• 01-04-2022

Supply Chain Disruption: Solutions to Overcome

We have already discussed the topic of Supply Chain Resilience in the previous article. Now we are going to explore Supply chain disruption as a fact of life for every company that moves any type of product. There won’t be a new normal, just new sources of disruption, from weather to government policies to industry conditions.

Don’t expect to plan for every disruption; instead, develop a strategy to overcome supply chain disruption, regardless of the source. Supply chain resiliency is the ability to adapt to and overcome challenges to allow your company to continue to serve customers at the highest possible level. A resilient supply chain may be stretched to the max, but it doesn’t break. And it bounces back, perhaps taking on new shapes as necessary in response to the latest disruption.

Overcoming Supply Chain Disruption

Your organization’s ability to anticipate disruption, adapt to events, and build resiliency is rooted in how you maintain operational continuity. You must have the people, processes, and systems in place to create your resiliency plan.

Prepare your supply chain for different types of disruption

A wide range of events could prevent your supply chain from operating normally, but not all events have an equal impact. Severe weather can shut down entire locations for short periods, but recovery may happen quickly. Other issues such as trade disputes and tariffs develop over long periods with a high degree of uncertainty. Your supply chain must be capable of adapting to all types of threats.

Trade disputes and tariffs.

Global trade regulations and conflicts, as well as tariff threats as a political tool, could cut off sources and markets and push your business plan into the red. It’s vital to work with a supply chain consultant with global expertise to monitor these threats and develop solutions to lessen the impact on your business.

Cyber threats and attacks.

Your company is likely under cyber attack as you read this. The bad guys only have to get it right once in a while to cause catastrophic disruption. Some of the largest companies in the industry have been forced to pay ransom to restore technical operations. Other companies have lost intellectual property or customer information and have not found out until the damage was done. It’s vital to identify and protect critical vendors and partners that could be unwitting attack vectors.

Capacity constraints and transportation delays.

Shifting consumer demand, bad weather, driver shortages, fuel prices, and an array of influences conspire to shrink available capacity.

Price fluctuations and sourcing issues.

The pandemic drove up prices on many consumer goods as people shifted spending to e-commerce and bought at holiday levels in early spring. The system wasn’t prepared for the surge, driving up pricing for transportation and sapping inventory levels.