We have gone through a Supply Chain lockdown and local and global supply chains were severely impacted and disrupted. Insights to survive supply chain lockdown will enable to navigate complexity and guide on how to ensure business continuity in difficult and challenging situations
Having gone through such multiple events like transportation strike, farmers strike, external agitations and recent Covid-19 supply chain lockdown, sharing the insights on surviving the supply chain lockdowns and keep supply chains operational to meet the business and consumers requirement.
SUPPLY CHAIN LOCKDOWN
1. Clear Direction:
Leader has to provide clear direction and team will look upto him when in doubt. There is little scope for ambiguity as execution has to happen at a very fast pace. Everybody should know their contribution to make things happen.
It is not easy to get clarity on what will happen next due to uncertainty in the external world. Take decision basis the available information and be ready to change decisions and actions whenever there is change in information. Any change in decision is to be regularly communicated to the concerned stakeholders.
2 Track and resolve the bottleneck :
There will be multiple bottlenecks at the same time. Identify the bottleneck which is having the most immediate impact. Resolve it and then move to the next one.
Generally, it starts with Just In Time materials, move to other low cover PM and RM and then to Finished goods with transportation constraints and may again come back to materials. Explore alternate mode of transportation to ensure material connectivity.
Strong supply chain understanding is essential to identify and keep track of changing bottlenecks.
3. Break the rules and create new ones:
There will be situations where existing rules will not apply. Think innovative and create roundabout solutions serving the same purpose. Work as one supply chain connecting supplier, manufacturer and customer and one entity is ready to take other’s job wherever required.
For example, get new transportation players who are willing to provide vehicles, manufacturer can provide their vehicles to suppliers, customers can bring their labor and vehicles to get the stocks from distribution centers.
4. Identify Opportunity in Crisis during supply chain lockdown :
Everyone becomes very supportive in crisis. There is no need to explain what is being done and why is it being done. People go beyond the limits to help out each other.
Push the people beyond what they think is possible to get things done and you will be surprised at their response. Keep on asking others persistently what is needed as if constraints do not exist. Long pending activities are completed during crisis at breakthrough speed.
5. Motivate People :
One of the initial challenges is that people are apprehensive and themselves not clear what to do. There is dip in morale and attendance starts dwindling. Leader has to demonstrate courage and act the way he expects team to respond.
I have learned that even if there is one man standing, others will join soon. Give equal importance to all team members at this time. People safety to be given top priority and no compromise to be accepted in any case.
During crisis times, with little bit of courage and lot of hope I go to work . I reflected upon why I am going and why others are coming as well. The reason was commitment for the job that we have been doing. Although it is not guaranteed that with all the efforts being put whether supply chain will be able to run during lockdown or not but we can always work with team spirit, positive mindset and commitment of delivering our best to overcome the challenges.
Following these insights and showing courage in times of adversity will help in riding over the supply chain lockdown and tough times.