So how’s your supply chain doing? If you ship or receive raw materials, parts or finished goods internationally, it’s probably seen better days. But, even if your suppliers and markets are more local, the COVID-19 pandemic, and its ripple effect, have meant more supply chain headaches than usual.
We can’t think of a more disheartening scenario for any commercial operation, B2B or B2C than to have to tell a client who’s ready to buy that you can’t deliver.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, supply chains have been under pressure from almost every angle. Border issues, production slowdowns, unavailability of parts and raw materials, even a scarcity of shipping containers, and ships stuck in the Suez Canal, have all conspired to compound many everyday supply chain issues into unprecedented disruptions around the world.
Why Supply Chain Disruption Makes Logistics a Key Competitive Advantage
If your supply chain is interrupted, your logistics are probably suffering too. Many companies are paying for warehouse space that’s empty. Transportation delays seem to be the rule, not the exception. So what have you done to address your recent logistics issues?
If you take a look at the near-term outlook for your supply chain, you should probably make logistics a higher priority than it already is.
Don’t expect the end of the pandemic to bring the end of your supply chain disruption. Many prognosticators are predicting a year or more before things get even close to ‘normal’.
Suppliers of a wide range of materials and goods are already warning clients about pending price increases due to supply chain issues. Shippers who can minimize the impact of disruptions on their price points, using more efficient logistics, will win the day.
Customers will only take ‘no’ for an answer for so long. Eventually, they will go wherever they can to get what they need to keep their operations running. When that happens, companies who aren’t managing their supply chain disruptions as best they can by prioritizing their logistics may face business interruptions.
How to Make Logistics Your Competitive Advantage
What do you need to do to turn your logistics into a competitive advantage as soon as possible? Here’s a shortlist.
Have Reliable Transportation Options
While all transportation modes—air, sea, rail, and road—face their own set of challenges, issues shift daily or weekly. When they take a positive turn, it’s important to be well-positioned to take advantage of it.
Improve Shipment Visibility
This is key to identify delays as they happen. But when you take it a step further and tie real-time shipment info into Available to Promise (ATP) processes, you can better anticipate and mitigate inventory management issues.
Monitor Container Imbalance
This is a big one. In many cases, raw materials, parts and finished goods are ready to go; shipping is on hand to transport them, but there are no containers available. Boots on the ground with major ocean shippers will give you a better understanding of shipping availability and container movement, and the ability to seize opportunities when they arise.
If you’re wondering just how your company will reliably acquire and manage these logistics, especially in the short-term, it’s easier than you think. By choosing reliable third-party logistics service providers, like PiVAL , you transform your logistics from a cost center to a competitive advantage.
If you enjoyed this post, check out our recent article “4 benefits of a Transportation Management System“.
What challenges are you currently facing that are disrupting your supply chain, ultimately impacting how you service your customers? My team and I are ready to help you optimize your supply chain. Contact me today to discuss how we can support your growth.