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The Pandemic Had a Positive Impact on Supply Chain Innovation

November 10, 2020 | Staffing Blog

It’s true that the pandemic has presented many challenges for businesses worldwide, and those in the supply chain are not excluded from that strain. When the initial shock of COVID-19 first hit, most reacted with the hope that things wouldn’t get worse. Now that it’s clear that the end isn’t happening anytime soon, the supply chain is needing to address it’s weak links, and fast. Though this virus is presenting extreme challenges to the supply chain which currently feel negative, the harsh wake-up call is also providing a positive opportunity for innovation and growth. Company managers are undergoing deep analysis to find ways to minimize risks and determine whether they should find alternative solutions for their current supply resources.

Eliminating Weak Links

As supply chain managers have begun examining their contracts with suppliers, they have been able to uncover weak links within their processes that they likely wouldn’t have noticed otherwise. In turn, though devastating, it’s also glaringly apparent where changes must occur.

Examples of necessary changes include:

  • Full transparency between companies within the supply chain.
  • Complete digitalisation of all processes.
  • Full data visibility through updated technology.
  • New technology tools to assist with cash flow shrinkage.

These things are easier said than done, however. It will take a lot of time to see such changes come to fruition. More consideration needs to be taken to assess risks and come up with strong plans of attack. A recent survey conducted by Refinitiv found that only “50 percent of companies are doing due diligence on their suppliers” suppliers and about the same percentage claim to understand the extent of the effect those suppliers have on their suppliers’.

Stronger Preparation for The Future

As supply chains become aware of their weak links, they will slowly but surely find ways to become better prepared for a future crisis like we have experienced with COVID-19. Private supply chain companies already have playbooks to turn to when disruptions occur in their network. To effectively manage within the supply chain you must always have a plan ready if it so happens that your source of supplies is no longer accessible. Yet, what is happening now is far beyond what anyone has planned for, and that is what is currently being examined and addressed.

We are taking one step at a time, currently focusing on the shortages caused by the public’s increase in demand of specific goods. For example, we are seeing shortages in COVID-19 test kits as the public’s need for testing continues to increase. Demands are also surging for medications such as hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, which are said to be possible treatments for the virus. Certain strategies may allow the possibility of extending the supply we have. “For example, the federal government or pharmaceutical companies could extend drug expiration dates if appropriate, or scientists could develop methods to test multiple people using the same kit.”

It All Comes Back to Data

The more that supply chains can become transparent, the better they will be able to adapt to the hit of such a catastrophic crisis. This means many companies need to embrace new digital approaches so they can effectively analyze data. This will take some time, but it’s evident that companies are beginning to understand and embrace that digital technologies will allow them to better understand and strengthen their supply chain as a whole.

We Are Here For You

Is your company adopting and adjusting to new technology advancements in response to COVID-19? If so, you may need to hire staff who have more specific experience. Allegiance Staffing has years of experience staffing supply chains, and we can help you find people who are already trained and prepared for your new technological advancements so you can minimize training time and get right to work. Give us a call today!