Along with economic pressure, ongoing uncertainties, lack of consumer confidence, trade dispute, global health crisis, and supply chain challenges, there is no doubt that COVID-19 is continuing to disrupt the world economies.
None of us, even for the slightest bit, anticipated the extent to which COVID-19 would impact our environment or our economy at the time when the rumours of this deadly disease began to circulate. But, over time, we witnessed that supply chains, especially the ones relying on international trade, were hit hardest.
Why was supply chain management hit so hard? What are the supply chain challenges of 2020?
Following the COVID-19 induced lockdowns in majority of the countries, companies that didn’t keep up with the latest supply chain trends were the first ones to hit rock bottom. The supply chain challenges continue to exert a stranglehold in 2020 and for any company to grow back up, it’s recommended that you must take into account the following supply chain challenges:
The limited flow of data
For every organisation, it is absolutely essential to map out their supply chains in detail to identify their vulnerabilities and weaknesses. It is high time for supply chain companies to stop focusing on supply chain visibility and rather invest their resources in supply chain analytics to understand the complexity of the entire process. This will allow a fast decision and an action plan to tackle the problems which are most critical. It’s not only about the implications of COVID-19, but other variables like trade wars, natural disasters, sanctions, civil unrest, and strikes, which impact the supply chain management.
Accessible data and predictive analysis are key competitive differentiators now that can enable retailers to concentrate on improving customer experience, competitive prices, and higher-quality offerings.
Reading customer demands
A simple fact to understand here is that customers want what they want and they want it now! This clearly states why companies must manage the high expectations of customers around product availability and timely deliveries. Every company must consider focusing on improving its supply chains operations like logistics & inventory management and execution v/s stockpiling.
As much as it is important for supply chain companies to understand its customer’s demands, it is equally important to securely collaborate with customers, carriers, and other service providers on an advanced digital platform to meet their demands.
Adopting to AI solutions – Digital Transformation
Unfortunately, a lot of organisations have a mismatch of manual and digital systems. This is a root cause of why supply chain management is now suffering in these tough times. The entire decision-making mechanism was hampered due to the lack of complete picture. In the era of AI-enabled solutions, the organisations must update and hire the latest technology equipped well enough to monitor, manage, and observe the impact of decisions. This digital transformation bridges your way for an easy paper trail which, in some cases, is unachievable. It also allows real-time communications.
Single source amplifies the risk of supply chain management
Having a single-sourcing strategy is the riskiest for any business. This implies that your company can be in a vulnerable spot if you rely on just one supplier. What you idly need is an endless supply of products to meet all kinds of customer demands. For this, your organization needs to assign a handful of people to provide you with supplies as and when you require it. It is just about the right time to invest in a good supply chain software that makes your process easier to communicate with multiple suppliers.
Reducing waste in supply chain management
In addition to keeping a focus on customer experience, it is equally important to practically avoid all kinds of waste by reviewing production lines and administrative processes. Other ways to cut down waste in supply chain management include map communications, reviewing equipment and delivery policies, looking at new perspectives, setting up feedbacks, and most importantly establishing a set of reports to monitor future waste.
Supplymint is an advanced automated software that’s made to address all your supply chain challenges. It’s a one-stop solution that helps you manage the entire process efficiently and with ease, keeping in mind the changing trends and expectations in the industry which are crucial for a better customer experience.