Supply continuity in the current Covid-19 crisis

Supply continuity in the current Covid-19 crisis

In the current pandemic we have facilities but we don’t necessarily have the materials or the people with necessary skills to produce everything that we would like to. In these times it’s about knowing what’s important.

To all those small and medium sized businesses out there who are working hard to recover and protect their supply chains and customers in the current Covid-19 pandemic. We salute you! If you have limited experience of a previous continuity emergency, then get in touch and we can offer support and advice.

Phetairos has a team of experienced supply chain and OPEX professionals. A few of us met for a virtual coffee. Our conversation explored the effects of the Covid-19 situation on supply chain risk management and business continuity. Here’s what we had to say:

In these times, it’s about knowing what’s important. The minimum that our supply chains need to survive. What products are our priority, which products will we reduce or pause, and who will get what we make. It’s about keeping things in our control where we can and mitigating those that we can’t. And, just as importantly, understanding the difference between the two.

Knowing what you know now, what would you do differently next time?
How will you capture your pandemic response learning and bake it into procedure and practice?

Keep collaborating in the chain
What’s important during a crisis like Covid-19? We can point to a few things:
1. Collaboration and clear decision ownership across the supply chain,
2. A shared understanding of the value and destination of the products produced, and
3. A three-way open and honest continuous dialogue between supply chain, customer and supplier.

It’s vital that everyone knows who is ultimately calling the shots on where stock is held, when it’s released, and where it’s routed. And just as important, that decisions are made and seen to be made.

At moments like these, relationships are tested. We are constantly reminded that the world does not revolve around us as a customer. It’s an easy trap to fall into. We value the power of relationship and structure ourselves accordingly.

Take a moment to reflect on the ease of collaboration and dialogue across your chain – what’s working well, and what could be improved?
How would your customers and suppliers describe your relationship with them right now, in the middle of the pandemic?

Get a big picture view
Do you have a view of risk across your supply chains? We call this ‘Integrated Risk Management and Business Continuity Planning’. It helps us to identify strategic assets and suppliers, set appropriate levels of strategic stock and provide an agile process for releasing stock without the arguments over who gets what.

Watch out for over-kill and realise when enough is enough. Avoid going to the ‘nth degree’ on risk planning and mitigation. Set your stall out to get to a point where senior leaders are comfortable with the degree of risk being taken, the cost of the risk mitigation (for example extra capacity), the level of insurance or stock held and readiness of your continuity teams.

Is a lack of a big picture slowing down your pandemic response efforts?

Know where you are on the risk journey

Pay attention to the language that is used around your organisation. Are words like risk, threat, likelihood, impact, contingency, and mitigation part of the manager and leader lexicon? Are they a part of your daily business life? If not – you have an opportunity right now to sow a seed.

On a scale of 1 – 5 (1 being low, 5 high), where would you rate yourself on a risk capability curve? What do you need to move one notch further up?

Ask for help in times like these
Your response right now to the Covid-19 pandemic, and how you choose to learn from it, will offer a litmus test for your future capability.
1. How will you capture your pandemic response learning and bake it into procedure and practice?
2. Take a moment to reflect on the ease of collaboration and dialogue across your chain – what’s working well, and what could be improved?
3. How would your customers and suppliers describe your relationship with them right now, in the middle of the pandemic?
4. Is a lack of a big picture slowing down your pandemic response effort?
5. On a scale of 1 – 5, where would you rate yourself on a risk capability curve? What do you need to move one notch further up?

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Would you like to discuss a collaboration?
Please get in touch with us at projects@phetairos.com or +49 172 6340202 or post a project.



Claude Houet
Director

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