It is no secret that the UAE is set to be one of the world leaders in logistics and supply chain management. UAE logistics alone is set to grow by 5.7%, according to consultants, Frost and Sullivan. In UAE, this exponential growth in the supply chain management can be associated with several strategies were undertaken by the government and international events planned ahead, like the Dubai 2020 Expo.
The Expo 2020 alone is likely to push the supply chain and its logistics activities to near limits, requiring 500,000 daily meals for the venue, 9000 tons of logistical supplies to support the event and generating some 34,000 tons of waste (ArabiaBusiness.com). Other strategies happening now: harmonization of regional trade to promote seamless transfer of goods and services within and around the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council), increased trade with Sub-Saharan African countries, recently forecasted by the IMF to expand by some 2.8 % (The National Business 2017) and the expansion of UAE infrastructure to accommodate the present and anticipated volume of trade for the future.
But what about Supply Chain Management? To lead the competition from other GCC countries, the UAE must embrace supply chain management technology and knowledge. Already known for its development in logistics and transportation, consultants Frost and Sullivan think the time is now for the UAE to be seen as a ‘Supply Chain Nerve Centre’. For professionals, this should mean total visibility of the supply chain, (logistics being a sub-function) through integrated platforms. Here, manufacturing, shipping, retail, warehousing, and delivery will be linked to local demand of goods and services in real time. Closer ties with suppliers in these external regions can mean improved deliveries, improved quality and faster response to changes in demand and supply, caused by the infamous Bullwhip effect. Vendor managed inventory strategies with overseas suppliers setting up manufacturing and stock holding hubs locally where feasible are other possibilities which can improve overall customer service locally and serve as an impetus for greater trade with GCC and North African regions.
In every strategy, transforming resources are key in achieving competitive advantage and increased profits at the end. Companies must continue to support and encourage the qualification of their human competency in SCM studies. But this must happen at a rapid pace with the UAE aggressively aiming to reach its full potential.
Look out for my next blog where I will highlight supply chain Do’s and Dont’s for the UAE construction sector. Also, you can check our website for more information in Post Graduate Diploma in Supply Chain Management.
Post written by:
Mr. Paul Gulston
Westford University College