Overcoming Supply Chain Challenges Amid the COVID-19 Crisis
It’s been nearly a year since the world’s supply chain came to a grinding halt due to COVID-19, and while much of the global business infrastructure is back up and running, things are still far from normal. Uncertainty within the supply chain is a brand’s worst nightmare, but that’s what COVID-19 brings. Even after a year of playing catchup and learning how to deal with the pandemic on the fly, no one is really sure exactly what comes next.
The truth is, we may never find our way back to the old way of doing things so understanding our new normal becomes even more important. Anvyl’s latest white paper, How COVID Changed Supplier Management, discusses key understandings around how COVID-19 has changed supplier management and ways brands should engage with their suppliers to ensure they get what they need to maximize the value of their relationship.
Relationships Move Mountains
No matter how tight a ship you run, in a time of crisis the success of your supply chain really comes down to two things – your suppliers and the relationships you’ve built with them. Of course all of the tactical planning and backup plans are critical, but when the next crisis comes can you count on your suppliers to deliver? If they need to make tough choices themselves, do you know where you stand in the priority line?
This is where relationship building is crucial. Whether you think you’re a big fish or you’re just happy to be swimming in the pond, you’ll find out how important you are to your suppliers when things get tough. Who is taking your calls and calling you back? How quickly are your issues getting addressed? Spending extra time working with your suppliers as people rather than another cog in the wheel can reap major benefits down the line.
Supply Chains are Made of People
Sure, there’s the conveyor belts, manufacturing machinery, packaging, ships, planes, trucks, and all of those mechanical elements but at the end of the day supply chains are made up of people. Just like you have to plan for your staff should a crisis arrive, your suppliers need to do the same. Because any crisis that impacts your supplier’s people is going to impact you too.
Work with your supplier to get a better understanding of their People Plan – are they following COVID-19 protocols? If there is an outbreak at their factory, what is their contingency plan? If the people familiar with your manufacturing run become ill, how can they ensure your product is run correctly? Machines can be quickly fixed or replaced; people cannot. If you aren’t sure how to implement the audit process, we’ve got you covered!
Don’t Skip Supplier Audits
Suppliers who are committed to improvement and providing the best service possible will have no problem taking part in an audit – and you should be sure you do so. The first step to better supplier management is understanding their strengths and weaknesses so you can manage your own expectations and implement a plan to address any issues.
For more information on how Anvyl helps businesses improve almost every aspect of their supply chain management – including our own list of audited and ranked supplier recommendations updated to reflect performance during the pandemic – download our latest white paper.