Supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic continue to make headlines across the nation. Over the last year and a half, consumers have experienced empty grocery shelves, long shipping times, and shortages of basic goods such as toilet paper, proving that the pre-COVID supply chain was not equipped to withstand pandemic-related hardships. To prevent future interruptions, many businesses and manufacturers are brainstorming ways to incorporate improved supply chain resilience strategies into their business models as they emerge from the pandemic.
Supply Chain Challenges
Prior to the pandemic, the supply chain process was mostly invisible to the average consumer. It was rare for major disruptions to occur, and if they did, they were in most instances mild and controlled before there was a real impact on the consumer. Fast forward to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 — the massive disruptions it caused have made the global supply chain a hot topic around the world, putting extreme pressure on enterprises to meet growing consumer demand while overcoming supply chain constraints, such as labor shortages. In order to build stronger supply chain resilience, companies need to work through and develop solutions to several new challenges:
- Material scarcity
- Increasing prices
- Challenging demand forecasting
- Port bottlenecks
- Evolving consumer behaviors
Technology for Supply Chain Resilience
Companies such as Procter & Gamble and Tesla are citing investment in technology enhancements as a key factor in boosting their supply chain resilience. By investing wisely in supply chain tech and technology-based initiatives, businesses can mitigate many of the challenges brought to a head by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some recommendations for technology initiatives to invest in include:
- An integrated control tower to ensure executives and managers have access to the many data flows across a logistics company’s operations.
- Efficient supply chain management platforms to enhance productivity and agility.
- Close collaboration with Information Technology (IT) leaders and executives to ensure proper implementation.
Traceability for Supply Chain Resilience
Along with investment in technology comes increased reliance on automation and digital processes throughout manufacturing organizations worldwide. As companies increase their digital usage, traceability is emerging as a key component for supply chain resilience.
Traceability is the ability to monitor or track the exact whereabouts of a product, from manufacturing to delivery to the customer. If a company can trace where and how products are moving through the supply chain, they can adjust their supply chain in real-time based on the data collected. Prioritizing traceability can bring numerous benefits— not only increased supply chain resilience, but also reduced waste and enhanced environmental, social, and governance focus.
Additionally, companies looking to enhance traceability in their supply chains can use plastic pallets from iGPS. Their internal RFID tracking technology makes them more traceable and readable by automated systems as they are moving through the supply chain.
In every industry across the supply chain, a stronger focus on resilience will be imperative to meeting demand and remaining competitive. Companies that invest in systems to build supply chain resilience have a better chance of weathering future crises and remaining viable in a post-pandemic economy.
Companies committed to supply chain resilience use iGPS plastic pallets for all their shipping needs. Our lightweight, recyclable plastic pallets can help track and trace loads and reduce your Total Cost of Business. For more information, contact us at 1-866-557-0047, email a specialist at [email protected], or visit our contact page.