The pivotal importance of having tech-savvy professionals in place in procurement jobs and supply chain jobs has been highlighted by a new study from digital freight forwarder Zencargo, which found that supply chain inefficiencies were costing British businesses over £1.5bn a year in lost productivity.

The analysis examined data form more than 100 shipments made by a range of British industries and concluded that British businesses were, on average, wasting over three hours on each individual shipment, principally on fruitless phone calls and emails asking for data to be sent to-and-fro between trade partners, even though most of it was already held on partner systems.

Across Britain as whole, this eats up more than 100 million hours of wasted time every year, which amounts to 50,000 hours of employee working hours per year being consumed by inept and unproductive procurement, supplier management and freight-related admin efforts.

The analysis also predicts a high probability that Brexit will worsen these inefficiencies: shipments with countries outside the EU incur an additional 17% of wasted time on average compared to those between EU counties, principally because customs documentation piles on extra communications burdens.

What emerges from the study is a pressing need for supply chain innovation, and in particular the adoption of technologies capable of enabling greater automation of communication, which Zencargo estimates will yield productivity gains totaling £1.5bn per annum.

This would amount to 5% of the Government’s productivity gains target of £30bn per year (up to 2030) from digitisation. The technology exists, and tech-savvy professionals holding dedicated procurement jobs know how to use it; if it was adopted and used effectively across the supply chain, it would deliver major long-term transformation.

Zencargo CEO and Co-founder Alex Hersham, said: “Now is the time to invest and innovative in technology so we can truly compete on the global stage and at the same time benefit on a productivity level.”

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