The manufacturing industry has faced a range of challenges this year as a consequence of global events and macroeconomic stressors, and it will continue to in 2023. Most crucially, it has brought about a sharp focus on developing supply chain resilience, and in some cases improving profit margins by driving down supply chain costs. This starts with the creation of an iron-clad supply chain. 

As sustainability and ESG-centric approaches become embedded into every aspect of business function, their role in the supply chain will remain crucial in 2023. Responding reactively may expose companies to varied risks, so expect to fully reconsider the way that supply chains are built. This starts with a shift from ‘just in time’ to ‘just in case’ mindsets.

Our manufacturing expert, Partner Dieter Halfar, offers his insight.

The resurgent importance of supply chain resilience 

Recent supply chain shocks have woken up manufacturing leaders and investors to the importance of improving supply chain resilience. Resilience is defined by a supply chain’s capacity for resistance and recovery. In other words, the degree to which it is insulated from unexpected competition, sudden market trend shifts, or even rapid changes in customer behaviour. The most resilient supply chains employ people and technologies that enable them to forecast and anticipate changes, in turn reducing the amount of risk they are prone to facing. Investing in supply chain resilience in 2023 will result in more efficient operations, in addition to added productivity levels.

In 2019, PwC claimed the following about creating resilient supply chains: “It’s not just about playing defence – it’s also about playing offense – finding competitive advantage by shaping a supply chain resilience strategy focused on disruption avoidance.” At Elixirr, we believe that enhanced supplier and network due diligence, through the use of alternative and emerging data sources, the use of digital technology to improve the speed and transparency of event detection and subsequent analysis and decisioning, as well as an increased focus on integrating ESG risks, are among the top focus areas that will help ensure companies stay ahead of emerging global risks, such as regulatory changes and geo-political events. 

Our work this year with some major global manufacturers has highlighted a few key areas for business leaders to be aware of. Manufacturers should be investing in emerging industry technologies and partnerships as a key driver in shoring up supply chain resilience. 

Manufacturers should be investing in emerging industry technologies and partnerships as a key driver in shoring up supply chain resilience

Artificial intelligence

We have noticed a significant interest in the accelerated use of artificial intelligence in predictive analytics, industrial IoT for real time tracking, robotic automation for improved labour efficiency, and modern cloud provider-agnostic data infrastructure aimed at efficient scaling and integration of data sources across previously disparate supply chain participants.


In addition to a rekindled interest in technology solutions from manufacturers, recent global supply chain challenges have created the perfect breeding ground for supply chain-related innovations. We have noticed an influx of venture capital interest, looking to support and invest in disruptive supply chain technologies. For example, take Andreessen Horowitz who invested in Flexport – a supply chain management company that more than doubled their gross revenue in 2021 to $3B. Or Bain Capital that invested in Ataccama, a data management software firm helping to drive supply chain optimisation. And Menlo Ventures who invested in Scout, since then acquired by Workday, which helps companies streamline supplier selection.

At Elixirr, we have a particular interest in helping our manufacturing clients improve their ability to effectively discover emerging technology and rapidly evaluate, test and scale new solutions. We harness the power of the market and in particular, our global innovation network that we have curated since 2015 to do this. It is this experience and track record in building world-class partnerships and co-creating new solutions that drives our strong belief that “if you want to go fast, go alone but if you want to go far, go together.”

Get in touch with Dieter and our team today.