What is the Supply Chain Crisis?

What is the Supply Chain crisis?

Ah, yes, the ongoing, inconsistent, post-pandemic supply chain crisis. It ranges across geographic and industrial areas. And to U.S. consumers, it often translates to shipment delays or even totally unavailable products and frustration.

For small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs) like yours hit hard by supply chain delays, the term can seem like a tangled web of sometimes interrelated issues that conspire to create the perfect storm–especially as the holiday season bears down upon us.

Let’s look at some of the critical drivers of supply chain and customer service-related disruptions and how you can address them with a coherent supply chain management system to be more successful:

First up in the rogue’s gallery of supply chain crisis creators are the COVID-19 restrictions that created demand spikes due to pent-up consumer demand. Government stimulus gave consumers more spending power and changed how they buy products.

Meanwhile, inflation has impacted consumer purchasing and e-commerce businesses, slowing them down (witness Amazon’s declining volume). And ongoing raw material or component shortages–exacerbated by the pandemic–have also been triggered by global trade issues and commodity price spikes.

Likewise, the post-pandemic labor market continues to be impacted by work safety protocols, vaccination requirements, flexible work locations, labor shortages, and the like. Meanwhile, labor shortages and ongoing COVID lockdowns in Asia have impacted manufacturing capacity shortages, disrupting global fulfillment.

In the United States, massive backups at U.S. ports have been mostly remediated, thanks in part to the U.S. government stepping in. But a truck driver shortage that began before the pandemic has been exacerbated by fluctuating demand and truck driver retirements and even increasing small trucking firm bankruptcies lately. The American Trucking Association reports that the industry is short 80,000 truck drivers, up from a deficit of 65,000 before the pandemic.

Lastly, some retailers who over-ordered in 2021 now suffer from extreme inventory gluts that have hit some retailers just before the holiday season.

How SMBs can operate for success in a fraught environment using a supply chain management system

It’s a great time to consider diversifying your supply chain to ensure you are sourcing from the best local, regional, national, and international suppliers to take advantage of lead times and get ahead of seasonal demands.

You’ll also want to set a contingency plan in place so that you can take advantage of the best transportation modes. And, of course, you’ll want to analyze your stock levels, sales, and inventory and plan–an essential best practice for business success.

How do you accomplish this? Your SMB needs the features and functionality of an enterprise ERP like SAP–but without the cost. If you’ve defaulted to using spreadsheets and point solutions to solve your problems, this is a great time to turn to BrillDog’s supply chain management system to help you compete with the big boys.

Small businesses have struggled with supply chain issues over the past few years, with labor, truck driver, and supply shortages. Big companies can use technology to overcome these challenges, but smaller companies can’t afford these systems – until now. The BrillDog Supply Chain Management system is purpose-built for small-to-medium-sized businesses to help them better compete and thrive in the marketplace. Visit BrillDog.com.

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