Supply chain disruption caused by the US-China trade tension and the pandemic is one of the biggest challenges faced by companies in our industry. This was the feedback obtained during the Singapore Semiconductor Industry Association (SSIA)’s industry wide pulse survey. A Supply Chain Conference was virtually held on 27 August as a platform to initiate discussions on supply chain disruption as well as opportunities that can be created from this situation.

The event started with the opening speech from SSIA Executive Director, Ang Wee Seng. He said, “Many of the larger MNCs may have developed strategies and plans to address the supply chain matter both short-term and long-term. However, the bigger concern is how will the SME fit into this plan, and what opportunities can businesses in this industry create out of this challenge?”

6 speakers were invited in the event to discuss about trends on how the supply chain disruption was transforming business’ strategies, and how major companies were addressing this matter.

Supply Chain Challenges Survey

During the Supply Chain Conference, a survey about the current challenges facing the companies was conducted among the participants. 75 responses were collected. Over 70% of the respondents said they were facing supply chain challenges caused by the pandemic and trade tension, and over 80% expressed  digitalization would be part of the long-term strategy for the supply chain management in their companies. Most companies needed information on current relevant policies (63%) and funding to implement digitalization solutions (51%).

Moving forward, SSIA will work to understand the needs from the semiconductor and will launch more initiatives to support companies in tackling the challenges and seeking the necessary assistance.

Highlights of the Conference

 Critical Industry at a Defining Time

John Neuffer, President and CEO of Semiconductor Industry Association gave a high-level overview of the unique challenges facing the semiconductor industry and its supply chain from a policy perspective. Challenges included the pandemic, decoupling risks, the China challenge, rising costs of innovation, demand for high-skilled talent, and government incentives. 

Evolution of Global Supply Chain and Its implication on Manufacturing in SEA

Dr Mousumi Bhat, Senior Director of External Manufacturing, Micron Semiconductor Asia talked about how COVID-19 and trade wars reshaped the supply chain and how businesses should reframe themselves for sustainability. She also shared the strategies in achieving resiliency.

Perspectives on Supply Chain Challenges in Times of COVID-19 and Trade Tensions

Daryl Hatano, Vice President of Government and External Affairs of ON Semiconductor, shared his company’s strategies in adjusting its logistics, operations, and other aspects of its business to cope with the different challenges.  

Digitalization: Reimagining Asia Pacific Supply Chain

Steve Walker, Asia Pacific Chief Information Officer and Chief Operating Officer of DHL Supply Chain, presented the structured digitalization effort to scale up innovation across operations globally. He also introduced their digital twin technology deployed in a customer warehouse , combining IoT and data analytics for better decision making. Another speaker from DHL Supply Chain, Eunice Hew who is Head of Operations in Singapore, shared how they have kept supply chain operations running during the challenging COVID-19 period.

 Solutions That Can Interlink Both Supply Chain & Logistics to Unify Supply & Demand

In the presentation of Louis Ferretti, Project Executive of IBM Global Procurement for Environmental, Risk and Compliance Programs, he showed how a tight organizational interlock across Procurement, Supply Assurance and Logistics increases the resiliency of the supply chain and ensures supply continuity.