There is no denying that the global COVID-19 pandemic that is currently taking place is going to have short, mid, and long-term ramifications for companies around the world. In fact, more and more companies across the globe are reporting a disruption in their supply chains due to the sudden surge or drop in the demand for their products. As things stand, the novel coronavirus is going to shift the tides of global trade and negatively affect the businesses that are not prepared to adapt and optimize their supply chains on a moment’s notice.
Now is not the time to be stagnant, or to wait and see how things unfold, rather, now is the time to take action and minimize the negative effects that the pandemic can have on your supply chain now and in the future. Let’s take a look at the five key tips that will help you maintain your supply chain during the COVID-19 crisis.
Focus on the production of critical supplies
The new pandemic has caused a surge in certain product types around the world, and forced other types of products to drop in popularity and demand, meaning that you need to adapt your processes and focus on maintaining a strong presence in the market by pushing the inventory that is in high demand. However, sometimes it won’t be up to you to make the call, just take Australia for example and the government’s decision to enforce the “war-time” style of production in their manufacturing industry.
This means that manufacturers in Australia are practically forced to produce and push products that directly support the fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic, thus crafting materials and equipment that will help the medical staff and the healthcare system meet the needs of the people around the country. The good news for manufacturers is that the Australian government is offering financial incentives and packages to cover the costs of production and help maintain their supply chains, so be sure to look for those types of incentives yourself in your own country.
Diversify your suppliers
Now that suppliers are shifting their priorities, and now that some of them are even forced to put their operations on hold, it’s more important than ever for you to diversify your supplier pool and ensure numerous fallback options in order to maintain the efficacy of your supply chain. What’s more, it’s also important to diversify your shippers for international trade, especially now that many shippers are being hit hard with coronavirus-related detention fees and can thus jeopardize your entire supply chain and your bottom line. Be sure to leverage ERP systems to easily manage suppliers and shippers, and add new ones to your operation as the market and political trends shift.
Use technology to achieve business continuity
Now more than ever before, it’s important for companies to leverage technology and software solutions to better manage their supply chains, avoid pitfalls, and even try to optimize the process to come out on top during this crisis. If we take a look at the manufacturing industry again, this is exactly what manufacturers are doing now, as they are using cloud-based MRP software to better manage their inventory and sales, optimize purchasing and CRM, and run an efficient and effective supply chain across the board.
It’s important the software you use can easily handle various integrations as well, and even help you manage your Ecommerce presence now that more and more people are buying online, especially since the outbreak of the pandemic. Whether you’re in the manufacturing industry or any other, you need a business-wide software solution to help you manage your entire operation seamlessly.
Use customer support, PR, and marketing to your advantage
A global pandemic such as this one can quickly shift the priorities of the consumers and bring a company’s supply chain to a halt simply because the products you’re moving are no longer in high demand. Your objective should be to maintain your supply chain by controlling the narrative and shaping the consumer mindset. With that in mind, be sure to invest in PR, customer support, and marketing in order to incentivize your customers to keep placing their orders even throughout this trying time.
Sense the demand and manage your inventory accordingly
On a final note, keep in mind that the industry trends are rapidly shifting in times of crisis, so you have to stay on top of the latest news and trends in your industry in order to sense the demand for your products and optimize your inventory accordingly. Be sure to follow the right sources to figure out how the coronavirus pandemic may affect the global supply chain, and then scale your entire operation to minimize loss and perhaps even capitalize over the long term.
The new global pandemic is definitely disrupting the global supply chain, but only the forward-looking companies will be able to come out on top when the pandemic is finally over. Be sure to implement these solutions now in order to remain competitive and set the stage for success in the post-coronavirus days.