Supply Chain Management: Preparing for a Second Wave

Companies across the world have suffered due to the disruption of supply chains caused by COVID-19. The economic shutdown in various countries around the world one after another made it impossible for many supply chains to function smoothly. With suppliers shutting down operations across Asia, procurement teams have been faced with concerns regarding the vulnerabilities of a global supply chain. This has affected the production of goods across an array of sectors. At this time, companies are being forced to rethink their approach to supply chain management. With the second wave of the virus starting up in various countries, there is a risk of more disruptions and obstacles. Even in the UK, many are predicting a second outbreak. In such situations, how can companies better structure their supply chains to ensure supply resilience in the future? Here are some things that companies can proactively do to strengthen their supply during these uncertain times:

Look beyond Cost Competitiveness

Many companies select their supply chain partners based on how competitive the prices are. But, in case of a second lockdown, companies need to move away from this mindset and instead look for continuity, resilience and sustainability over costs. Having a resilient and sustainable supply chain is essential in changing economic and political environments.

Digitisation

With the second wave approaching, companies need to digitise their supply chains. Many companies are used to traditional supply chains, but companies should work towards digitising them before the second wave hits in order to avoid disruptions in case of another lockdown.

Digitising supply chain management will improve speed and accuracy and flexibility of supply. It also allows for greater visibility throughout the organisation, allowing better decision making and teamwork. COVID19 has created a renewed demand behind the use of robotics and digitisation to lessen the impact of supply chain disruptions.

Know Your Supply Chain

Most companies have limited knowledge of their supply chain, and this can prove to be harmful in such volatile situations. To ensure that there are no further disruptions, especially in case of a second wave, companies should make an effort to learn about every tier of their supply chain. Having this clearly mapped out will help in preparing for any uncertainties that may arise with a second wave.

Supply Resilience

Many companies traditionally approached supply chain optimisation to minimise cost and reduce inventory, exposing vulnerabilities. Companies can minimise the risk of disruption and build supply resilience through a supplier relationship management strategy. Working with Suppliers such as Kloeckner that are agile can help build supply resilience. As a subsidiary of Klöckner & Co, Kloeckner Metals UK is one of the largest mill independent multi-metal stockholders & distributors in the UK. Being a member of the global Group allows us to more easily implement our strategic initiatives by introducing new stock ranges, investing in our people, financing new processing capabilities, and implementing innovative digital solutions and IT infrastructure projects with the support of Group Shared Services and kloeckner.i, a subsidiary focused on driving digitalisation throughout the Group.

Kloeckner Metals offer the following digital supply chain solutions:

Online Shop: Allows buyers to buy metal anywhere anytime on their schedule.

EDI Connection: The EDI connection allows for automated exchange of all commercial information, increasing efficiency and eliminating manual processes.

Kloeckner Contract Platform: Allows customers to manage their Kloeckner contracts online: view open and closed contracts, check remaining quantities, call off material quickly and easily.

Kloeckner Assistant: A new Artificial Intelligence Application was launched to completely automate Kloeckner’s order processing regardless of how an RFQ or order is received. A truly game-changing application that will turn each customer into a digital customer.

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