The effects of the pandemic on the supply chain revealed that manufacturers cannot overprepare for the unexpected. Most manufacturers struggled with material shortages while freight carriers grappled with increased demand. With so much happening at once, it’s time for manufacturers to have a plan that controls for the variable of supply chain disruption.
Pre-pandemic supply chain assessment relied on cost and performance. However, the pandemic highlighted the importance of a resilient and agile framework. According to a report from Gartner, 87% of the supply chain leaders plan to invest in resilience in the coming two years. Here are other critical actions that supply chain leaders need to consider going forward.
1. Stay Educated
Supply chains have been more reluctant to adopt digital transformation compared to other industries. However, this reluctance exposed many in the supply chain to the widespread disruption of the effects of the pandemic. It also revealed the need for transformation to enable the supply chain to respond to dynamic situations accordingly.
Manufacturers need to adopt management strategies that optimize operations and control costs. Staying updated on consumer behavior, market trends and supply network performance are essential for efficient planning.
Operational strategies should also draw from real-time data.
The pandemic also disrupted delivery schedules and caused unprecedented delays, leading to customer dissatisfaction. It shifted customer preference to real-time tracking of their shipment to avoid inconveniences. Shipment tracking also gives the manufacturers valuable insights into the supply chain’s performance.
2. Plan Ahead
To navigate these challenging times, manufacturers need to adjust their planning strategies. The earlier businesses discover that pre-covid forecasting models cannot work anymore, the better. Additionally, the current situation will have a lasting effect on customer behavior and supply chain mechanisms.
The surest way ahead is to adopt market forecasting plans based on real-time data. There is also the need for increased supply chain visibility to enable quick decision-making. Still, customer behavior fluctuations and additional disruptions may make forecasting even harder. Therefore, flexibility will be a critical factor in planning moving forward.
More than ever, relationships with other players in the supply chain are crucial in a manufacturing business environment. Exchange of data with carriers and vendors can bring a lot of insights into the market and allow manufacturers time to adjust. Involving the whole supply chain in decision-making also enhances services that could benefit all parties.
3. Stay Calm and Budget Accordingly
One of the main effects of the pandemic on the supply chain was increased online shopping. A Price Waterhouse Cooper report indicated that 86% of consumers who pivoted to online shopping are planning to continue to do so after the pandemic. The numbers also point to three things not changing following the pandemic:
- No drop-off in product demand
- High demand for freight capacity
- Continually higher operational costs
Given operational cost projections, budgeting strategies will likely shift. Pre-pandemic, many manufacturers’ budgets spanned a 12-month period. Longer-term budgeting strategies are now recommended.
Manufacturers need to optimize operation strategies and draw budgets based on contingencies. Plan to cut operational costs when the generated revenue does not meet expectations and identify investment opportunities when it goes the other way. It will channel the scarce resources to the most valuable outcome in the long run.
Budgeters also need to develop a risk-management mindset and identify vulnerabilities in the supply chain to create quick and efficient fixes.
Manufacturers need to partner with an organization that understands how to help them navigate supply chain challenges to find the best way to ship their products on schedule. England Logistics offers reliable temp-controlled less-than-truckload (LTL) freight logistics services for frozen and refrigerated goods.
The England Logistics Temp-Controlled LTL division offers a range of services to best fit your needs. Our tailored loads and 24/7 customer service will guarantee your refrigerated shipment will arrive in an efficient and timely manner. By offering reliable support, coast-to-coast services and competitive rates, the England Logistics team is prepared to get your loads where they need to go.