Rebuilding the Supply Chain after Covid-19
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Rebuilding the Supply Chain after Covid-19

By CIOReview | Monday, January 31, 2022
Louis García,Director, Supply Chain Operations,Hub Group

Louis García,Director, Supply Chain Operations,Hub Group

Supply chain leaders have rarely encountered more complex and changeable situations than they did during the COVID-19 epidemic.

While people are not yet out of the woods in Covid-19, with vaccination rollouts and improved testing, many supply chains are beginning to look ahead and implement these tactics to aid in their post-Covid recovery.

Throughout the last years, numerous supply chains have recognized that to recover from this crisis fully; they must hedge against future dangers.

While people want to avoid another pandemic, they must brace for global upheaval. In practical terms, this entails diversifying the suppliers, identifying alternate sources for difficult-to-source components, cultivating good relationships with manufacturers and suppliers, optimizing cash flow, and conducting regular risk assessments.

Recognize weaknesses

Regular and thorough risk assessments and a procedure for identifying vulnerabilities should be a part of the supply chain recovery from Covid-19. Many of these weaknesses will have become apparent during the last year, but be candid about which ones require attention, even if it means investing money in the firm to address them.

Invest in safeguarding the supply chain and embracing technology

Continuing with that last point, post-Covid recovery should not be limited to re-establishing normalcy but should also include making the required modifications to avoid future disruption.

This may require investment in new technology that enhances efficiency, such as artificial intelligence (AI) systems and Internet of Things (IoT) devices that automate activities such as stock take and ordering, freeing workers to focus on other responsibilities. Additionally, businesses should invest in the most up-to-date software for all their systems, as out-of-date programs are more prone to security breaches.

Investing in what will safeguard the supply chain does not have to entail purchasing new technology. Ensure that businesses thoroughly identify the hazards associated with any new technology or technique they introduce. Conducting research into substitutes for difficult-to-source components for usage in products or restructuring products entirely to incorporate more readily available components may help companies avoid being caught off guard during times of shortages or disruptions that lengthen lead times.

Transparency is critical

Transparency with suppliers and manufacturers will be critical to repairing any supply chain following the Covid-19 pandemic. Any risk assessment will require companies to understand their whole supply chain, from raw materials acquisition to product delivery to the end customer.

This implies businesses must understand the origins of their products, the availability of raw materials, the final consumer, how long they will use the product, and everything in between. If any flaws or inefficiencies are discovered, they may arrange a considerably more informed solution.

Demand forecasting

Forecasting demand benefits both manufacturer and supplier and contributes significantly to maintaining a solid connection between the two. By analyzing historical sales data, businesses can estimate when they may expect to sell specific products and work out with their suppliers how much stock they will require to fulfill forecasted orders well in advance. This way, components may be prepared and stored well in advance.

The recovery of supply chains from Covid-19 will be lengthy, but it will provide an opportunity to deconstruct the current business model and discover flaws that can be corrected. As a result, the supply chain may likely be stronger than before the pandemic.