Understand your whole supply chain
We have heard a lot recently about supply chain disruption. Covid-19, Brexit, trade wars, semi-conductors, big ships stuck in small canals. And it does not get any better. Here is another potential shortage. Plastics. https://hbr.org/2021/03/the-latest-supply-chain-disruption-plastics
So, what is the solution. Well, its one we have discussed here and on social media many times in the past. Do not just look at your suppliers. Look at your Supplier’s Suppliers.
Now you may say it is easy for consultants like myself to say companies should understand their whole supply chain. The problem many small companies may have is how do they insist on this sort of visibility with a supplier who may be bigger than they are. Well, I have been there. Sitting across the table with a supplier knowing they had all the power in the relationship. It takes a lot of relationship building to get to the point where they discuss their supply issues.
But I would argue that NOW is the perfect time to drive that change. Supply chain risk is a key discussion point at board level now, so you will not be the only company asking for that improved information sharing. It is likely that most of their customers are requesting the same data. So make the request and you may be surprised at the positive response. Everyone wants to rebuild as we re-open after Covid. Relationships will be key to that re-opening and most companies will be open and understanding to requests from customers that show a vision for the future.