Supply Chain New Normal - What Will It Be?

How coronavirus has changed supply chain operations

Supply Chain Coronavirus New Normal

A peek into what supply chains will look like going forward
by Eric Gough

The coronavirus crisis has led to an unprecedented disruption in supply chains worldwide. In fact, it would be more apt to say that the virus outbreak has shut down logistics networks in their entirety.

Whether you like it or not, the coronavirus crisis has introduced new norms that are here to stay. Social distancing is not just imperative, it is critical for life. Logistics networks and supply chain partners now have to take scrupulous care to minimize the risk of infection.

Businesses and their customers are slowly waking up to a new reality – a surreal dystopia shattered by a lethal virus. Hardly anyone saw it coming.

But now that it is here and apparently in no mood to go away any time soon, businesses and their customers must adapt accordingly. They should know that these changes will remain the norm for a time span much longer than what they imagined.

Here are the trends and upheavals that are occurring due to the crisis.

The End of Outsourcing?

America had been outsourcing almost all of its production to foreign countries, especially China, to cut costs and remain competitive. However, the environment has changed drastically and overseas outsourcing has become a major risk factor to production and supply chain performance. It is likely that production of goods of all kinds, especially PPEs, pharmaceuticals and safety equipment will swing back to the US.

Ecommerce

Ecommerce has been on the rise well before covid-19. But with the current crisis, even those who preferred shopping at brick-and-mortar stores will now shift most of their shopping towards online ecommerce sites. Retailers and entrepreneurs must take note of this disruptive trend and adapt fast to remain relevant and competitive.

Inventory Control

Investing in inventory software is now the need of the hour since it provides greater agility and a faster fulfillment process to businesses. This is necessary because the covid-19 crisis has resulted in vast stocks of unsold items. This software will show its full worth once lockdowns ease and consumer confidence begins to recover.

Before the crisis, businesses of all shapes and sizes had been working frantically to reduce their inventory size and in particular their safety stock. Now it seems that businesses will have to reconsider their inventory policies for unanticipated upheavals that last for months.

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Operational Procedures

Operational procedures have changed dramatically and they will likely become more stringent to mitigate the risk of infection. Essential life-saving measures like wearing hand gloves and face masks may be passed into law. Businesses must anticipate these legalities and prepare diligently in advance so that such safety measures have little to no effect on their procedures. In fact, they should act proactively and implement such safety measures on their own without waiting for the government. Sadly, this is not happening everywhere as evidenced by retailers for instance, who are still serving customers without gloves and masks.

Barcode Printers and Scanners

Businesses must invest in state-of-the-art logistics equipment like barcode printers and scanners to ensure high throughput and productivity even during the coronavirus crisis. Given the low demand that businesses are facing, they must cut down operational costs to maximize profit margins. Barcode printers and scanners can help logistics networks and businesses to remain competitive even during these tough times.

Here at MIDCOM we have the newest technology of thermal barcode printers and mobile barcode scanners for supply chains new normal. Talk to one of our Specialists now at (800) 643-2664. We are here to help!

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