How to navigate the supply chain crisis

As the holiday season is approaching, many important industries must face the supply chain in its chaos as it has been suffering from a backlog for months. While retaining customers by fulfilling their orders on time remains a top priority, consumers’ habits constantly changing throughout the pandemic continues to affect international markets, which are still recovering from COVID-19 related disruptions.  

With several factors contributing to this crisis, companies from across the globe are struggling to get products to consumers. 

Moody Analytics stated that there are “dark clouds” ahead as there is no sign of the supply chain going back to functioning normally anytime soon. Because there isn’t a quick fix for this crisis, organizations must collaborate on finding long-term solutions, especially for small to mid-sized companies that cannot meet growing demand.  

These solutions involve equipping them with enough workers to deliver shipments, better communication methods, and more transparency across each channel.  

As you plan your next steps, we would like to look at what happened and provide you with productive ways you can approach this holiday season and beyond with the help of Vantree. 

How does Vantree help?  

Leaders in the industry consider EDI as the blood vein of the supply chain. The reason behind this is more than 90% of B2B transmission is thanks to EDI.  

When you invest in a more integrated EDI solution, you can mitigate the risk of supply chain shortages by improving your data accuracy, your speed of data exchange and eliminating mistakes.  

With 25+ years of expertise, Vantree offers EDI automation solutions to help you keep up with global demand. Our products can be integrated into your ERP system, making it easier for your team to use.   

Our customers can confirm that we invest time with you to discover your business processes and ensure data flowing in and out of your organization respects your way of treating data.  

What we are facing  

Trends such as e-commerce, outsourcing, and digitization have put the supply chain under pressure as there is a rise in demand but limited manufacturing and transportation capacity. As a result, the shipping costs have increased, affecting smaller companies who cannot afford to pay them and leaving consumers to pay higher prices.  

As retailers warned the public of inventory shortages this holiday season, consumers have been purchasing their gifts early, and panic buying may resurface as an attempt to avoid upcoming delays and shortages.  

The current situation reveals the fragility of global supply chains and the need for more effective strategies for both internal and external business processes.  

Labour shortages   

Many supply chain workers such as seafarers, truck drivers, and airline workers have left their jobs. While this is partly due to ageing and retirement, workers were also put through an immense amount of stress during the pandemic. As a result, there aren’t enough staff to keep the supply chain operations running and meet growing demand from industries around the world. In an open letter, global transport workers came together to represent 65 million workers demanding better compensation, safer working conditions and protection against Covid-19, as well as less restrictive measures at border controls.   

Need for visibility   

Another issue in the supply chain is the lack of visibility, which project44’s platform helps solve by offering real-time visibility for shippers and logistics service providers. Companies use inefficient methods to complete orders and are unprepared to deal with errors caused by the manual transmission of data. Through advanced technology, you can access imported and exported data between you and your suppliers and deliver orders in just a few steps. 

Call for sustainability  

Two years ago, companies were on a path to prioritizing sustainability. But throughout the pandemic, more companies shifted their attention to meeting their business needs as they struggled economically. However, the need for more environmental and sustainable practices remains a top concern as consumers want to support businesses working in eco-friendly, safe, and efficient ways. By using electronic documents instead of paper, you can reduce your carbon footprint and help protect the environment. 

What you can do  – 6 ways you can sustain your business

1. Create efficient internal processes   

If your organization often misses deadlines and experiences delays, you might require more efficient internal processes. Refining your ecosystem’s practices ensures that staff feel motivated and can communicate essential information without barriers. To do so, your teams must work together to discover and solve existing issues across all departments. Vantree offers custom solutions and can help you automate your tasks while ensuring the integrity of your data.  

2. Stay ahead of the curve (forecasting)   

Forecasting involves analyzing data from internal and external processes to predict future demand for a product. To do so accurately, reliable data and in-depth market research are essential for you to keep up with demand and optimize your inventory depending on seasonal and general trends. It is good to keep in mind that forecasting is just an estimate and that you should be flexible to make new arrangements. By working with Vantree, you will be connecting with our expert staff who will help ensure the accuracy of your data, keep up with industry trends, and meet changing demand.  

3. Have backup suppliers   

If your suppliers cannot provide raw materials or products on time, your orders can fail quickly. To build a reliable supply chain, you need to have backup suppliers to avoid delaying your deliveries. When looking for backup suppliers, you must consider their flexibility and the quality of their work. With Vantree, you can easily access your data and know when your suppliers can’t complete their orders, giving you a faster time to proceed with a new plan. 

4. Develop good relationships   

Having positive and genuine relationships with your suppliers facilitates collaboration and support in times of need. Through the trust and respect that you and your partners develop, you can communicate and overcome challenges with more confidence. Vantree can help you maintain good relationships with suppliers and customers by ensuring your data is accurate and exchanged on time.  

5. Use labels for transparency  

In a recent episode of The New Level Podcast, Philip Aguib from Vantree and Elizabeth Sinclair from BarTender (a software by Seagull Scientific), talked about the importance of labels in supply chains. In their discussion, Sinclair brings attention to the power of labels and how they can be used by people across all channels to access data, from manufacturers to end-users. A transparent approach also encourages a more informed decision-making process for consumers when they purchase their products. 

6. Encourage buying locally  

Finding suppliers close to you and encouraging consumers to buy locally can save you a lot of time and money. It usually takes at least two weeks to ship parts from foreign countries, excluding delays and Covid-19 related issues. By choosing to work with local suppliers and developing strong relationships with them you can experience faster and more reliable deliveries and improve your forecast accuracy. Consumers also get the chance to support their communities and learn to shop slowly and consciously.   

To ensure success in a fast-evolving market, contact us to learn more about how we have helped many companies stay ahead. 

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