What Covid-19 teaches us about supply chains

By Johan Zandbergen | March 30, 2020
Johan Zandbergen

We can certainly say that we live in unprecedented times. The coronavirus affects us all in some way, shape or form. ChainPoint is no different in this respect, where all colleagues are working from home at the moment. However, ChainPoint’s teams are fully connected with each other and are able to work together to deliver the same, continued level of service our customers rely on.

At the same time, we see that the world as we know it is still turning. Even though our economy is facing uncertain times, companies are still moving on. Times like these can teach us valuable lessons about our global economy and how it affects our supply chains.

Inventories

Our current economy is based around efficiency and keeping companies lean, with reduced inventory and just-in-time delivery. While this lowers supply chain costs, it also leaves supply chains vulnerable to sudden, unexpected changes. We’ve seen this happening before, for instance after the 2004 tsunami or the 2011 Fukushima disaster.  This is most apparent in the electronics and technology industry. Since most of these products are manufactured in China and have lower inventory levels, we see that these industries are less resilient to these types of supply chain disruption than other industries. 

Flexibility of supply chains

Another lesson we can learn is that supply chains need to be agile in order to quickly adjust. This means that alternative suppliers need to be identified before a supply chain disruption takes place, so that connecting with other suppliers in times of need is both easier and quicker.  

Supply chain transparency

ChainPoint was founded to let companies know what’s going in their supply chain beyond their first tier. By having a transparent supply chain, companies can be better prepared for supply chain disruptions – again, it’s all about agility.

Supply chain management

All of the above challenges are impossible to manage without a solid supply chain management system. Even today, it’s common to see parts of supply chains being managed by nothing more than pen and paper, without any form of digitalization. The case for digitization has been made by us and others for many years. If there’s anything we’ve learned, it is to speed up this process as soon as possible.

 How can we help you?

Our team has been working for more than fifteen years with companies across multiple industries to improve, monitor and secure their supply chains. We want to share our expertise with you, and we invite you to ask us any questions you may have about supply chain transparency and visibility.

Contact us now

Posted in Covid-19, Supply Chains, Corona

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