The need to strengthen supply chains has become urgent during the Covid crisis. Now, not only have issues arisen with backlogs of essential health equipment but stockpiling ahead of Brexit has added to the jam at ports.  The logistics industry is so worried it has written to the Department for Transport in the UK calling for help clearing port backlogs.

One freight director told the BBC the UK’s ports are currently “broken”.

The BBC goes on to say,

Global shipping schedules were initially disrupted during the early stages of the pandemic, but recently a surge in demand for imports and a backlog of empty shipping containers are causing bottlenecks at UK ports. The Japanese carmaker Honda said delays at UK ports are holding up imports of parts and production could stop at its Swindon plant. The Builders Merchants Federation has also complained of delays for building supplies such as screws and timber, crucial for building new homes.

Back at the beginning of the health emergency new health and safety rules also took their toll as factories had to make changes to avoid endangering their employees health.

A dangerous blend of volatile demand and restrictions on capacity has left many in the industry looking for answers.

Intelligent ERP can help

Intelligent ERP technology has a part to play in easing the pain of many struggling organisations. As a member of the international network United VARs , we have been hearing positive stories from around the world about how companies have been handling the challenges.

One manufacturer was able to make some quick adjustments to their 3D printing equipment which allowed them to start making medical equipment and PPE in time to make a real contribution to the pandemic effort. In another example there was the engineering company who re-tooled to fulfill orders for a new type of ventilator – which went on to save lives. Agility and flexibility has proven key in each case.

With the help of cloud-based SAP planning and analytics solutions, these companies have been able to manoeuvre swiftly, making rapid changes – creating prototypes and moving to market fast. Flexible, agile technology and access to real time data has been key and with the power of cloud, much of this work has taken place remotely.

To strengthen your supply chain and future-proof it against further disruptions, consider these ideas;

5 Ways Technology Keeps Supply Chains Strong in a Crisis

  1. Get visibility across your entire supply chain so you can identify problems and move in to address them.
  2. Adapt to change in demand fast when you get a real-time view of your demand and supply situation.
  3. AI built in to your technology keeps on making improvements, as machines learn how to do things better.
  4. Benefit from predictive analytics for real-time insights and predictive modelling; automate supply chain planning to deliver products faster.
  5. Cloud-based solutions increase flexibility by making it easier for employees to work from home where possible, with manufacturing and planning solutions hosted in the cloud.

The right technologies can strengthen supply chains and help manufacturing and logistics companies to keep going in hard times while also building a sold foundation for the future.

Companies who take steps now to improve their supply chain resilience will be well prepared for growth as we all emerge from this pandemic and will be in a better place for the future should supply chains become disrupted again.

Talk to us now to find out how SAP Business ByDesign can help you digitise your business.

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