3 things businesses should do to tackle supply chain disruption

Two years on and COVID-19 is still disrupting distribution on a global scale. Increased border controls and customs regulations result in longer wait times, and lack of capacity for long-haul and last-mile fulfilment create extreme challenges. But demand is completely skewed. Despite the pandemic affecting household incomes, the demand for products is far outstripping the global ability to cater to it, something that’s expected to continue until 2023.

Businesses must navigate the new operational challenges of coronavirus while also addressing the requirements of customers and suppliers. However, by taking the correct actions, supply chain leaders can turn the complexity and disruption into change for the better. Here we explore how to tackle disruption in the current climate, ensuring your demand to supply is balanced and sustainable.

1. Maximise product visibility 

In these times, it is more important than ever to maximise the visibility of your products. With demand being so high, you need to monitor your website to ensure it’s up to date and that you’re not selling products you don’t have in stock or are unable to deliver. Reversing these transactions is highly frustrating for customers and may mean they do not return. 

Delivery visibility is also crucial. To ensure the best experience for both you and your customers, enhanced tracking is a must in international shipping. You need to find a courier that can offer standard worldwide parcel tracking, which means you and your customer have peace of mind as goods travel the globe. With a specialty in high-volume packets, CitySprint is an example of a courier that offers international parcel delivery with proof of delivery, clearance expertise and delivery certainty.

2. Leverage data

The wisest organisations are harnessing data to transform their supply chain operations. By using information such as equipment monitoring and accident reports, they can implement things like predictive equipment maintenance and accident prevention measures. If everything that can be controlled is perfected, the disruption from unfortunate external factors will be less damaging. Combining machine learning and artificial intelligence allows organisations to track live events and make the swift actions required to minimise the impact on their supply chains. 

For example, a consumer products seller could use a machine-learning algorithm to sense changes in demand patterns, even in times where a human is not in the office (orders could be taken from a different country in another time zone). This would allow the business to reallocate available supply to avoid service disruption to customers making those orders.

3. Diversify your supply chain 

With COVID causing widespread disruption to particular countries or regions, supply chain bottlenecks have been more prevalent than ever. If a country or area goes into lockdown or faces a shortage of a particular product, for example, it can spell disaster. A good way around this is to diversify your supply chain, as this prevents you from having all of your eggs in one basket. 

Should a supplier in one country or area face issues, you’ll have others to fall back on. This can also help you cut costs if you find cheaper alternatives, drive innovation and help you do your bit for the planet if you switch to local suppliers where possible, something that can also speed up delivery.

Diversifying your supply chain should be more than doable in most instances. For example, many businesses are already looking to various Asian and Latin American countries instead of China for all kinds of products and services. One example is textile manufacturing, with nations like India, Pakistan and Brazil all having thriving textile manufacturing industries, giving companies plenty of alternatives when it comes to diversifying their supply chains.


TBN Editor

Time Business News Editor Team