Role of Supply-Chain Management during Pandemic

by Jones David

With the Covid-19 scenario, the need to keep up with the supply of goods is critical. It is in times like these that the need for a systematic and well-organized supply-chain-management is substantially realized. The preparedness that an organization has towards forecasting and managing inventory during an unprecedented situation speaks volumes about their processes and management. From food-grains to medical kits, the pandemic has taught us that only with a systematic and automatic supply-chain-system can the necessary items be made available within the fastest possible time.

To meet the demands of unforeseen circumstances, every SCM unit must adapt to the technologically advanced inventory management tools. Many large organizations have shifted to the digitized platform to serve new markets and reach out to their customers with speed and transparency. For instance, during the pandemic, goods, such as medicines, were supplied from one country to another within just a few days. This was made possible only due to a well-organized supply management system.

SCM comes with a plethora of benefits:

  1. Improves accuracy in Inventory record management – With the help of a software-driven tool, inventory managers can view the exact availability of inventory with just a click and plan their future activities accordingly.
  2. Helps in managing warehouse more effectively – WMS or Warehouse Management System is an essential aspect of the inventory management software. Many software companies across the globe provide the WMS tool; however, you need to research thoroughly before making a choice. This feature helps warehouse managers to optimize their warehouse capability but logically arranging inventory as per the ‘First-in – First-out’ policy. This helps to manage stock and avoid the accumulation of dead stock.
  3. Efficient Management of Transportation – Another feature of the inventory management software is transportation management; the mobile-based application enables drives to view the status of the road in real-time and decide the route in advance. Further, the app allows drivers to send a notification to the fleet manager, once the consignment reaches the destination; this way, a lot of time and money is saved. Additionally, everything gets updated in real-time.
  4. Better Customer Service – The aim of every business is customer satisfaction. The inventory management system helps organizations better serve their customers by delivering the right products in the fastest possible time with the correct pricing. With every happy customer, the company ultimately earns customer loyalty and many new customers.

The pandemic is here to stay until the World finds a reliable vaccine. Thus, there are few things that supply-chain companies must do to be most productive during these startling times.

  1. They must prioritize the production and storage of goods as per their importance to support the country and World with the supply of essential products.
  2. Collaborating with various distributors across the globe to ensure speedy supply of goods.
  3. Calculate the stock required as per the risk period and not consider historical data to analyze the required stock levels.
  4. Building a strong network of suppliers and creating a reliable communication channel that makes work swift.
  5. Reducing the transit time by adapting the different supply-chain-management digital tools.
  6. Planning the transportation of goods with the help of live road maps and traffic alerts.
  7. Building inventory around the delivery points to reduce transportation costs and time.

The Final Word:

Now more than ever, supply-chain management needs to be on their toes to meet the demands of the World. During this pandemic, the US asked India for the supply of Hydroxychloroquine, a drug currently being used to treat Coronavirus disease. More than 38 lakh tablets were sent to the US within just a few days. This is how any company or country needs to act during an emergency. Thus, the key to a successful supply-chain process is effective communication, planning, digitizing processes, and, most importantly, working as one with all our stakeholders.

This period must be used by organizations to create a sufficiently robust and resilient supply-chain-management process. A process that can rise to action during any crisis.

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