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As the spread of the novel Coronaviral (COVID-19) expands, the pandemics affects of social distancing and lockdowns will take its toll on the economy and our livelihoods. In these times access to basic and essential goods becomes vital. And a as a result, the supply chain is in sharp focus.
Though it is difficult to predict the exact consequences of coronavirus, Gartner indicates that organizations might begin to see impacts across the supply chain, including:
But how does one ensure that their supply chain is robust enough to safeguard their operational viability, while ensuring they protect their workers’ safety? McKinsey provides a great framework with which to tackle the current and potential future challenges. But the common thread is having line of sight of your entire value chain.
Based on the above recommendations, we uncover the key areas one should look at when prepping the supply chain for a disaster such as COVID-19.
Having a consistent supply of raw material and components is imperative. The ability to source and secure critical supplies is vital to creating the basic product and meeting your commitments. Tight relationships and constant communication will help weather the storm. However, having a ‘Plan B’ for alternative sourcing won’t hurt.
When distribution and travel is restricted, ensuring that your routes are perfectly optimized is vital. Having a clear understanding of who is available, what routes are active, and what the retailer needs, and expectations are. An agile fleet will be able to keep a constant supply of goods are delivered and available to shelved.
The number one rule for Consumer Goods brands is keep your stock on the shelf. Brand loyalty plays very little part in the decision set – availability is king. With restricted field force movements, retailers are curbing the number of merchandisers on the floor. Brands need to be smarter at how they predict stock levels at merchant level. Access to EPOS data in real time enables the brand to better predict demand and ensure the supply is available.
FMCG companies should leverage the efforts to digital transform the sales and operations within their route to market and combine the end result retail transactional data to gain clear line of sight of the entire supply chain. In so doing, these supply chains can offer true Just in Time production and delivery by understanding consumer buying patterns and adapting in real-time to any changes and fluctuations.