Whether it’s down to Brexit, the pandemic or the shortage of delivery drivers, many businesses are encountering supply chain disruptions at the moment and is having a huge impact on their profitability.
Even without these extreme circumstances, disruption challenges regularly occur as part of logistics. A transport lorry might break down, vital staff could be off ill, regulations may change in the country where your goods are being delivered to.
Freight Forwarder Advice
Managing disruptions is key not only in keeping customers happy but maintaining costs at a sustainable level. One small change in the supply chain can have a huge impact on everything else and create a situation that suddenly becomes chaotic and difficult to handle as different processes have a knock-on effect on others.
The decisions you make and the processes you put in place can make a huge difference in how you get through these difficult periods. Here are our top tips:
- Don’t Panic
It’s easier said than done but if you overreact it can lead to more issues and greater disruption. The dynamic nature of logistics chains means that even small alterations can have a significant impact and suddenly cause complete chaos. Businesses often make unnecessary interventions or implement procedures that are not needed because they are not keeping a calm head.
It’s been a steep learning curve for many businesses that export throughout the world in the last two years, particularly here in Britain where we have the additional challenge of Brexit. We’re still not back to normal with goods caught in ports and not getting to their destination.
It pays to have plans in place for handling disruptions so that staff are not caught off guard in the first place. This could include finding alternative partners in your supply chain and having a communication strategy with customers when things do go wrong.
- Working with Others
Perhaps more than any other business in the world, logistics requires close collaboration between different elements. Managing disruption should include building strong relationships which mean that you can share resources with third parties if needed to help ameliorate potential issues.
The big challenge with supply disruptions is the breakdown of communication. It’s easy to blame others but more profitable to work with your partners to find solutions. It’s critical for supply managers to be as flexible as possible and to reach out and communicate as much as possible.
Creating short-term forecasts can help you anticipate what is around the corner. These also allow you to develop plans that could help mitigate issues and get your goods delivered sooner rather than later.
Some of the areas to focus on include how you get financing if things go wrong, what options you have to keep your goods on the move and the systems and infrastructure you have in place that may help to protect you from future supply chain disruptions.
There’s no doubt that we are currently in very challenging times. Working with others and keeping those lines of communication open is essential for all businesses, as is being able to respond quickly to changing environments.