What a time to be alive! The White Sox & Cubs are both now at full capacity seating for the first time in over a year, and businesses are returning to whatever “normal” will be after COVID. It’s not all good news though. In the last year Chicago lost nearly 400 businesses, and several that have opened up aren’t experiencing the good fortune for which they had hoped.
According to the Wall Street Journal, one Chicago bike store’s sales are down 10% from last year as a direct result of “overloaded ports” causing delays in their ability to get supplies. Even Starbucks is experiencing supply shortages in the Chicago area. On top of that, beef & pork prices are on the rise, not only because of COVID but because of a cyber-attack on JBS, the largest meat processor in the country.
The CEO of The Dialogic Group said in an interview recently, “Current supply chains are in various states of improvement – but not at the pace of change needed to accommodate the integration of physical and digital retailing. Supply itself is challenged.”
Things are changing faster than they ever have before. At this point, creating efficiencies has never been more important. Those who are looking for ways to increase the efficiencies of their supply chain need to do one of two things:
It’s obvious, but it’s often neglected. Paperwork and tracking orders and submitting POs is extremely time consuming. Developing a good management process and having the right technology can help with automation to make the process more smooth.
Finding new ways to do more with less is vital. Consumers are now very interested in where products are coming from and how they are being transported, and you should be as well. This is one more way to increase your value and decrease waste.
Sanitation & safety in the process is also more important than ever. The supply chain needs to be set up well to establish efficiencies, but visibility in this regard can also help locate and mitigate risks from a safety breakdown.
To accomplish these two keys to efficiency, adaptability will be important. As Chicago is experiencing, even positive expanding of a customer base can create issues in efficacy and end up costing your business money.
Collaborate with vendors who are offering warehousing, transportation, and technologies that are specifically designed for your business needs. Make sure they specialized in visibility, and you can even grow from their knowledge and experience to overcome, say, a worldwide pandemic.