Top 7 Tips for Building Supply Chain Resilience

Resilience is a muscle that individuals can build, so it seems like it’s entirely possible for organizations to develop and grow resilience as well. We’ve consulted procurement insights and used our own expertise to compile some of the best tips around for succeeding in a crisis.

1. Make Sure You Have Accessible Data

The first step here is having a tool that makes your data easily accessible and usable. During a crisis, supply chains are critical, and organizations will want visibility into all the relevant data. If members of the procurement and supply chain management teams have to stop everything they are doing and spend a great deal of time compiling and organizing meaningful data, it will strain the team.

2. Create Strong Partnerships with Suppliers

Effective communication and meaningful partnerships with key suppliers. Organizations and individuals that feel like you’re all part of the same team will be more likely to make you a priority when things get messy during a crisis.

3. Sustainability Always Matters

Sustainability and resilience go hand in hand. By having a supply chain that is environmentally friendly and uses only ethical employment practices, the risks of a PR disaster arising during an ongoing disaster are minimized.

4. Diversify

Having all your eggs in one basket with one specific supplier may seem like the most cost-effective and straightforward solution in a complex world, but when that one basket is surrounded by turmoil and crisis, the results will not be simple. A diverse supply chain is less likely to fall apart due to a problem in one location or with one supply.

5. Plan for Shortages

Whether it’s having extra stock available of critical items that need a long lead time or having multiple suppliers to buy materials from or some other strategy, make sure there’s a plan in place for when shortages happen.

6. Automate processes

During a crisis, the last thing you want is a team that’s consumed with manually processing orders, approvals, and invoices. If processes are automated, your team will have the bandwidth to be proactive in the communication and strategic planning that a crisis requires.

7. After the Crisis, Keep What’s Working

It’s easy to slide back into old habits when things start to get back to the old routine. Rather than going back to “normal” exactly the same as before, examine which changes and partnerships make sense moving forward. After all, it’s important to not let a perfectly good crisis go to waste.