The success of any business depends directly or indirectly on its supply chain. The supply chain is a sophisticated network that starts due to the demand raised by the customers. The entire chain covers the transformation of raw materials into the desired product and its delivery to the end-user.
You can estimate the importance of the supply chain by the stat that 79% of companies with an efficient supply chain have witnessed a higher revenue growth than their respective industry average. Thus, many companies had to improve their supply chains to achieve better results. An efficient supply chain also reduces the cost of delivery, which is one of the biggest challenges for any company.
However, all the statistics and facts related to supply chains came under scrutiny in 2020. The world saw the spread of COVID-19 in almost all parts of the globe. The world hadn’t seen a pandemic of such magnitude in a long time, and needless to say, it wasn’t ready to handle such a situation.
COVID-19 caused a significant blow to the economy of almost every country, and it may take even years to overcome this setback.
The lockdowns and many other restrictions imposed by the governments exposed the weakness in the global supply chains. Most of the companies relied on China and its neighboring countries due to the lower cost. Thus, the restrictions in these countries put the global supply chain in jeopardy.
However, with each passing month, it seems that many of these companies are already on the recovery path. The pandemic has made everyone aware of the problems that can arise again in the future. Thus, you should be ready to react and adapt to overcome these challenges.
While it is easy to point out the shortcomings, finding solutions to these challenges is a different story altogether. Here are seven ways to make your supply chains ready for the post-pandemic scenario.
1. Re-Evaluate Your Current Model
COVID-19 has brought forward the frailty in supply chains. Thus, it is high time that you to re-evaluate your supply chain from the very core. An efficient way to run these evaluations is to analyze the statistics of your performance in the past.
Once you spot the shortcomings in your existing model, it will be simpler and more efficient to adapt to new strategies.
2. Dispatch Tracking
If you are wondering what dispatch tracking is, then the answer is pretty straightforward. Dispatch tracking allows you to monitor or track the status of your delivery vehicles in real-time. Thus, it saves you from the efforts to contact your driver to know their whereabouts.
With dispatch tracking, you can easily track the current location of your vehicles, and also share the same with your customers to avoid unnecessary inquiries. You can keep an eagle eye on the progress of the shipment in real-time and take necessary actions if problems arise.
The other crucial advantage of using dispatch tracking is the ability to find optimized routes. Using optimized routes can result in faster shipments. You can also relay the information about the same to the drivers in real-time.
3. Emphasize On Real-Time Data
To get a better understanding of your supply chain and its performance, you should focus as much as possible on real-time data. Real-time data such as locations, routes, and states of your shipments can be extremely beneficial. You can smartly use an app to track fleets so that you are never short on data.
81% of supply chain experts believe analytics can significantly lower the landed cost. Thus, it makes these real-time statistics even more vital.
4. Prioritize The Safety Of Your People
Employees are the most significant asset of any organization. COVID-19 has once again underlined the issue of prioritizing the safety of the workers. The way you treat your employees can considerably affect their performance and productivity.
You should take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of your employees, even in the post-pandemic scenario. As the famous saying goes, “safety isn’t expensive, it’s priceless.” Investing in the well-fare of your employees will be beneficial for you in the longer run.
5. Automation Everything
Automation is an efficient way to reduce efforts and save time. In recent years, automation is finding its deserved place in various industries, and the supply chain is no different. You can automate simple activities such as tracking, computation tasks, and analyzing of data.
Automation, for one, reduces human error, which is quite common in logistics. Automating the basic tasks would also allow your force to work on other crucial activities.
6. Maintain A Healthy Supplier Base
As you have seen, a lack of suppliers can cause a significant disruption in your supply chain. You must maintain a healthy relationship with your current suppliers. You should recognize the suppliers that can still provide you with the goods when others can’t.
A healthy practice would be to have suppliers in different geographical locations. Working with more suppliers will lessen the risk of running out of options during an emergency.
7. Always Have A Plan B
The present scenario has taught a valuable lesson to everyone that businesses should always have backup plans. In business, the concept of business continuity plans is not a new one. You can devise these contingency plans by analyzing all the scenarios and their impacts on your supply chains.
You can also create an emergency center to operate primarily during times of crisis. These precautionary steps will help you tackle similar situations in the future.
A study reported that 63% of companies did not use any technology to track their supply chain performance. The figures are going to change drastically post this pandemic. With the latest technological advancements, from fleet tracking to edge computing, you can easily manage your supply chain.
Samsara is a leading Industrial IoT company that will help you achieve precisely that and much more. With the variety of services provided by Samsara, you can significantly improve the efficiency and sustainability of your business.