How Supply Chain Management Can Work Remotely
Using digital tools in shifting to remote work is crucial to driving the business at the time of a global pandemic
FREMONT, CA: The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the major global workforce to remote working. A report from the Institute for Supply Management says that 75 percent of companies have reported supply chain disruptions, while over 80 percent feel that their company would take a hit due to coronavirus disruptions.
However, the right strategy is the need of the hour to gain market share while increasing profitability. The Hackett Group, a global strategic consultancy, along with Procurify and Una, a purchasing organization, shares a key idea that helps any procurement team to successfully transition to remote work.
E-procurement helps here, as it aids in accessing paper files and vendor contracts while smoothening the workflow between team members without the need for face-to-face communication.
To do the above, it is important to develop e-procurement systems to solve problems in specific processes and revise the steps to purchase orders.
A right person is needed to receive supplies at home. Speak to the logistics and manufacturing teams to schedule receiving goods. Different people can be designated on different days, as it decreases reliance on the same person always. Companies must invest in the necessary equipment, so that people have all the necessary materials to execute remote work.
Usage of instant collaboration platforms such as Slack rather than email is crucial. Electronic agreements will be more favorable to finalize vendor contracts. Businesses can use Adobe Acrobat, DocuSign, and HelloSign in signing such agreements. Reviews and revising documents should be done on the cloud. Dropbox or Google Drive can be used in this regard as they allow for quick changes. OCR tools can be used in scanning documents to be searchable—some such tools are Adobe Acrobat, Abbyy FineReader, and OmniPage.
Investment in video conferencing systems for communications, be it with the teams or with suppliers, stands crucial. Applications like Zoom, Skype, Whereby, Webex, BlueJeans, or Google Hangouts can help in virtual conversations.
With all the tools in place, a change in mindset is the only thing to set the company in motion remotely. Building trust and retaining it virtually is a challenge that must be dealt with. The workforce should be able to voice their opinions and concerns. This encourages creativity, improving productivity and performance.