How can supply chains manage COVID-19 risk?
Companies have to depend on foreign nations for sourcing raw material and other products that are essential in the production process. For this, they have a well-established trade route and supply chain system which in the light of the recent Corona pandemic has got severely disrupted. It has also brought to light all the vulnerabilities that organisations have to face which were not addressed earlier.
The first problem to arise was the sudden unavailability of goods which was faced by a majority of companies that were till now dependent on nations highly impacted by COVID-19. Halt in supply impacted getting adequate product used in factories which meant that production as well as meeting demand was no longer possible in the present scenario. Many companies had to eventually look for new avenues to find the necessary raw material and ensure that supply is not staggered despite the roadblocks.
The entire situation has been a huge learning lesson for all based on which a more agile and resilient supply chain practice needs to be designed. Some useful factors that can be kept in mind while working on the same are:
- Understand different environments and make a contingency plan so in future you have a strategy to work on if any such crisis arises.
- Diversifying the supply base in a sudden turn of events is by no means easy hence sort them out well in advance. This way you have something to fall back on and if your existing supply base is not operational you can rely on the other ones.
- In case, demand suddenly spikes or goes down, you must be able to manage it responsibly and deal with panic buying.
- Taking care of your workers is also an important component of assuring a good supply chain. You can even use technology like apps to ascertain their availability and ensure they have protective gears.
This opportunity has also paved the way for supply chains to be more flexible and come up with innovative solutions to meet present demand. Companies like L’Oréal have repurposed their production facilities to make hand sanitiser and another met the shortage of ventilator parts using 3D printing.
While the crisis still exists and we are adapting to the new normal, supply chains also have to do the same by being more resourceful. The outcome would completely change the way this sector functions and make room for more ingenious methods that would replace the old tried and tested way of functioning. To usher this new change, many new managers and regulators will have to step up and create a new model that would effectively meet supply dependencies.
This is also a great time for students to consider this field for a promising future that will bring growth and financial stability. You can easily enjoy a dynamic career with supply chain management courses Dublin that will help you in developing a fresh perspective on the entire system.