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Supply Chain: What does your Post-Pandemic supply chain look like?

Supply Chain: What does your Post-Pandemic supply chain look like?

In the past month a lot of people who had never thought about it or even heard of it before, have become keenly aware of how critical supply chains are and how their disruption impacts businesses and individuals alike.

Border access restrictions, production halts, demand spikes, labour restrictions and transportation constrictions have caused massive supply chain disruption. This has shocked many but has highlighted the vulnerability of how we source and deliver goods, daily, in our global supply chains. And all of it triggered by a micro-organism.

This crisis is bringing out the good and the bad in our systems and those who operate within them. We see manufacturers pivoting to produce medical equipment and PPE to support front line workers. Companies donating excess inventory to those in need of it. We also see questionable pricing practices for goods and services. When all is said and done, everyone should remember and acknowledge those individuals and organizations, for their acts of kindness and contribution.

The crisis is also hyper-driving adaptation and innovation, particularly in medicine, healthcare, and supply chain. Innovations that would take years in normal times are being compressed into weeks or months due to the urgency and necessity to minimize the impact and spread of COVID-19. Events like this have historically driven leaps in technology, policy and process, and this pandemic is no different. The commercial and social impacts of which will have ramifications for years to come.

Logistics and supply chains will not be immuned:

  • Repatriation of production capacity, through regulation, financial incentive and application of automation and other technology to level production cost.
  • Increase control of cross-border goods relating to quality assurance, internal and external government export restrictions.
  • Decentralization of some production, applying 3D printing and other innovations to be close to end users.
  • As working-from-home becoming a norm, it enables a more dispersed workforce, changing human logistics requirements as well as direct to and from home logistics demand.
  • A dispersed workforce and decentralized production will vault digital supply chain and logistics into the mainstream, such as our own ubbe and just as platforms like Zoom and MS Teams have done for workforce communications.

There will be a period of tempered economic output, but COVID-19 will end and when it does, you must ask yourself now, how will your supply chain look? What are you doing now in preparation for the economic reset?

  • Is your current sourcing strategy sustainable?
  • Is your production process tolerant of another pandemic, or other macro-risks?
  • Are you evaluating your current supply chain providers and how they adapted during the pandemic (supply, price, performance)?
  • Is your current logistics process compatible with a remote workforce?
  • Will your inventory strategy change?
  • Are you re-evaluating your current Business Continuity Plan, including supply chain risk mitigation against potential future pandemic risk?

The answers to these questions will allow you to take your business’s intimate learnings from these recent events and convert them into actions, that will improve our supply chain tolerance for the next shock event. Take this time to ask those tough questions, and through the answers, design a supply chain to withstand these massive disruptions that you cannot control, but you may be able to mitigate.

As with any system upheaval, successors will emerge. Your supply chain decisions today will determine if you are among them. We are confident you can be. We will get through this together.

For more information or discussion please reach out to us at solutions@bbex.com.