Managing Supply Chain Disruption and Planning for the Future

Managing Supply Chain Disruption and Planning for the Future

Supply chains across the world felt it – when China, also referred to as the world’s factory, was impacted by COVID-19, global supply chains were impacted. While the pandemic has and continues to cause hardship and difficulties, could it be the event that forces many logistics companies, and industries, to relook and transform their supply chain model?


While many businesses will need to relook their supply chain model, in order to do so they need to survive the current climate and take short-term actions that make it possible for them to do this. Here are some tips to help deal with immediate issues and disruptions that may arise:


  • Educate all employees on the symptoms of COVID-19 and what they can do to prevent contracting the virus. Provide alternative work arrangements for staff who have known immunological disease and would be especially at risk.
  • Reinforce your screening protocols and be more flexible with sick leave policies. Lost productivity for a few sick employees is better than having to close down an entire office.
  • Encourage your employees to avoid non-essential travel and promote more flexible working arrangements if necessary. Travel has been linked to an increased rate of transmission.
  • As remote work policies increase, IT systems and support will need to be aligned to make it easier for employees to remain efficient at home. Your workforce will need to evolve.
  • Focus on your cash flow and develop a treasury plan for cash management. Reducing costs wherever possible, without reducing productivity, should be a priority.


Planning for the future


Businesses who are well-equipped for the future share the following characteristics when it comes to their supply chain management:

  • They are flexible and able to react quickly to unforeseen disruptions. In saying this, they also plan for the future by making sure they are able to support both current and future business models.
  • They track trends in emerging technology so that they can keep supporting their business strategies and goals.
  • They balance the need to control costs with the need to mitigate any risks
  • The supply chains adjust based on the organizational strategy of the business, as well as adapting to external changes.
  • They make use of technology and analytics to provide valuable information that assists with forecasting logistics and inventory optimization and scenario planning.



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