When a massive cargo ship became stuck and blocked the Suez Canal in late March, an estimated $9 billion in global trade was delayed each day for nearly a week before the ship was freed. As supply chain crisis management efforts kicked in, a backlog of nearly 400 ships lined up, waiting to cross one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes carrying goods from China to Europe. Experts declare the fallout will be felt for months. This was yet another wakeup call that global supply chains can be extremely fragile and vulnerable when disruption strikes.
Disruptions come in many forms, the latest being Covid. Any major force has the potential to paralyze a global service supply chain by shutting down an operations center, storage facility, or mode of transportation. And, while no one can predict when or where the next disruption will strike, there are steps you can take NOW to help mitigate the impact when an FSL (Forward Stocking Location) is closed due to a Covid quarantine or a port of entry is inaccessible due to a hurricane. As a high-tech OEM, you must ensure there is enough replacement stock on hand to honor your customer maintenance agreements.
Here are some things to consider when contemplating your next move:
‘Just in Time’ is Just Not Good Enough
In the pre-Covid days many businesses’ approach to supply chain crisis management was to deal with an outage or disruption as it occurred. Resolving an issue often required sending an emergency shipment of spare parts halfway around the world. This Just-in-Time approach to supply chain logistics will no longer cut it. Covid and the Suez Canal disruptions demonstrate you no longer can rely on the ability to move product as freely or quickly anymore. If you are still relying on a JIT strategy for spare parts logistics, your next move needs to be exploring alternative strategies.
Supply Chain Crisis Management through Data-Driven Decisions & Actions
Anytime there is a global supply chain disruption, it’s an opportunity to work with your supply chain services provider to ensure there is enough replacement inventory in those places around the world where you are experiencing a lot of failures. Your next move needs to be taking a close look at the data. Review order volume and transactions over the past 4-5 months and pinpoint where failures are prevalent. This also will help determine how many of each part needs to be on the shelf in each location to meet demand.
Find the Right Service Supply Chain Provider
Global supply chain crisis management is something that should always be top of mind because disruption can happen at any time. You need a reliable partner to handle all aspects of post-sales supply chain and will ensure enough replacement inventory is available where it is most needed when disruption strikes. If you would like to chat about your supply chain crisis management program, contact a Flash Global expert today.