COVID-19 Supply Chain Resources & Strategies

COVID-19 Supply Chain Resources & Strategies

The COVID-19 pandemic is distressing millions of people worldwide while also stamping severe economic consequences to dwell for months to come. The lockdowns and closed airspace and borders had put a significant burden on the world’s supply chains as existing stocks were depleted. This pandemic is a caution light for executives to work on their supply chain resiliency.

The global supply chain disruption illuminates the significance of risk management. Businesses need to strive to minimize, mitigate, and manage the supply chain disruption and to adjust quickly to the shifting landscape.

Supply Chain Digitization

The digitalization of the supply chain is how companies can start to strategize and attain business resilience. Fortunately, new supply chain technologies are emerging, and more are being developed; the traditional linear supply chain model is evolving into digital supply networks (DSNs). Functional silos are deconstructed, and organizations communicate and connect to their supply network to enable end-to-end visibility, collaboration, agility, and optimization using digital technologies.  Big data analytics from these technologies can also help firms streamline their logistics and shipping processes as they are significantly improved through automation and the internet. The automation and the use of robotics can also mitigate the disruptive impact of the COVID-19 crisis through the restriction of people’s movement.

Focusing On Short-term Strategic Planning

Shippers, forwarders, and carriers should concentrate their efforts on short-term solutions to alleviate the direct impact of the COVID-19 crisis. They have to accept and take the challenge of the new reality emerging from the crisis- digital selling.

Supply chain companies shall equip themselves with tools improving communication, allowing them to assess, analyze and draw actionable insights from customer and market data as they work in real-time, while also maintaining smooth transactions and business continuity in general.

With severe instability in supply and demand, companies must make strategic device pricing. Companies must regularly tailor offers at the right and profitable price as they engage with their customers through digital channels. They must focus on sensibly optimizing the costs of their products and services while managing their payables.

Securing the Supply Base

Supply chain companies must forecast demand for supplies in familiar and unprecedented crises and the severe volatility in demand internationally, regionally, and locally.  They must have the ability to work closely with all sizes of suppliers to recognize and comprehend the actual risks to supply and the ripple effect on quality, timeliness, service delivery, local ecosystems, and regulatory compliance. Open and just-in-time exchange of information must be ensured.

To secure supply base capabilities, organizations must mobilize the response team and create cross-functional contact points for responding to immediate internal and external intervention needs and business continuity. Organizations must unceasingly assess supply chain disruption on products, services, and supply chains using advanced analytics. Sense and prioritize risks and identify blind spots. Shortlist the small, medium, and large suppliers to monitor, support, and reposition the supply chain from a risk generator to a customer-centered growth engine.

Responding to the COVID-19 crisis can seem overwhelming as everyone was struck by surprise. But this is the time for companies to learn from the ordeal and ensure their supply chains become more resilient and responsible than before.


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