Although the supply chain could often be precarious even before the pandemic, the events that have unfolded since March 2020 have only made these pre-existing issues more drastic.
In fact, the large-scale disruption we’ve seen to the global supply chain is unprecedented. There have been shortages in nearly every industry, from medical equipment to lumber to electronic parts.
Small businesses have learned that in order to survive these tumultuous times, they must learn and adapt. Going forward, here are 3 important supply chain lessons we can learn from the Covid-19 pandemic:
Don’t Underestimate Virtual Elements
Even before the pandemic, the reliance on virtual business practices was rapidly increasing. But it was still understandable for small businesses to overlook the importance of virtual communication and digital accessibility.
This is no longer the case. The pandemic made customers even less willing to go to physical stores, and so they turned toward online shopping and curbside pick-up programs instead. These digital programs helped small businesses reach their customers even during a time of crisis.
Small businesses should expect this trend to continue. Investing in a way for customers to interact with your products virtually will be hugely beneficial in the future.
Maintain & Diversify Partnerships
The pandemic also taught small businesses the importance of maintaining partnerships with a diverse range of suppliers.
In the supply chain, this diversification is also known as parallelization. Basically, this means creating numerous pathways to connect your manufacturers and your customers. This prevents a total supply chain shut down if just one link stops functioning.
While diversity in suppliers is important, loyalty is also helpful. If you step away from trusted vendors during difficult times, don’t expect them to be available when things start looking up again. Chances are, they found other partnerships to sustain themselves.
On the other hand, maintaining strong partnerships with every part of your distribution chain can only stand to benefit you in time.
Prioritize Long-Term Resilience Over Short-Term Strategies
For a while, short-term strategies have dominated the business world. This is also sometimes called “just-in-time” manufacturing, which maximizes profits and efficiency.
However, as the pandemic showed us, these supply chain strategies do not prove to be resilient during global disasters.
Moving forward, businesses should consider supply chain maintenance which prioritizes long-term sustainability. Business owners should consider potential disruptions not as improbable events, but rather as inevitable in our precarious world.
Trusted East Coast Logistics Company
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We offer a wide range of economical fulfillment services to meet your specific distribution needs. From warehousing to fulfillment, we’ve got you covered. Located in Frederick, Maryland, we can reach half the US population in just 3 days!