Supply chains across the globe have been disrupted. World economies are shrinking as nature gives out a stern message to mankind! Did any forecasting models pickup this unprecedented turbulence we are facing today(#COVID19)?

While the information flows within Supply chains are intact, money and material flows are severely impacted. Certain products have a sudden spike in demand while others have a sudden fall. It is a similar situation on the supply side; excess inventory of certain goods while we have severe shortages for others.

Most people started questioning the much talked about concepts of supply chain management like Lean, JIT, Outsourced manufacturing, etc. which were considered innovations at some point. There is this debate about whether Supply chains should be lean or agile or both. Demand and Supply variations are headwinds for any organization’s supply chain and most of it could be beyond their control. Many large enterprises have failed due to supply chain issues.

Having worked on many supply chain implementations across the globe, we have learned a lot from our experiences. We have seen what had worked and what did not. So, How do we build efficient supply chains that can be resilient? How do you vaccinate your supply chains so that they can withstand disruptions due to such pandemics or natural calamities?

Our prescription is simple.. it is a three-stage booster dose:

Booster 1: Create End to End visibility & Enhance collaboration.

All departments within your organization should have a unified view of all the plans within your organization.

There should be a seamless, reliable and transparent collaboration between all the stakeholders including your distributors and suppliers.

Regular cadence meetings to review market dynamics and internal constraints.

Booster 2: Implement Early Warning & Control Systems (EWACS) within your supply chains.

Large volumes of data are being generated every single day. This needs to be put to use for building prediction and prescription analytical models.

Setup standard KPIs across business departments and track anomalies in real-time. Run what-if scenarios to constantly evaluate the expected outcome.

Whenever anomalies are detected, quickly constitute task forces, empower them to make smart decisions like strategic sourcing, demand realignment, etc. that can minimize business impact.

Booster 3: Simplify your processes

Entangled business processes mean so much bureaucracy and so much more delay in decision making. Always stick to simplified/standard business processes and remove any unwanted process overheads.

Automation of all possible repetitive tasks so that focus can be qualitative actions

Periodically evaluate and refresh your core processes like new product introductions, network optimizations, planning, etc. for any further improvements based on industry best practices.

IT applications have a major role to play in keeping your supply chains nimble and resilient. They act as enablers helping in your preparedness. New generation Enterprise Performance Management solutions like Jedox have many great features and when implemented can truly help organisations be prepared for such disruptions.