3. Look into alternate manufacturing methods
Some supply chains, along with their manufacturing processes are under serious threat or even in lockdown. Others may be recovering from the severe disruption since the COVID-19 outbreak and overwhelmed by demand.
It may be worthwhile looking into newer technologies. Where supply chains are digitally enabled, there is greater visibility in real-time. Therefore, a backup plan can be quickly deployed.
Unfortunately, many supply chains are not digitally enabled and have been shown to be less robust in times of great stress. However, technologies such as 3D printing, which can offer flexibility, agility and capacity may be worthwhile looking into. Other technologies like computer numerical control (CNC) can be used to replace parts that come from more heavily tooled industries.
Switching to a different manufacturing method could mean the difference in getting a part and getting on with business.
Those that are agile have adapted, shifted resources, and moved manufacturing to ensure continuity of supply. If a company is making critical equipment or consumables that are used in medical or testing processes, those supply chains need to be robust. And if something happens, they need to be able to adapt at lightning speed to ensure that a disrupted supply chain does not mean failure to deliver.
4. Substitute products just to get through
Another option for overcoming supply chain disruption is to launch new products. It’s a good idea to analyse customers’ purchase history and then choosing complementary or similar goods which will help them. For example, a business selling healthy meals online could start to sell health supplements like protein powders.
5. Keep a close eye on your stock levels
During these pressing times, many businesses usually avoid buying too much stock, however, the ‘just-in-time’ strategy doesn’t always work, especially when suppliers cannot ship the products due to lockdown.
It is important to understand the demand impact specific to your business and industry.
Businesses will need to prepare for potential channel shifts by checking where stock is moving most and redistribute.
It’s important to increase forecast early on to fast-track the right signals to manufacturing. Businesses will need to accept there may be shortages, so it’s recommended to continue to keep communicating to manage expectations.
Business Australia is on hand with a range of resources to help businesses navigate this difficult time, with practical advice and information to help you develop strategies to maintain and sustain. Visit our resource hub to find out more.