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Three ways to support your supply chains during COVID-19

Article by James Gore
supply chain during covid

COVID-19 is undeniably causing problems for supply chains, and with the added burden of factory closures, supplies are certainly running thin on the ground for the businesses who need them.

But, logistics firms can still keep their operations running with a bit of clever thinking. If you’re worried about keeping your supplies flowing, consider these three tips to reinforce your supply chain:

1. Develop a rapport

In a situation like this, business intelligence is key to be able to tackle a problem early. Suppliers are much happier to communicate when your relationship goes beyond order forms and invoice sheets, so the more contact you have with your supplier, the better. Hearing about any potential problems early gives you more reaction time, allowing you the breathing room to stay on top of any future problems COVID-19 could throw your way.

2. Mix up your network

Build yourself a safety net by gathering multiple suppliers for any items you need. Making those calls early before the dreaded ‘sold out’ signs appear will prevent any major problems when your supplier doesn’t have your parts.

You might think that expanding your network at this stage is like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted, but there are several alternative suppliers in other countries that might be able to help. While continental Europe and the UK are still in heightened lockdown, China’s policies are loosening up and places like Africa and South East Asia are just taking precautionary measures at the moment. It’s worth looking for alternative sources of supply in these lesser affected areas.

3. Contact your government

Truth is, governments are willing to listen to new information and act on it if they think it’s right.

Recently, the European Commission listened to the advice of the European Federation of Wooden Pallet & Packaging Manufacturers (EFWPPM) to ensure that freight transport gets priority across the continent. If you think something needs changing, it’s certainly worth a shot.

Businesses need to be self-motivated and willing to take charge of their own circumstances, as waiting for it to ‘blow over’ could seriously harm your business. The world is changing and COVID-19 is landing a heavy foot on the accelerator, but you can make the best of the situation with a bit of forward thinking and planning.

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