Supply Chain Disruptions and Interruptions
Supply chain management is full of ups and downs. In fact, you could say that the world of logistics is a world of unexpected accidents. However, it’s how you handle these unexpected disruptions that can make or break the success of your business.
At Unilog, we’ve found that automation is key to helping our clients resolve supply chain disruptions. Our Logivice platform serves as a control tower for all shipments and orders in each client’s supply chain. Automated technologies like Logivice make it easy for clients to identify and solve supply chain disruptions directly.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most common supply chain disruptions and how we handle them using Logivice.
Common causes of supply chain disruptions
There are a variety of factors that can lead to supply chain disruptions. Some of these things are out of your control, while others can be planned for and prevented. Here are some of the most common causes of supply chain disruptions.
- Raw material shortages
- COVID-19 and other health-related concerns
- Extreme weather
- Wars and other sociopolitical issues
- Labor shortage
- Damaged equipment or technology
- Lack of available warehouse space
- Transportation issues
Why is automation necessary for the supply chain?
One of the biggest challenges for any supply chain manager is handling large volumes of data. If you wanted to review or check on an order without automation, you’d have to manually track down that order information. Depending on the information you’re looking for, this could require you to contact multiple shipping partners and jump through hoops just to get the items you’re looking for.
Automation technology streamlines this entire process. API technology connects our client’s ERP or CRM system to ours and automatically uploads data as it becomes available. With all shipping data available in one place, you can search for the order information you need in just a few clicks. This makes it easier to resolve unexpected challenges when they arise.
Logivice use cases for supply chain disruptions
At Unilog, we use Logivice to handle a variety of potential supply chain disruptions. Here’s a look at some of the ways we use automation technology to get things back on track.
Online interface disruptions
Many supply chain disruptions happen as a result of a problem with an online interface somewhere in the ordering or shipping process. For example, a customer places an order, but doesn’t provide all of the requisite details because of a problem with the online order form. Or maybe the order was placed properly, but the information wasn’t sent to the warehouse.
Logivice is designed to identify anomalies like this and notifies both Unilog and the client when this happens. In the email notification, the system will provide details about the missing information and related problems, so you can take action right away to fix the issue.
Logivice can also identify potential problems or errors within the warehouse. By identifying potential human errors, it gives workers time to correct the problem manually. This minimizes the number of late or incorrect orders to keep customer satisfaction levels high.
Logivice does this by comparing warehouse instructions to real-time warehouse activity. If it detects any anomalies, it will send out an alert to correct the problem. For example, let’s say the warehouse received an instruction to send out a specific product for an order. If the warehouse uses the wrong SKU for that order, it would trigger an alert automatically.
Additionally, the system can help warehouses avoid delayed shipments at any point in the supply chain. If a shipment is scheduled to go out on a certain day but has not been scanned and packed, Logivice sends a notification to relevant parties. This informs them that a deadline is approaching and provides enough time to get the shipment packed and sent out.
Tips to minimize supply chain disruptions
In addition to automation technology, there are many other things you can do to minimize supply chain disruptions and ensure your orders get to the right place at the right time. Here are some important steps to take to minimize your supply chain disruptions.
Diversify your suppliers
Unfortunately, there are some supply chain disruptions that will be out of your control. For example, pandemic-related shutdowns have caused shortages of many different products around the world. Sociopolitical events and extreme weather are two other examples of global events that can affect the supply chain.
The best way to avoid shipping issues when these things happen is to diversify your suppliers. This reduces the chances of a total shortage happening. At Unilog, we work with our clients to build a network of reliable suppliers for your business.
Identify potential vulnerabilities
Regularly auditing your supply chain will help you identify and correct potential vulnerabilities. You’ll need to review the entire supply chain, from initial manufacturing all the way to the final delivery and returns. Transparency among your supply chain partners is key to finding these potential problems.
Build a smart stockpile of goods
Since there are aspects of the supply chain that are out of your control, it’s important to be prepared with extra inventory. Having a stockpile of goods available can help you satisfy periods of high demand, even if supply isn’t currently available. When deciding which items to stockpile, it’s important to consider supply and demand trends across your business to ensure it is a financially savvy solution.
Have an emergency management strategy
Even if you’re prepared with the right technology in place, supply chain disruptions can still happen. It’s important to have an emergency management strategy in place to manage things like unavailable supplies or late deliveries. Determine how you’ll communicate with customers and which steps you can take to solve the problem.
If you’re looking to reduce disruptions across your supply chain and improve relationships with your customers, Unilog can help. Our Logivice technology gives you access to data from across your supply chain in one place. Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive supply chain solutions.