Three strategic action steps for supply chain decision-makers — Velma Deleveaux, PhD

I recently read an insightful article in the Financial Times, Winners and losers emerge from lingering US supply chain crisis.” It offers a holistic view of the state of the supply chain globally — along with key considerations for business decision-makers. Here are three takeaways for executive action:

  1. Prepare. The supply chain crisis isn’t going away anytime soon. Expect, and prepare for, disruptions to continue throughout the year — delaying shipments, causing product shortages, and driving up prices.
  2. Pivot. Be willing to pivot from long-held concepts with a primary focus on what makes a supply chain work efficiently, such as just-in-time production, lean inventory management, and fewer suppliers — toward a more “balanced strategy” focused on efficiency and resilience.
  3. Proceed. Consider and apply a range of solutions to address disruptions, such as holding more inventory, moving inventory closer to customers, using dual sourcing, and — if financially feasible — purchasing suppliers, leasing planes, and chartering private cargo ships to address logistics challenges associated with transporting goods.

As the chaos at ports and warehouses lingers, businesses will continue to struggle with sourcing, manufacturing, and distributing their products. Supply chain executives who take a strategic approach can mitigate the impact of today’s disruptions — and create a stronger, more resilient system when the crisis subsides.

Velma Deleveaux, Ph.D. is an independent board director, corporate leader, and supply chain expert.

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