Disruptions to the supply chain can come in many forms: Natural disasters, transportation issues, cyber attacks, and of course, global pandemics.
Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic began, disruption has become the new normal. And with the resulting labor shortage and record-high gas prices, many businesses are still struggling to return to business as usual.
The key to a swift recovery is to always be prepared. Here are 6 tips you can rely on to overcome supply chain disruptions.
Rely on Your Contingency Plan
In the event of an emergency, your contingency plan is your best friend.
This is a plan you’ve created that lays out alternative steps in the supply chain. The goal is to minimize risk, disruption, and dissatisfaction from the consumer.
When creating this plan, consider alternate shipping routes, nearby suppliers, and different inventory options. Think about every “what-if” scenario you can imagine. While some of these events may seem unlikely, having a plan will save you from having to scramble at the last minute.
Prioritize the Customer
When disruptions occur, your ultimate goal is to make sure the customer is none the wiser. You should aim to deliver the same high-quality product at a reasonable time.
If the disruptions are so severe that you cannot fulfill these expectations, you should communicate with your customers as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Let them know the situation and how you plan to remedy it. You can even offer refunds, coupons, or some other incentive to keep them happy.
Keep Communication Open
While you’re managing a crisis, there are a lot of moving parts to juggle. The best way to stay on top of these responsibilities is to keep communication open and productive.
Stay in the loop with every element of your supply chain, including the production team, fulfillment sector, employees, and, of course, the customers. End-to-end visibility will keep everyone on the same page and working toward the same goal.
Conduct Regular Audits
Creating a supply chain is only the first step in a business plan. You also need to maintain it and check frequently for issues.
Conducting regular audits of your supply chain process is crucial because it can resolve vulnerabilities before they become major issues. With the information provided by an audit, you’ll know your investments are going toward the right improvements.
Build Back-up Inventory
When things are going well for your business, you should still always be preparing for the worst. One way you can do this is to build your backup inventory.
You should keep an amount of inventory that is just slightly over the amount regularly needed. That way, when there is a disruption to the production process, you can send out this backup inventory and minimize delays to the customer.
Learn From Past Disruptions
Finally, do your best to learn from this disruption and all disruptions you’ve already overcome. Thoroughly document the response procedure and remember areas that were particularly difficult.
Then, moving forward, you can update your contingency plan or any sector of the business in need of improvements. Learning from the past will help you recover faster the next time you face disruptions.
Trust a Fulfillment Partner to Minimize Disruptions
Managing a business is hard enough. Do you have a partner who can manage your fulfillment and distribution services in these difficult times?
Contact Cannon Hill Logistics to be your East Coast 3PL provider! For more than 35 years, we have helped small businesses by providing the tools and personalized services they need. Conveniently based in Frederick, Maryland, we can ship to half of the US population within two business days using ground transportation.
Call now to learn more! 800-822-4747