The COVID-19 crisis has caused tremendous disruptions across all industries. Even though the virus originated in the Wuhan city of China, it quickly turned into an epidemic and then, a pandemic. This not only created a situation of distress but also forced people to stay locked behind their doors, avoiding social gatherings.
The threat of getting exposed to the deadly virus compelled business organizations to shift to remote work culture. Though most of the industries have revised their infrastructure and work policy, there are a few who are still struggling to get their activities back on track. The supply chain and logistics industry are among these.
A survey conducted in March 2020 reveals that nearly 75% of the organizations agree to the fact that COVID-19 has had serious repercussions on the supply chain operations. Delayed deliveries and sudden changes in shipment activities are among the long-standing impacts of Coronavirus.
While the industry has been continuously working to minimize the effect of undertaking best practices, one thing that still goes untouched is what to avoid. Supply chain leaders are focusing on what they should do without paying heed to activities they need to stop, and stop it now.
Supply Chain Processes You Need to Stop Doing
- Predicting Demand Based on Traditional Processes
Long gone are the days when customers would purchase a new product out of wants. The ongoing pandemic crisis has a deep-rooted impact on the sentiments and the buying patterns of the customers. They purchase products that they need and are sustainable. Adhering to the traditional plans or the past purchase models to predict demand during the pandemic is worthless.
The alternative here is to understand the market as it goes and grows. It is important to sense the changing dynamics of the market along with the customer to reduce latency.
- Blend Collaborative Sales Forecasting
Remember when the marketer went crazy over the collaborative forecasting method decades ago? Yes, it did help them predict demand and keep their supply-production channel afloat. However, it was done when the world was not hit by any pandemic, and the customer\’s buying behaviors were predictable.
Time has changed and to an extent that nothing can be predicted. Relying on the collaborative sales forecasting method would only waste your time, rendering inefficient data and irrelevant insights. Here again, it is expected that the supply chain managers attune their strategies while assessing the market data continuously.
- Rely on Syndicated Data
To begin, syndicate data is the cumulative data gathered after studying and researching the market. Research firms undertake the job to study multiple clients and then come up with generic data that primarily is the congregation of product and retailer data. This data is then purchased by relevant businesses. A similar notion is adopted by supply chain managers.
Now syndicate data might still be relevant in understanding the market but fails to render optimal information when it comes to revenue management. The fact that the data lacks granularity and latency, they are not ideal for managing revenues. Instead, extracting information from the data lake and evaluating them to design strategies is a smarter solution.
- Have Elongated Payment Terms
For quite some time, the supply chain leaders have invested their time and efforts in the execution of processes that might benefit in the long run. However, these processes tend to have longer payment cycles. Given the ongoing crisis, having longer payment cycles isn\’t feasible and it is important to stop indulging in the processes involving third-party firms.
What\’s best here is to bridge the gap and get close to your suppliers. Connect with them and reduce the end to end payment flow through the dedicated supply chain management process.
- Seek Request for Proposal
Transportation RFPs is a standard protocol used by the supply chain and logistics industry to get a proposal from the transportation company. The company is expected to revert with the estimated value for the overall shipping needs. Now, this has been something important and relevant before. However, considering the uncertainty in shipment activities during the pandemic, seeking RFPs would only add to your problems.
It is advised to connect with the logistics company, get their standard pricing, and further, remain connected as long as the products are in transit. This will help get real-time updates and even modify the quotation is required. This will not only improve the supply chain operations but also add agility to it.
Having said that, it is pretty clear that unpredictability and uncertainty have taken its toll. While a few debates about the business activities post-pandemic, what\’s important now is focusing on the same during the pandemic. A similar perspective is required for the supply chain industry. Besides emphasizing activities that add to the uninterrupted operation of supply chain activities, knowing what to avoid will only contribute to the welfare and growth of the industry.