We could not imagine the tremendous impact COVID-19 have had on our Supply Chains (SCs,) and the grave consequences of this outbreak on multiple businesses. Fear has paralysed several companies to rapidly responsD to the catastrophic outcomes.
What can experts do to protect their SC?
We have much to learn from this crisis to protect our SCs and most economies around the world. How? Reinforcing your company resiliency to protect your business, and above all your workforce, through effective plans in place and in time fortifying your SCs, and redesigning a new form of doing business, to be prepared when we hopefully come back to production.
Before a complete closing of your business, take accurate action towards protecting your SC through the advantage of potential measures at hand. Things to consider:
· Identify the magnitude of the problem, the company’s areas affected so far, the disrupting consequences your suppliers are experiencing in struck regions.
· Study every side of the business SC to work on alternative sources or increasing inventory to solve difficulties, where possible.
· Assess suppliers at stake and consider an alternative sourcing line-of-attack to guarantee vital components for your manufacturing.
· Base your decisions on accurate-authorised data informing the after-effects.
· Watch out those providers at-risk zones who could seriously crash you SC response-time, as most distributors and warehouses are dealing with closed-businesses.
· The wellbeing of staffs is essential to any strategy, as they are a fundamental means to success.
· Keep your workforce and suppliers well-informed about new decisions taken, of health protocols updates, and on how to react to contingencies, business closings, government regulations, potential transportation disruptions, and evaluation of the general logistics networks.
· Introduce alleviating procedures like secure alternate sources and efficiently manage time to your advantage.
· Businesses should take the responsibility of creating a strategic cost-benefit estimation on the extra cost of sourcing from other providing zones or countries.
· The resource shortage at any level of your SC demands an additional capacity for production, closing the supply deficiency and for distribution processes.
· Be sure you have plenty of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as sanitised products, mouth masks, infrared forehead thermometers, as they will be vital to go on with your business operations.
· Consider a possible second-wave disruption in your SC caused by the risk of COVID-19 rebound at Asian countries where it started, significantly impacting businesses once again.
This SC plan must encompass contingency strategies in case the perspectives are to deal with a quarantine period caused by the virus. A long-term method would be the setting up of beneficial business relationships with reliable manufacturers or logistics sources with the ability to produce and transport similar goods from various locations.
A possibility for new SC markets
All potential economies like the European Union, the UK or the USA, Japan and China rank at the top of bilateral agreements on imports, exports and manufacturing, but now they run in big troubles. Therefore, other countries might get access and have the opportunity to benefit from these facts and gain a place in new markets.
Final comments: include backup plans for transportation, communications, supply protection, and cash flow. Establish a collaboration plan among your company, suppliers and customers when redesigning your SC strategy.
The participation of suppliers and customers in developing these plans can accordingly help to create a better second source detached from the central business area to enhance greater management, quality assessment, whilst reducing costs; always considering the know-how of the core source. Is your company ready for a SC come back?
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