Unpacking the Pandemic’s Effect on the Retail Supply Chain

Read more on the Coronavirus and how it is affecting suppliers here.

by Mike Brown VP, Business Development

May 3, 2021

Today’s news is filled with updates on the Covid-19 vaccine availability; daily and even hourly. Vaccine manufacturer names are now a part of our everyday conversation. We all seem to know where these brand names are made and where and when they are expected to be available. Secondary to vaccines, but still vitally important to the general public is the topic of availability and price of consumer goods. “Supply Chain” has become a very topical term these days and is a point of reference for much of what has disrupted our lives. Sourcing, manufacturing (global vs domestic), transportation, site allocation, fair share methodologies, etc have all been brought to the forefront, elevating almost everyone’s understanding or at least their interest in end-to-end supply chains.

From a business perspective, the many functions within the supply chain have been somewhat taken for granted for many years with disruptions not receiving the notoriety that this pandemic has exposed. Public awareness needs to be met with corporate transparency, heightened collaboration between partners within the supply chain, improved real-time communication, a focus on customer value and a robust mitigation plan for future disruption.

Companies need to step up their ability to react and adjust in order to be competitive in these times. We have seen that those that did react early in 2020 emerged to be more successful. Even more important is to review the tactical actions that were taken over the past year or so, review and adapt for longer term strategies. It may be time to take a look at how 2020/2021 changed for your company and your customers and determine how you are going to succeed in 2022. In this new reality, everyone from the CEO to the front line sales associate needs to be on the same page.  The CEO needs to be as familiar with timely supply chain updates as a Buyer, Replenishment Analyst or a Vendor Partner. In order to accomplish this scenario, many complexities need to be simplified but this in turn will increase competitive advantage.