Coronavirus is a wake-up call for supply chain management. Many organizations did not heed the warnings of the recent natural disasters in the last decade, and as a consequence, suffered extreme supply interruptions when the devastating Covid-19 pandemics struck. However, the virus has now been contained in the Asia/Pacific region and no major outbreak has been reported.
Unfortunately, there is no way to completely protect against a disaster like this. However, by taking the right steps, organizations are able to reduce their risks and increase their chances of avoiding these disasters. Here are some of these steps that organizations need to take in the face of an outbreak:
– Reduce the number of personnel involved in the supply chain. It’s quite common for people to be in charge of different aspects of a supply chain. People responsible for manufacturing, transportation, processing, and sales should all be kept at a very high level. When possible, they should be separated so that everyone involved is aware of what is going on in every stage of the chain. In addition to reducing the overall number of people involved, this also minimizes the risk of any one individual stepping out of line with regard to the company’s policies and procedures.
– Regularly review the procedures of your manufacturing and shipping processes. Any deviations from the set rules or even from the standards laid down by your suppliers should be immediately corrected. This will help you manage risks in a more effective manner.
– Strengthen the activities of your sales and distribution activities. All your activities should be able to support your customers. For example, if you’re a manufacturer of clothing, then you should ensure that your distribution centers are available and that your sales staff is prepared to offer the best service to customers. Similarly, if you’re a manufacturer of electronics, then you should make sure that your sales and distribution units are stocked with the latest versions of your products and that your customers have the means to purchase them. Otherwise, the entire network of your manufacturing unit could be rendered ineffective.
Organizations that can withstand natural calamities or crises are those that manage to respond to the crisis quickly and effectively. A strong supply chain can help you avoid this problem and can help to minimize the financial loss associated with such situations. A disaster, of course, is just an unfortunate thing that happens, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should abandon your production processes or the supply chain.