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supply-chain-management-best-practicesIf your job is to be in charge of supply chain management, you’re well aware that the “new normal” is that there is no normal.

Seems like forever since we saw anything resembling normal. Even though we don’t know what the post-pandemic “new normal” will look like, experts believe that whatever it is, it will be here to stay.

That’s great. So basically, be ready for anything? Well, not exactly.

The new reality is that companies can no longer make supply chain decisions based purely on economics. They need to factor in a variety of disruptions, including geopolitical events, weather and health problems. It’s a lot to take in, and many companies are having decision paralysis over it.

Where to Start

TechTarget put out a great article to help businesses focus in on where to start in setting up their new normal.

The article gives 7 best supply chain management practices to get your business on the right path amid COVID-19 panic buying, national lockdowns, sudden changes in buying priorities and shipping challenges:

  1. Set up supply command centers. Communication has always been important, but now it is mission-critical. Use technology to assess situations and accelerate your executive team’s ability to act on them.
  2. Run tabletop simulations to address business continuity issues. Determine the impact on your plan of action, should an area of the business become affected.
  3. Manage supply chain risk proactively. No more ‘reactive’ demand planning. Treat disruptions as the norm. Detect early warnings and position your business to sense and pivot seamlessly to offset situations like this.
  4. Explore supply chain regionalization. Consider ways to move more aspects of your supply chain closer to where a product is consumed. This can help reduce transit time, cut tariffs and bolster the appeal of products.
  5. Create resilient supply webs. How can you diversify your supply lines to reduce risk and ensure that you can scale up or down to feed your business, as disruptions hit?
  6. Understand suppliers. Take a deep-dive into the businesses you are counting on. Not just the usual suspects. Go into Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers with due diligence to analyze where products come from and how a pandemic or other crisis impacts the business on a holistic level.
  7. Create innovation labs. Get into cross-functional teams to identify how technology can strengthen your operational agility.

Supply Chain Management Solutions

Cloud-native supply chain solutions simplify the heavy legwork involved in setting up these strategies, including:

  • Collaboration both upstream with suppliers and downstream to customers
  • Deep-dive analysis behind cost factors like supplier constraints, political events, tariffs, large-scale weather impacts, etc.
  • Highly accurate forecasting for seasonal and regional demand; same or better service levels with 10-20% less inventory
  • Operational intelligence around order efficiency, replenishment and multi-echelon inventory optimization
  • Price optimization to right-size pricing strategy and maximize margins across entire assortments, locations and channels

More Resources

Let’s grab 15 minutes to talk about how these supply chain management solutions and strategies can position your “new normal”. We have supply chain experts on hand to share knowledge to improve your supply chain, keep your customers happy in the short-run and build resiliency in the long-run.

Follow this link to get started.