The adage “the best offensive is a good defense” is undoubtedly accurate when it comes to managing your supply chains. It’s a good idea to be ready for any circumstance in advance because supply chain issues typically won’t give you much notice. The following factors should be taken into account while creating a plan for handling supply chain disruptions.
1. Develop a supply chain contingency plan
It is wise to always have a backup strategy in place, especially when it comes to getting supplies. You should allocate a contingency budget while creating a contingency plan and take into account the various modes of shipping goods.
2. Boost inventory levels
Make a stockpile of emergency supplies that can run your company for several months in the case of a disaster. In the event that your supply chains are temporarily disrupted, this can mean keeping a stockpile of finished goods, components, or even raw materials or anything else you would need to run your company.
3. Determine the supply chain’s risk level
Make the effort to do a risk analysis and pinpoint the supply chain’s weakest links. This can help you narrow down the places where alternative solutions are needed. Identifying potential environmental, social, and political factors that could have an impact on your supply chains is also helpful.
4. Choose different suppliers
If your current provider is unable to fulfill your requirements, you should think about whether other suppliers can. Finding suppliers in other areas and building a relationship with them in order for them to step in when necessary will probably be required for this.
5. Expand the supply base’s variety
Similar to a diversified financial portfolio, some supplier variation may be desirable. You may ensure that you will always be able to receive at least certain commodities despite any disruption by constructing a supply chain with numerous vendors in various places.
6. Work with a logistics specialist
Locate a fulfillment and supply chain specialist who can assist you when problems happen. In addition to helping you understand how to deal with delays, fees, and surcharges, they ought to be able to help you find alternative courier solutions.
7. Use tools for risk assessment
Utilize technology to identify potential supply chain risks. Test out mapping and environmental analysis tools with AI support, aggregation apps that offer world overviews, and cyber threat assessment tools. To foresee potential shortages and disruptions, even social media can be used as a predictive tool.
Take the Following Actions Whenever a Supply chain Disruption Occurs
1. Communicate with the customers
For a business to survive in the current economic situation, transparency with customers is essential. Your consumer base is more likely to have patience if you are honest about the delays and their causes.
If you have limited inventory, altered purchase minimums, or sped up shipping, often post this information on your website or by email. Additionally, communication ought to go beyond the consumer base. The first rule of remote employment is to “over communicate.” Be constant in your communications with your personnel, partners for distribution, and customers.
2. Review every crucial component of the supply chain
Establish the absolute requirements for the ongoing operation of your business and the funding sources. Establishing backup providers for crucial materials and goods is a possibility at first. When your company is impacted, it is crucial to step back and decide what to optimize for first. Is it short-term cash flow, employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction (and for what segment), or something else? You’ll probably need to make some very challenging trade-offs during a crisis.
By creating decision-making rules that can be consistently implemented, individual case-by-case decisions will be made clearer. For the next time, make a list of the most important takeaways because interruptions are a sad fact of life. Be aware of your options if this happens.
3. Calculate the quantity of stock available
In general, you should always be fully aware of the inventory you have on hand, but when your supply chain is hampered, this is especially crucial. In addition to the available finished goods, you might want to physically inventory and inspect the accessible parts and components.
4. Consider customer behavior
Potentially, changes in demand could make some supply chain problems worse. A large natural calamity or a pandemic, for example, could change what and how people buy. Observe how a customer’s varying buying habits impact the products and services they require from your business. If required, you should think about changing your products to accommodate demand.
5. Increase production and distribution capacity while maintaining security
Both your employees and your fulfillment partners’ safety is of the utmost importance. Aim to manufacture and distribute your products in a way that is safe for all parties involved by optimizing your production and distribution techniques.
6. Evaluate the flexibility of logistics
Adaptability is now necessary. Locate areas where you can afford to slow down, accept slower deliveries, and use different transit options. This connects to the importance of communication again: make sure your supply chain links are strong and show appreciation for the efforts your suppliers are making to keep working with you as effectively as possible.
7. Evaluate the effect on cash flow
Your bottom line could be subject to unavoidable impacts. To fully prepare and make any necessary modifications to your overhead, run stress tests to identify the areas where supply chain disruptions are most likely to have a financial impact.