Global supply chain disruption due to the pandemic continues to cause havoc: 94% of Fortune 1000 companies are experiencing supply chain disruptions from COVID-19. It’s so bad that over half of these businesses had to downgrade growth outlooks due to the pandemic. And in 2022, e-commerce fulfillment providers aren’t quite out of the woods yet; we’re anticipating a number of continuing supply chain shocks to complicate supply chain management in the new year.
That said, there are steps that you can take to prevent letting these supply chain troubles cause damage to your business.
Step 1: Be Proactive with Customers
The fact is that only 21% of consumers are willing to forgive retailers for service disruptions due to COVID-19. That means that you’ll have to compensate for these delays in other ways—with the easiest option being to provide a superior customer service that sets realistic delivery dates and also is quick to respond to any and all complaints.
Step 2: Be Ready for the Supply Shock
There will be pent up demand and it will not be able to match supply: that means trying to stockpile goods whenever possible in anticipation of this demand surge.
Step 3: Refocus on Products and Prices
Inflation has driven prices up and products will continue to be difficult to get a hold of, but if your business can be one of the few to acquire much-wanted products at prices consumers find favorable, there exists great opportunity for growth.
Step 4: Beware of Fraud
Desperate times call for corners to be cut. That means that we’re likely to see an increase in supplier fraud. In other words, maintain best practices when it comes to due diligence even in these difficult times.
Step 5: Be Early
There may be a chain reaction whereby many businesses try to over-order products in anticipation of supply shocks, putting pressure on manufacturers. You want to balance ordering the right amount without overacting, while also not being left out in the cold as one of the few providers without a desirable product. This takes strong market knowledge to be executed correctly.
Step 6: Invest in Inventory Management
The single best way to counteract the supply chain crisis and resultant pressures on order fulfillment is to invest in superior supply chain management which yields efficiencies that can help counteract these strained conditions.
Step 7: Upgrade and Innovate
There are new technologies in the supply chain management sector that can help your business better respond to these difficulties (like fully electronic warehouse management systems, for instance). Upgrading and not being afraid of innovation in these areas can help your e-commerce fulfillment business better weather these trying conditions.
Step 8: Recalibrate Your Supply Chain
Stability and reliability are the name of the game during COVID-19: focus on these goals.
Step 9: Quantify
Use the data available to make more informed decisions about how much supply you’ll need versus over- or under-ordering.
Step 10: Prioritize Gaps
There are gaps in your operations that can be eliminated: prioritize these and cut them, making your business that much more efficient.
Step 11: Integrate Planning
Both demand and supply planning should be fully integrated to be maximally efficient and prevent the aforementioned issues of over-ordering or being undersupplied.
Step 12: Have Business Continuity Plans in Place
The fact is that you can’t account for every single issue caused by the supply chain crisis. Rather than try to anticipate every need that these rapidly changing conditions produce, you’re better off building overall business continuity plans that can account for both major and minor disruptions to your normal business operations, like having redundant shipping options or storage space in the even of closures.
Get in touch with APS Fulfillment today and one of our consultants will tailor a fulfillment plan that will help grow your business. To book a consultation, call (954) 582-7450 or email [email protected].