How to Build a More Resilient Supply Chain

If there’s one thing you can learn from working in the shipping and logistics industry, it’s that no plan is foolproof. Sooner or later, something is bound to go wrong. A severe weather event might delay a delivery. A sudden spike in demand might force warehouses to reevaluate their pricing. Or, in more extreme cases, the bankruptcy of an industry giant might have a trickle-down effect on other levels of the supply chain. These hiccups are bound to happen, but they shouldn’t bring the entire supply chain to a screeching halt. Instead, companies should work together to establish communication protocols and redundancies that mitigate risk and promote resilience in the supply chain. We can start by planning for emergencies, both great and small.

Develop Response Plans

Instead of waiting for problems to arise, companies should be proactive by creating response plans for hypothetical disruptions in the supply chain. If one carrier is unable to deliver a shipment on time, is there another carrier in the area that you can rely on to step in and help? If a shipping lane is disrupted, is there another mode of transport you can use to get your goods where they need to go? Work to develop these plans not only internally, but with other companies in your network as well. This way, if and when something does go wrong, you and your industry partners can more effectively solve problems together.

Foster Transparency Between Levels

Communication is key when it comes to building a resilient supply chain. Fortunately, thanks to recently Information Age innovations such as cloud computing and ultra-fast high speed broadband, it’s easier than ever for companies to share data and communicate effectively between different levels of the supply chain. By improving data visibility between carriers, warehouses and distributors, you can start to develop an early warning system to identify potential issues and respond to them before they become disruptive.

Collaborate to React Quickly

This goes hand-in-hand with improved transparency. Not only should you able to view and analyze data in real time, you should be able to communicate in real time as well. In the event of a serious emergency, the ability to collaborate with other suppliers and distributors can be downright invaluable. The faster you’re able to respond to a problem at all levels of the supply chain, the better chance you have of weathering the storm gracefully.

Here at SPEED Global Services, we’ve spent the last 70 years developing an extensive network of trusted allies in our industry. This allows us to provide our customers with an uncommon level of service and reliability. Give us a call today to learn more about how we can help your business with warehousing needs, cross-border shipping, freight forwarding and more.