Normally, when you go to a store you find
exactly what you need with plenty of brands and options neatly stacked on
shelves, but in the next few days, when you go to that same store, and see
their empty shelves, you may wonder, what has happened. This is what happened during
the pandemic. Globally, grocery stores were empty, and the most plausible
reason was disruption in the supply chain.
Empty stores were just one of the many
areas impacted due to COVID, causing a large-scale breakdown in global supply
chains. The major breakdowns in the production and distribution of the supply
chain due to this unplanned crisis also caused severe shortages of raw
materials, workforce, and port congestion.
Impact on Supply Chains-
The rapid increase of coronavirus crippled
supply chains across the globe, with many large enterprises announcing shipping
and manufacturing delays. The unavoidable delays and inefficiency showcase the
non- resiliency of supply chain. While delays in transportation can happen at
the best of times, severe disruption can compound such problems.
As per Ernst & Young survey, 72% of the
respondents reported a negative impact on their company due to the pandemic, out
of which 17% reporting a significantly high negative effect, and 55% reporting high
Such large-scale disruptions draw attention
to our supply chain dependencies which we are not actually aware of when
everything was going fine. While there is no one-stop solution to prevent such
disruptions, it is better to be prepared beforehand.
Preparing for the Disruption-
Disruptions are part and parcel of operations
and is very much unpredictable; therefore, the supply chain operations must be
flexible enough to rapidly adjust in case of irregularities.
Building a supply chain emergency plan:
It is always good to have a backup plan before
anything goes wrong. There could be numerous “what if” scenarios; therefore,
planning out different ways to move goods around, finding local and nearby
suppliers as an alternative becomes a must as a contingency plan. At the time
of a disruption, companies can refer to their business community plan or BCP
plans to continue their work without much of an impact to their operations.
Pushing towards digitalization:
It is not unusual for companies to get
caught off guard because of poor supply chain visibility in an unplanned supply
chain disruption. Companies need to monitor and track individual components involved
into inbound and outbound logistics. A digital control tower offers a central
source of data with advanced notification and alerts along with track and trace
information. 3SC provides a customised business-fit control tower to give
real-time value to manage your transportation and optimize labour productivity.
It will bring a drastic reduction in response time to disruptions and enable
fast, agile & well-informed decision making.
Investment in future technology:
Using a combination of technologies such as
Internet of things (IOT), Augmenting Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning
(ML), Advanced analytics, blockchain, robotics and automation can leverage
real-time surveillance capabilities and help organizations plan accordingly. Modern
IT solutions can unlock and harness data and embed systems that enable
collaboration between the right individuals to maintain a consistent flow of information,
analysis and create new customer experiences that increase satisfaction and
Supply chain vulnerability audit:
The objective of a supply chain assessment
is to examine the supply chain & its levers for potential concerns and
weaknesses. Take some time to do a risk analysis to find out the weakest links
in your supply chain. It can help evaluate solutions that are worth replacing or
finding better alternatives that may impact supply routes. The information
collected from the vulnerability audit process can guide the entire organization
to respond to a crisis & unforeseeable events leading to disruption.
It is easy to ignore and put checks into the
back burner when everything is working normal. However, in times of trouble,
having a good plan in place is essential. Companies need to shift their focus from
short- term disruption to long-term survival mechanisms to create a business
that becomes robust. These strategies will help you in shaping your business to
build a proactive disruption plan. You can go for top logistics service
providers like 3SC, who can manage your supply chain efficiently and ensure
that all these impacted functions are on the same page to help address supply