When was the last time you took a close look at your supply chain? If it’s been awhile, you might be costing your business money, as research shows that companies with optimized supply chains spend 15 percent less on related costs. Recognizing that supply chains play a key role in helping companies run smoothly, savvy owners and managers go above and beyond to provide on time delivery of products. However, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, shortages and disruptions have proven to be the new normal of supply chains. If you want to stay competitive, it’s crucial to keep abreast of the latest customer spending habits and supply train trends while taking advantage of available tools and technologies.
Supply Chain Disruption in 2022 and Beyond
The forecast for supply chain disruptions in 2022 may seem less dismal than it did in 2020 and 2021. While the country has yet to recover completely from the COVID-19 pandemic and inflation remains at a record high, both consumer spending and employment levels are on the rise. Moreover, companies are no longer facing the pandemic-led supply shortages seen in the last two years.
Still, experts anticipate that a new problem may arise in the form of softening consumer demand. As the need for new merchandise drops, businesses may see economic growth slow while inventory piles up in warehouses. In particular, customers may be shifting their spending away from products and toward services, a trend that could pose a problem for a large sector of the business world.
Supply chain issues could also be impacted by the Great Resignation, which is seeing workers abandon their jobs in record numbers. Overall 48 million employees quit their jobs in 2021, with another 8.6 million leaving in the first two months of 2022 alone. The issue is particularly prevalent among workers in supply chain-related fields. If you rely on shipping, transportation or warehouse workers to get your products to market, it’s likely you’ll continue to see disruptions in the coming months.
How to Handle Supply Chain Disruptions
The good news is that companies are getting better at forecasting potential supply chain issues and adjusting their policies accordingly. Here are some ways to navigate US supply chain disruptions to keep your business competitive.
Flexibility is key when it comes to surviving the ups and downs of the supply chain. One of the ways companies can manage supply chain disruptions in 2022 is to adopt elastic logistics practices. The ability to scale operations and resources depending on demand and shortages, elastic logistics is key to surviving the market fluctuations common post COVID. By incorporating new technologies, companies can better manage a range of issues from overstocking to route optimization.
Invest in AI
AI is one of the best solutions to the current supply chain issues. In particular, businesses can utilize predictive analysis tools to improve both visibility and operations. Research shows that more than half of businesses would like more supply chain visibility. Along with providing more transparency, artificial intelligence can help with data analysis, predicting demand, shipping routes, fulfillment and more.
Consider the Cloud
Cloud-based software is crucial for businesses hoping to simplify the fulfillment process. By adopting supply chain as a service models and outsourcing logistics and inventory management, companies can get their goods to clients faster and with less disruption. Not only can the cloud give supply chain managers an end-to-end view of the supply chain, but it also lets them access data from anywhere and share it with teammates. Additionally, software programs like the one available through ShipHero make it possible to reduce overhead by minimizing spending associated with infrastructure, maintenance and more.
Lessen Supply Chain Disruptions
Between continuing pandemic anxieties and unpredictable customer behavior, forecasting the future of the supply chain can be a challenge. Fortunately, your company can stay competitive by adopting the most up-to-date supply chain shortage solutions. Do your homework to give your business the best shot at success.
For more information about how ShipHero Fulfillment can help you manage the strain of supply chain disruptions, schedule a meeting with a member of our sales team today.
Maggie M. Barnett, Esq. COO of ShipHero
About the author: Maggie M. Barnett, Esq., is the COO of ShipHero. She is responsible for planning and executing the overall operational, legal, managerial and administrative procedures, reporting structures and operational controls of the organization. Barnett’s greatest strengths are leadership, risk mitigation, change management and a passion for business transformation. She is known for her expertise in delivering operational excellence and an ability to provide guidance and mitigating risk. Her leadership of ShipHero is grounded in a servant mentality, always doing the right thing for our stakeholders. Her passion for ShipHero comes from the ability to drive operational excellence throughout the organization impacting the lives of our employees, customers, and partners.