Weather events and port issues have caused major disruptions in the global supply chain. Tom Merritt gives us five ways to deal with it.
Global supply chains are in shock. Port shutdowns, volatile and unpredictable buying patterns, unfortunate weather events, fires and more have thrown the system well out of whack. It won't last forever, but it won't end soon.
SEE: Disaster recovery and business continuity plan (TechRepublic Premium)
So here are five tips for dealing with supply chain disruptions.
- Be flexible. Have backup plans for your backup plans when unexpected disruptions happen. I can't tell you what disruptions will happen and when, but it's a pretty good bet there will be disruptions. It might be wise to maximize for continuity not revenue for now.
- Adapt to customer preference now. Harness your data and overall trends to change the way you think about what products you make available. Pre-2020 sales trends are of limited use in predicting current demand.
- Plan ahead. Order what you're certain you need earlier than you think you should. Work with suppliers more than you think you should to make sure they have continuity and backup plans. And manage customer expectations.
- E-commerce will probably remain high. Try to get ahead of the pressure on fulfillment. If you can stop having separate channels for store and e-commerce fulfillment, make it happen.
- Get ready for returns. Reduced availability means more people will make pressured purchases online where they can't see exactly what they're buying. Get prepared for returns, so you can get them back on the shelves and up for sale fast.
Now more than ever adaptability and flexibility are in demand.
If you want more information and advice, be sure to read Esther Shein's article, Global supply chain issues will impact the holiday shopping season.
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