Resilient Supply Chain During Covid-19

The COVID-19 crisis has deeply affected supply chain management across the globe. Increased border controls have put restrictions on moving goods from one place to another freely. Also, growing customer expectations have made it mandatory for companies to incorporate new technological measures – real-time order monitoring, inventory visibility – and ensuring super-fast deliveries. Although inclination towards the adoption of digital tools has seen a rise in the past few years, it has often been limited to the likes of Walmart, Alibaba, Amazon, etc. The pandemic has acted as a catalyst for small businesses and start-ups to increase their reliance on digitization instead of brick and mortar. This article describes 3 key actions that businesses should take to effectively respond to supply chain management issues during the COVID-19 pandemic.

1. Refine your vision

For leaders to make effective decisions, it is important for companies to device logistics control towers that can collect real-time information. This includes end-to-end inventory levels, bottlenecks, technology restrictions, capacity limitations, demand forecasts, and market information for both – warehouses and third-party vendors.


Also Read: How to Maintain a Healthy Supply Chain during the COVID-19 Crisis?


2. Make your processes flexible

To make it through such uncertain times, your supply chain management processes must be flexible. Companies should formulate different plans for serving at micro and macro scales according to customer demand. They should devise new load-sharing mechanisms on the lines of the Uber-model or seek help from communities or individuals who would like to take up freight jobs at affordable rates. Also, when governments have put a restriction on the number of people who can be out on the streets, companies must sign contracts with freight companies to increase their load capacity. Moreover, companies should decrease their reliance on cash and check transactions and instead allow customers to pay through online modes – OTP, mobile wallets, etc. This will make deliveries completely touch-free and minimize the spread of the infection.

3. Step-up your communication

The world is going through a rough phase. Companies need not only devise new ways of working but also empathize with agents – employees, departments, and third-party vendors – that help better the supply chain management process. This requires companies to engage proactively by making their communication clear and precise. The following points show how they can do so:

  • Engage with different departments such as customer service and procurement in the supply chain management process to understand what customers are looking for and to gain deep knowledge about service level agreements respectively.
  • Revise your service level agreements from time to time and update your customers and vendors about it.
  • Be a lighthouse of knowledge and share important articles and information based on facts, figures, and statistics released by world-renowned institutions (such as WHO) to alert your customers about the imminent danger of the infection.

The COVID-19 pandemic has unfolded a crisis like situation and is disrupting IT systems like never before. The term “systems” include cloud, data, network, and other critical business processes that require quick redressal. Steps need to be taken for boosting system resilience so that outages can be mitigated and their ability to recover can be improved. This article discusses the most prominent challenges being faced by businesses during the COVID-19 crisis and steps for boosting system resilience.

Supply Chain Challenges

  • A major shift in the way of purchasing products – from physical to digital
  • Employee productivity challenges due to the widespread practice of remote working
  • Lockdown has badly affected the supply chain
  • A significant change in customer touchpoints
  • Lack of rigorous systems to access and take affirmative action on real-time data
  • Security risk from bad actors who are always looking to hack systems and steal data

5 ways to boost supply chain resilience

1. Remote Working

Businesses should immediately enable remote working solutions for their employees at astonishing speed and scale. The first step is to help them adapt to it. This can be done by training them on how to conduct virtual meetings, important applications to stay in touch with their team 24/7, how to raise tickets if a technical error creeps in, etc. Businesses should also help employees in implementing virtual desktop solutions at their home.


Also Read: 4 Major Challenges of Remote Working


2. Use the power of automation

To mitigate the negative impact on systems quickly, businesses should implement automation wherever possible. It makes use of Machine learning and AI algorithms to do high-volume tasks. This frees agents to focus on more important issues such as building strong and long-lasting relations with clients.

3. Make use of cloud systems

Cloud systems can be of extreme help during the COVID-19 pandemic. They store business-critical data on the server that can be accessed from anywhere and at any time. They adapt according to the increase or decrease in traffic, deploy instant innovation, and work on the principle of the pay-by-the-brink model where prices fluctuate according to current demand.

4. Provide unhindered services

For boosting system resilience, businesses should immediately hire skilled resources and begin with the knowledge transition procedure. Also, they should quickly implement lean governance and engineering practices for supporting service continuity.

5. Implement rigorous cyber-security measures

Due to the over-reliance on technology during the COVID-19 crisis, almost everything is being done online. This calls for serious data security measures as data-thefts and hacks have increased extensively. Recently, IT major Cognizant has been attacked by Maze ransomware and has lost sensitive information to hackers. To avoid this from happening, businesses should identify data security leakage points, implement a zero-trust model for multi cloud solutions, and brief employees and third parties about new cybersecurity threats and the damage they can cause.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, companies were struggling to build system resilience. The dastardly effects have only been exacerbated by the current ongoing crisis. It is time for businesses to build and prepare for long-term transformations that will boost system resilience in the times to come.

The COVID-19 pandemic has bought the entire world economy to a standstill. Among other affected systems, supply chains have been facing a tough time. This is where we can help. At Sage Software Solutions (P) Ltd, we have a world-class ERP for supply chain management that will take care of all your needs – providing a solid vision, making your processes flexible, stepping up your communication, and helping you set a remote working team without any difficulties. To know more about it, SMS SAGE to 56767. You can also write to us at sales@sagesoftware.co.in.

 

Disclaimer: All the information, views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and their respective web sources and in no way reflect the principles, views or objectives of Sage Software Solutions (P) Ltd.

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