While the COVID-19 pandemic has affected our personal livelihoods, it has also had a ripple effect on the global economy. As the world grapples with the human and economic crisis unraveling before us, supply chains are finding themselves squarely within the public eye and experiencing unique challenges of their own.
2020 was a gut punch to any supply chain organization that pursued operational efficiency without keeping a pulse on the risk factors that threaten disruption. Effective supply chains are designed out risk by addressing safety, security, and reliability vulnerabilities. Here are ways in which COVID-19 has changed the supply chain and the future of the supply chain post-COVID.
Supply Chain Disruptions
Global supply chains have always been vulnerable to shocks that occur in the major exporting countries. Some of these shocks include trade wars, pandemics such as COVID-19, domestic political instability, etc. This vulnerability is primarily because of factors that could impede the seamless flow of goods and services from these exporting countries to their major import trading partners.
COVID-19 has caused widespread disruption in all economical sectors and industries around the world. Lockdown procedures devised and executed by countries around the world as a health policy to reduce the impact of the pandemic's spread on the human population are mostly to blame for the disruptions. The COVID-19 lockdown measures have resulted in production halts, restrictions on people and goods movement, border closures, logistical constraints, and a slowdown in trade and economic activity.
Due to rising global demand and export limitations for these commodities in many countries, the supply of critical items such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical supplies and equipment has been hampered.
The transportation sector, which is critical to global supply-chain activity, has remained partially shuttered as a result of the shutdown. As a result, the smooth operation of global supply chains was hampered, which negatively impacted the world economy.
Supply Chain Agility
The COVID-19 pandemic and its global impact have sent shockwaves through the supply chains of most companies worldwide. Short-term and long-term effects such as "panic purchasing," work shortages, or limited supply are difficult to definitively evaluate when occurrences with a strong impact on the market but a low probability of materialization – also known as "black swan events" – occur. However, there are steps that your business may take to help in navigating a risk when a black swan appears.
- Create contingency plans: Start with scenario-planning strategies for different demand environments
- Mitigate supply shock: Work closely with existing suppliers while diversifying the supply base
- Manage demand volatility: Manage panic buying situations while taking on a responsible retailer role
- Make work safe: Invest in protective gear for supply-chain workers and communicate via apps to manage time, availability, and safety.
Web-Based Inventory Management
Web-based data is the way to be agile and transparent in the post-Covid Supply chain. Instead of relying on old and unreliable ERP, you need a powerful, flexible business management solution. You don't have to invest in servers or worry about IT costs and upkeep because SphereWMS is a completely hosted, web-based solution. Traditional warehouse management solutions need big, up-front investments, and we relieve you of IT problems.
At SphereWMS, we speak your language. Entrusting us with your warehouse management needs will enable your company to be flexible, configurable, and scalable. Our system is built by warehouse people for warehouse people, ensuring that our customer service is what sets us apart from our competitors.
Have a question? Need help? No worries. We're here to serve you, on the phone and in person. We staff our own help desk – that means no answering services, no off-shore technical support. For your convenience, we're available 24/7. With SphereWMS, you have peace of mind all the time. Contact us to learn more and get started.