Management Consulting

Assessing Your Supply Chain Business Continuity Plan

Supply Chain

COVID-19 is disrupting global supply chains, from much needed medical supplies to raw material imports and consumer goods. As such, organizations of all kinds are spurred to take advantage of this unprecedented time and determine how they can ensure their supply chain is able to withstand future disruption.

What are your supply chain challenges during this pandemic, and what additional challenges will appear when the pandemic ends?

  • Are you missing key components or raw materials?
  • Are your vendors and suppliers operating at lower capacity?
  • Will your wholesalers be waiting on deliveries?
  • Will your retailers be able to stock their shelves with your products?
  • How will you be able to preserve customer loyalty through this time of uncertainty?

Mobile handset manufacturers in China report manufacturing has been constrained due to worker limitations, and plants are just now coming back online. Some of our customers were measuring supply shortages before the pandemic due to tariffs that slowed imported raw materials from China. Other businesses do not yet know the long-term impacts to their supply chain. No matter what your situation is, now is the time to review your supply chain business continuity plan to solve for near and long-term disruptions and drive critical business continuity to deal with future customer, wholesale and retail demands.

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Supply chain business continuity planning is crucial in times of uncertainty. The benefits include minimizing the effect of a disruption on your organization, reducing the risk of financial loss, and preserving your company’s brand and image to both consumers and suppliers. Below are four steps you can take now to create or enhance your supply chain business continuity plan and be prepared for future supply chain or market disruptions.

supply chain

Infographic:  Perficient’s 4-Step Process for Assessing Your Supply Chain Business Continuity Plan

Step 1:  Focus and align your core supply chain goals and capabilities

  • Define success for your supply chain continuity plan and identify dangers, strengths and opportunities
  • Align with operational thought leaders and experts

Step 2: Assess capabilities and create a strategic roadmap

  • Evaluate all aspects of your supply chain continuity plan including people, processes, partners / vendors, technology and data
  • Rationalize and prioritize initiatives; create a strategic roadmap and align roadmap with all impacted parts of your business

 Step 3: Implement your roadmap and drive results

  • Implement your strategic roadmap and celebrate key milestones
  • Implement organizational change management tools to increase adoption of new policies, processes and technologies

Step 4: Create an ongoing improvement mindset

  • Establish key measurements to recognize successes and improve results
  • Create a plan to regularly review business requirements, technology and process enhancements; leverage new technologies, predictive indicators and lessons learned into ongoing assessments

Collaborating with your key internal stakeholders, in new ways, will improve processes to meet changes in supply and demand. Optimizing processes, tools and applications, such as moving some applications or data to the cloud or leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) can align supply points in creative ways to meet changes in demand. Mapping out a supply chain business continuity plan will help mitigate effects of future supply chain or market disruptions and will help you meet challenges across key supply points like manufacturing, distribution, warehousing, and shipping.

This blog was co-authored by Senior Project Manager Justin Bader.

About the Author

Sarah Thomas is a Project Manager in the Management Consulting practice at Perficient. Workstream lead delivering cross-divisional, functional and geographical projects with large scale impacts such as new product launches, client and capital migrations, new systems integration, and high-profile regulatory programs. 10+ years of experience in Financial Services, Investment Banking, Private Banking, Asset Management, Wealth Management and Hedge Funds primarily working as a Project Manager serving clients in both London and New York. A specialist in on-time and on-budget client and internal engagements.

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