Many of the events that took place in 2020 highlighted the importance of America’s supply chains, as well as how susceptible many of them are to sudden and extremely disruptive change. The new presidential administration even issued an Executive Order in February 2021 focused on the significance of maintaining sustainable supply chains and ordering review of various supply chains within federal agencies.
As the supply chain industry enters the post-pandemic era, ensuring that your business is resistant to sudden problems and shortages will be essential to keeping it healthy. Here are some tips for improving supply chain resiliency that could put you ahead of the curve and keep your future prospects looking bright.
Having dependable suppliers is a must for any business, especially those in the warehousing industry. However, it can be just as important not only to have alternate sources whenever possible, but to also keep a close eye on primary and secondary suppliers so you can react quickly in the event of a shortage or similar problem.
Many companies have clear visibility of the suppliers they work with regularly, but problems with suppliers in lower priority tiers may slip under the radar, leaving you with supply chain problems that you don’t know about until they’re already impacting your business. Assessing every link in the supply chain may seem like an extensive and complicated task, but it can be a necessary one for improving supply chain resiliency.
It can also be beneficial to identify what suppliers you rely on disproportionately to others. This can help you understand the potential impact of those sources becoming unavailable, making you better equipped to find as many backup sources as possible to mitigate the risk of a shortage from one or more integral supplier. If your business depends heavily on a supplier with unique IP or a virtual monopoly on the market, it may be worth considering an acquisition plan that would offer you more direct control over a critical piece of your business infrastructure.
E-commerce is a 24/7, year-round industry, which means making adjustments to your supply chain one piece at a time can leave you at a serious disadvantage when it comes to rapidly adjusting to market shifts and shortages. For this reason, applying continuous design principles to your supply chain can improve its resiliency to sudden shocks.
Specifically, continuous supply chain design allows you to modify your chain before, during, and after development. This means you can react quickly to changes without being stuck with a system that has become fundamentally unsustainable due to unforeseen factors.
Finally, one of the simplest ways to ensure your supply chain’s resiliency is to be as transparent as possible about its components and design approach, both with your own employees and with the customers you depend on for revenue. Authenticity is valued nowadays more than ever, so it’s in your and your business’s best interest to be forthcoming with consumers.
Real-time updates about market forces, the implementation of efficiency-boosting measures, and environmentally friendly initiatives can set you apart from competitors and engender loyalty in the people who buy from you. Likewise, keeping your workers in the loop about changes means less time and productivity wasted during transitional periods between suppliers and/or supply chain adjustments.