It ’ s just a perfect storm of problems . In the past , we may have had one of these problems and the rest of the supply chain could figure a way around it . We can ’ t do that now . That ’ s why I describe what ’ s happening as chaos . Not disruption . Chaos .”
What Can We Do ?
“ Disruptions are ongoing and somewhat unpredictable but planning now and changing the way we do business will position companies to take advantage of those disruptions in the future , and gain market share ,” says Moyer .
Given that many of the supply chain issues are baked into the system , what can logistics providers do ? Moyer advises getting as much visibility of the whole process as possible : “ When I look at the supply chain issues of today , I believe the root cause is that most companies lack visibility and measurements in their supply chain . What they need is a Control Tower – a way to gain full visibility all the way from the manufacturing of the goods through every leg of the supply chain . That way everyone along the way can spot disruptors in real time and adjust . So , if manufacturing is ahead or behind in their schedule , those picking up the goods can modify their schedules and judge the impact on their warehouses and ultimately how and when they will be able to deliver goods to their destinations . Having real-time systems that are linked to all of your stakeholders , monitors weather , and industry issues ( including labor and bottlenecks ) will help everyone in the supply chain to plan accordingly . This will allow optimization of every component in the supply chain . If you have that Control Tower you can optimize everything from your agreements to your scheduling , insurance , inventory control , placement of facilities and adjust as needed and keep your customers informed . Creating a pro-active culture and solution is an investment and provides a distinct advantage and ROI .”
Hill points to the human side of the equation when it comes to coping with disruptions in the supply chain : “ Partnerships matter . Providers need to do business with people who are like-minded . They must do business with people they trust and know they can depend upon . This is the time where service wins and good partnerships are how you provide a high level of service . The world relies on those of us who make the supply chain work and we need to work together to make that happen .”
When it comes to providing the best service , Hill says that communications are key . “ Many of these disruptors will be with us for a very long time and if we ’ re going to keep our customers it ’ s going to be all about communication . Communication skills are the key to delivering good service , no matter what disrupts the process . And when those things hit , servicing the client may include having to tell them that something ’ s not going to happen . Providers will need to be honest when something ’ s gone wrong and offer solutions to the customer how they ’ ll take care of it .”
Lastly , Moyer advises that everyone in the supply chain will need to evaluate how they do things . “ We ’ re going to have to streamline operational strategy at every stage of the supply chain ,” he says . “ That will include improving manufacturing and inventory control , evaluating carrier relationships , searching out vendor management solutions , modifying demand requirements and focusing on workplace environments . Companies will need to invest in their people , artificial intelligence , automation and analytics to find creative solutions to streamline tasks , improve forecasting , gain visibility and improve efficiency . These are complex issues and companies must put strategies in play today and not just hope that the issues will resolve themselves . They won ’ t .”
Opportunity From Chaos
Hill concludes his observations about disruptions in the supply chain on a positive note . “ There are always opportunities created by chaos ,” he says . “ Find the right opportunity and look for ways to make the most of it . There will always be storms and those that figure a way to make the most of them will come through stronger .” CLDA
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46 customized logistics & delivery Magazine spring 2022