Global retailers were caught out by the pandemic, and this is where supply chains will need working on. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: Global retailers are still some distance removed from fully automating their supply chains. In fact, only 15 per cent are anywhere near that point, according to a new report.

Retailers are “not able to react to changes in demand in real-time”, the report by Blue Yonder and WMG, University of Warwick.

While COVID-19 disrupted supply chains and exposed gaps, 61 per cent of retailers intend to achieve autonomous supply chain by 2025. (Autonomous supply chains correspond to levels 3 and 4 on a scale of 1 to 4.)

Even on omni-channel retailing, retailers are still a long way off.

“Three quarters wish to achieve full omni-channel capability in the next five years, with 41 per cent aiming to use AI to evaluate optimum inventory locations for each customer transaction,” the study notes. “One quarter still use spreadsheets to manage replenishment analytics - but retailers know they need a more intelligent approach, with nearly half planning a fully autonomous approach in five years’ time.”