Before COVID-19 hit, the supply chain in South Africa relied quite heavily on interpersonal contact when it came to ordering and fulfilment, so when the pandemic hit and lockdowns were enforced, the industry was turned upside down. Now that we are in Level 1 and business has resumed, social distancing is still important and we are all having to learn to adapt to a ‘new normal’. Here are some ways to adapt your supply chain for success, especially within the FMCG sector.
Move Your Supply Chain Online
You’ve probably seen more and more articles about the supply chain going digital, and COVID-19 has only sped this up. Being able to do more remotely and with less contact with other humans is the new normal and this is forcing businesses in all industries to go online wherever possible. Ecommerce has grown significantly and this shows no signs of slowing down. The informal sector in South Africa is also expected to do more online where they can. Streamlining and digitizing the transactions between retailers and manufacturers is now essential, and ordering processes need to change as sales reps can’t visit stores to check and replenish stock levels. Empowering retailers to do this themselves online is the way forward.
Do More with Mobile
With a huge reduction in face-to-face interaction, using mobile technology to be more efficient becomes vital. When combined with an online ordering platform, mobile technology is hugely beneficial for sales reps and their customers. When retailers are placing orders online, reps can refocus their efforts on generating returns. It’s just another way that COVID-19 has sped up something that would have eventually happened.
Combine Data for Better Insights
Insights are always useful for making decisions that can transform your business and help you better cater to your customers. By making better use of technology such as mobile apps, mobile technology, data lakes and cloud technology, you’ll immediately have instant access to so much information. AI and analytics can then help mine through this data to produce valuable insights that will help retailers and businesses better understand their customers and adapt their supply chain to meet the wants and needs of their customers.
Going digital might seem daunting or expensive, but it doesn’t have to be, and the benefits far outweigh any risks. In fact, not going digital now is riskier!
TSI’s Digital Control Tower has the power to totally transform your logistics and is used by one of South Africa’s top banks. Shouldn’t you be using it too?