Crippled Supply Chains Are Still Impacting Global Businesses. Is Recovery Imminent?

The long-lasting effects of COVID-19 are still, three years later, having a rippling effect on retailers and e-tailers all around the world. Even now, in 2023, retailers are experiencing lasting impacts on not only their own businesses, but on their supply chains in general. Producers, suppliers, operations and shipping companies are still  seeing the impacts of the pandemic, and, according to experts, they are not looking to fully recover any time soon. 

Putting it bluntly, COVID-19 broke supply chains around the world, and total recovery is still a very long way away. In order to survive, global brands have had to look elsewhere to build up new supply chains or have had to alter their own strategies to keep their businesses afloat. But, the question is, is it going to improve any time soon? And, can businesses stay afloat with their supply chains in disarray? We took a look. 

Businesses Shifted to Business Continuity Strategies 

As we all know, COVID-19  sent businesses into a tailspin. After years of growth and building up after the 2009 crash, the global economy was on a slow but steady incline. However, with the shock of the pandemic, most businesses have had to hit the reset button. 

Since 2020, businesses have had to shift their focus to a more business continuity and resilience stance, with growth being put on the backburner. And even now, in 2023, things have not significantly improved globally. Supply chains globally are still seeing massive disruption and chronic losses. In fact, the disruptions are now increasing in frequency and intensity and the ripple effects are starting to impact brand giants. 

Levi’s, for example, saw its biggest year-over-year loss in Europe in 2022. Revenue plummeted a massive 19% from the same period in 2021 and McKinsey reported that significant disruptions to manufacturing production now occur every 3.7 years, on average.

Recovery Is Still Years Away

Now, in 2023, total recovery is still not totally in the cards for businesses. Experts predict that even in 2023, systems will still be struggling to stabilize, but might see some improvement by the end of the year. And even then, COVID-19 has exposed global industries to extreme economic risks. They are now essential open nerves to political instability, natural disasters, and regulatory changes. 

Waves are being seen globally and are affecting the bottom line in countries, irrespective of their political and economic standing. Cost of living crisis is not only being seen in underdeveloped countries, but powerhouses like the UK. And this is impacting more than just the ordinary working class. It is impacting all levels of the macro economic chain. 

The question is, are supply chain problems the new normal though? Some are saying that they might be and that companies simply need to start working around them. This, together with the other economic issues that are taking place globally are guaranteed to have long-term impacts on retailers and e-tailers. 

Slow and Steady Recovery Could be the Answer 

So, the question remains, how do you, as a retailer or e-tailer, start to pick up the pieces of your business and get it on the road to recovery. If supply chains are broken all around you, what can you do to start shifting your business back into the growth gear?

Many brands are taking a step back from their day-to-day operations and starting from the ground up. Businesses are encouraged to re-look at their operations and their supply chains to work around the crisis. From seeking out new solutions to researching new ways to remain profitable, education might be the saving grace for brands globally. 

In many cases, businesses will have to overhaul their supply chains entirely, and this can only be achieved with the right knowledge and understanding of what needs to be done and altered. From automation to digital solutions, to opting for entirely new supply chain partners, brands need to take time in trying and testing new options to find the right solutions for them. 

The Bottom Line 

One of the best options for businesses to learn about new options and solutions is a knowledge sharing platform. ECOM Africa, the biggest e-commerce event in Africa is a perfect opportunity for businesses to come together to share ideas, best practices and solutions to improve the supply chain.  To read more about the event, or book your seat, visit and ensure that you are putting your company’s safety first online.