Managing Logistical Challenges During a Time of Crisis
Since the beginning of the global pandemic the impacts on supply chain efficiency have been significant. Here's some tips on logistic management.
One of the biggest issues that has faced the AV industry during COVID-19 have been delays in lead times for product shipments, especially for those manufactured overseas. Manufacturing facilities were working at a reduced capacity, if at all, and courier services were suddenly under increased pressure as the world stopped overnight.
During these unprecedented times technology, specifically AV, has never had exposure like this before, according to Donald Stuart, Managing Director at Integrator – Electrosonic. Highlighting the importance of managing logistical challenges while demand for AV equipment is high.
Control What’s in Your Control
While most businesses operate using the “just-in-time” inventory and delivery model to improve supply chain fulfillment and reduce costs associated with holding unnecessary stock, Lee Distad, Business and Finance writer, advises that during these times you simply have to “do what you can.” This may mean ordering a few weeks or months more than normal to avoid out of stocks while shipments are delayed, ensuring your business can continue operating as best it can.
Whether you’re an inventory manager or buyer, for retail or AV install, managing expectations and building supply chain resilience has never been more important, according to Spend Matters.
As the AV industry begins to re-emerge from the pandemic, logistic delays may still be occurring. Clear communication with suppliers and distributors as well as providing realistic timelines is key to managing supply chain expectations. This also allows your network to plan accordingly and pre-order what they need.
Diversify Your Supply Chain
According to the Harvard Business Review, the most obvious way to address supply chain and logistical challenges during this time is to avoid the heavy dependence on a single source for supply chain services. This may range from a single manufacturer, supplier or region.
With a large reliance on the Asian market to supply Australia with certain AV equipment, shifting to a “plus one” strategy is recommended to inventory managers to help distribute pain points, according to Harvard.
While they acknowledge that some electronics and other technical goods may be harder to source away from the Asian market, they encourage diversifying the areas you can. This will help mitigate future risk also.
While challenges may be more present now than before, as the world begins to re-open, supply chain management and logistics will return to ‘normal’. Being prepared and taking action now will help reshape your inventory control for future risks while also increasing both resilience and responsibility.
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