, legacy technology, and resistance to change as the primary inhibiting factors. The report reveals that only 56% of business-critical processes within supply chain departments are fully optimized, with a significant disparity between the US and the DACH European countries. The negative impact of sub-optimal processes includes lost time, productivity, monetary loss, and low employee morale. While intelligence tools, robotic process automation, and business process management are popular technology use cases, the report emphasizes the need for supply chain functions to adapt and operate with greater flexibility in an unpredictable environment. Despite the barriers, many supply chain leaders are already embarking on the process optimization journey to reduce costs, harness new technologies, and effectively respond to future challenges.

Europe is experiencing a surge in battery storage projects, with the UK, Ireland, and Italy leading the investment in the region. There is an anticipated sevenfold increase in capacity to over 50 gigawatts connected to transmission networks by 2030, aiding in storing excess power, distributing it when needed, and supporting governments' net-zero emissions targets. The European Union's spending on clean-energy technologies reached $341 billion in 2023, a 35% increase from the previous year, and the battery trend is gaining momentum following the US Inflation Reduction Act and similar developments in Australia. In the UK, energy storage capacity is projected to quintuple by 2030, prompting other European nations like France, Germany, and Poland to reevaluate their policies to embrace battery technology.

The WTO emphasizes the growing significance of digital trade, driven by technological advancements like the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, and blockchain. These technologies are anticipated to reduce trade costs, reshape the nature of traded goods, and increase the services component of trade. The WTO's report highlights the potential for digital technologies to boost trade growth, particularly in services, and suggests that developing countries may gain a larger share of global trade. However, challenges such as trade barriers and the need for investment in information technology infrastructure remain. To fully harness the benefits of digital trade, international cooperation is crucial, especially to ensure inclusive economic development. The WTO and participating nations need to reinvigorate multilateral digital and environmental product trade agreements to avoid protectionism and foster global technological advancement.

Read more on recent highlights
Dive deep into research

"Analysing the antecedents to digital platform implementation for resilient and sustainable manufacturing supply chains - An IDEF0 modelling approach" by Chari, A., Stahre, J., Bärring, M., Despeisse, M., Li, D., Friis, M., Mörstam, M., Johansson, B. (2023)

"Decision model for binary safety management behavior in a supply chain under digital scenarios: A study based on differential game theory" by Binbin He, Qiang Mei, Suxia Liu, Jingjing Zhang (2024)

Cloud Expo Europe

When: 6. - 7. March 2024

Where: London, UK

What: Unlock innovation at Cloud Expo Europe, the UK's leading event for shaping your cloud strategies and navigating the ever-evolving cloud technology landscape. This is the place to build valuable partnerships, optimise your IT infrastructure, and reach your business goals.


When: 18. - 21. March 2024

Where: Europa-Park, Germany

What: CloudFest is the #1 internet infrastructure event in the world, connecting the global cloud computing industry: you’ll form the partnerships that help you reach your business goals, and have a great time doing it. CloudFest returns to deliver an even bigger, more engaging live event experience that will surprise longtime attendees and first-timers alike.

Paris Blockchain Week

When: 9. - 11. April 2024

Where: Paris, France

What: Paris Blockchain Week is an annual event that brings together prominent figures from the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry. It serves as a platform for networking, knowledge sharing, and discussions about the latest trends and developments in the blockchain space.

Tech Summit Europe

When: 18. April 2024

Where: Amsterdam, Netherlands

What: Explore themes encompassing professional development, tech talks, emerging technologies, networking, and business transformation. Engage in a dynamic space where these key elements converge to shape the future of technology and business.

Weekly Roundup