Reimagining Supply Chain Resilience After COVID-19

4 min read

Learn about:

  • How the Coronavirus Affected Supply Chains

  • Actions Supply Chains Had to Take

  • How to Develop a Resilient Supply Chain

Be it business or travel, the quick spread of COVID-19 affected global industries, prompting the heads of enterprises to review and re-evaluate the practicability of their activities. This was even more apparent for those in supply chain management, where there was a continuous challenge to guarantee the last-mile delivery of products and supplies.

Confronted by demand jolts, movement restrictions, and local and foreign shutdowns, companies' supply chains had to exhibit high reliability in erratic situations.

Many businesses were giving serious thought to the abrupt albeit temporary impact on their supply chains, with a focus on meeting their commitments. COVID-19 made companies smarter and pushed them to come up with strategies for supply chains, emphasizing enhancing supply chain resilience.

Actions Taken to Enhance Supply Chain Resilience 

During the crisis, six critical areas required immediate attention throughout the supply chain. These actions, which are still applicable today, should be taken in parallel with company measures to support employees and meet minimum standards:

  1. Establish Supply Chain Transparency:

    • Foster transparency across multi-level supply chains.

    • Compile a list of key components and identify sources of supply.

    • Develop contingency plans by pinpointing alternative sources.

  2. Evaluate and Optimize Inventory Levels:

    • Assess inventory on hand across the value chain, including spare parts and after-sales supplies.

    • Use inventory strategically to maintain continuous production and fulfill customer demand.

  3. Assess End-User Demand and Address Shortage-Buying Behavior:

    • Analyze practical end-user demand.

    • Manage or control shortage-buying behavior to stabilize customer demand.

  4. Boost Manufacturing and Distribution Capacity:

    • Ensure workforce security by providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

    • Collaborate with communication teams to share infection risks and offer work-from-home options.

    • Forecast current and future capacity levels in terms of staff and materials.

  5. Recognize and Strengthen Logistics Capabilities:

    • Evaluate logistics capabilities and expedite operations where necessary.

    • Increase flexibility in transportation to adapt to changing requirements.

  6. Manage Cash and Net Operating Capital:

    • Conduct stress tests to identify vulnerabilities where supply chain issues could cause financial damage.

    • Implement measures to optimize cash flow and manage net operating capital effectively.

Developing Supply Chain Resilience for Tomorrow 

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the vulnerabilities in global supply chains, emphasizing the need for a resilient and agile supply chain. To prepare for future crises, businesses must take proactive steps. The first step is establishing a dedicated supply-chain-risk management function responsible for evaluating risks, consistently updating risk-impact assessments, and monitoring recovery strategies. This team should regularly review and refine risk management processes to stay ahead of emerging threats.

Processes and tools designed during disaster response should be formally documented, and the focal point must oversee weak points in the supply chain constantly and dependably. Strengthening supplier collaboration is also important, as stronger supplier partnerships can help build a supplier ecosystem for increased resilience. Companies should develop shared contingency plans and transparent communication channels to manage disruptions effectively.

Digitization of supply chain management makes operations faster, more precise, and more flexible. By creating and consolidating a single source of facts, a digitized supply chain reinforces competencies in envisioning threats, enhancing visibility and coordination through the supply chain, and managing problems that arise from increasing product complexity. Predictive analytics can be leveraged to anticipate threats, identify vulnerabilities, and respond quickly.

How SupplyPike Can Help with Supply Chain Insight

Interested in improving your supply chain?

SupplyPike for Walmart helps suppliers save time by automatically harvesting shipping documents. Our shipping document integration then automatically performs validity checks on deductions and chargebacks, enabling suppliers to dispute invalid deductions automatically.

Track your revenue loss across multiple channels with SupplyPike's RevLoss Summary feature. The RevLoss Summary gives executive-level insights into the performance of your Walmart business, so that suppliers can not just avoid invalid deductions, but also continue to improve supplier performance. Schedule a meeting with a team member today to see if SupplyPike is right for your business.

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Written by The SupplyPike Team

About The SupplyPike Team

SupplyPike builds software to help retail suppliers fight deductions, meet compliance standards, and dig down to root cause issues in their supply chain.

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The SupplyPike Team



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