Streamlining Your Retail Supply Networks amidCOVID-19
Weather the Storms: The Effects of corona on Supply Chain& How to Manage It.
The prevalence of coronavirus is very high, causing a huge negative drift in the worldwide supply chain. Due to the lockdown measures put in place by various affected countries to prevent mass infections, a lot of businesses are recording big losses.
Statistically, the businesses dealing with non-basic needs have witnessed a 50% reduction in sales while those dealing with basic needs are thriving. So, the big question is, how can non-essential businesses improve their sales?
The effects of corona on supply chainis a primary concern for all retailers, and nothing can go on when channels are blocked.No wonder retailers and business executives are exploring different approaches to maintaina reasonable flow of their logistic networks.
Major Causes ofDisruptionamid Coronavirus Outbreak
Indeed, suppliers, stores, distributors and other business operating systems were not ready for the many changes in demand that COVID-19 has brought. Retailers are now doing their level best to provide customer services without putting human lives at risk.
Some of the causes of low sales rate to both discretionary and nondiscretionary commodities are;
- Total or partial lockdowns
- Health and movement restrictions
- Gatherings restrictions
- Closure of learning institutions
Such measures have a great influence on consumer patterns and ripple effects on supply chain. It is important to note that both retailers and consumers are feeling impacts of a disrupted supply chain. In response, both parties must work together toreduce the effects of coronavirus on supply chain.
How to Augment Your Supply Networks amid COVID-19
Of course, you cannot sit back and watch your business suffer because of this pandemic, something must be done. Below are five effective ways of improving retail supply network during the coronavirus prevalence.
Most businesses dealing with nondiscretionary goods i.e. food, household and health care product) are running out of stock.Retailers dealing with such product should ensure the supply of their product is steady, fast and secure.
To do so, retailers are tackling COVID-19demand by using tactics like lowering the Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) of their products and services. Doing this helps youprocess orders easily thus ensuring fast delivery of goods and services to clients.
For retailers dealing with more than one product line, you can prioritize the fast moving goods (those in high demand) .That way, you can focus your resources, staff and time on profitable products during this crisis.
2. Increasing the Number of Distributors.
One of the effects of corona on supply chain is high demand of distributors, especially for countries that are on lockdown. Many companies are reassigning other capable staff personnel to help with the distribution sector.
Also, workers who dealt with non-essential goods are undergoing reallocation to help businesses handling the essential goods.
3. Maintaining the Hygiene of Working Places and Workers.
Coronavirus is contagious! Methods like partitioning of working areas and introduction of shifts will reduce the chances of customers and employees contracting the diseases. Offering training, protection methods and sanitizing working areas will also help to reduce spreading of the virus.
4. BeingQuick and Flexible with Your Logistics.
Customers get angry when their orders delay, and the fact that Coronavirus has slowed down operations may not change this. To avoid churn and disappointment, business owners must be agile and flexible.
One way to go about it is to ship goods directly to stores and not to distribution centers.Essential goods retailers must partner with merchants who sell nonessentialsto help with distribution services.
5. Ensuring Reliability and Customer Satisfaction.
Retailers are also taking advantage of techniques like increasing delivery time and opening supplementary stores to ensure reliable and safe delivery of goods.
Home Delivery Systems in China Play a Critical Role in Reducing the Number of Covid-19 Infection Cases by a Great Percentage.
Due to the contagious nature of coronavirus, most governments have implemented lockdowns to reduce its spread.
Countries on lockdown have their streets, shopping centers, and most business deserted because of some government regulations and the fear of the deadly corona.
During the early days of lockdown, they was shortage of supplies in supermarkets and other business stores, especially for nondiscretionary goods. Most countries were not engineered enough to deal with the effects of Covid-19.
One of the major concern after lockdown begun was how the citizens could receive goods without exposing both the suppliers and customers to the virus.
China, however, has managed to control the effects of corona on supply chain of their wide use of online transaction platforms.
Home product delivery has helped china weather such economic storms.
Online Shopping Platforms are the Center of Most Online Transactions.
China is far much ahead in matters of supply chain and ecommerce as compared to the U.S. As the virus is spreading all over the world, the increase in demand for essential goods has led to empty shelves and grocery stores in the victim countries.
Examples of online shopping platforms that help ease home delivery in china are the Alibaba, JD.com, Amazon, Walmart, Freshippo, among other delivery apps. With these online shopping platforms in play,the door-to-door distribution of goodsis a trivial matter for the Chinese.
Staffs working in online shopping platforms like Amazon are getting extra benefits like increase in salaries. In case a worker contracts coronavirus, they get PTO (paid time off) benefits which also applies to the occasional workers.
However, it is important for all executives to protect their employees by providing with gloves, masks, and other protective measures.
Door To Door Delivery Services That Has Put China in Control of Covid-19
In order to contain Covid-19, China’s most affected cities were put under lockdown causing millions of people to lack access to goods. Yet after a few days people were able to receive services in a very short time regardless of the surge in demand.
Here’s why china has managed to deal with the many effects of coronavirus.
1. Presence of Efficient and Improved Digital Delivery System.
Access to robust door to door delivery services improve the efficiency and effectiveness of home delivery. Essential goods take as short as 20 minutes to be dispatched while nonessential orders arrived in two days.
By last year, almost 36% of the Chinese were shopping online thus it was easy for them to adopt online shopping. The distribution of goods to the people was contactless whereby the products were left at specific stations or at doorsteps.
Supply tycoon networks like Alibaba have a digital artificial intelligence system that helps both the offline and online traders to link up. On the other hand, Freshippo was outsourcing its delivery services and hiring unemployed personnel from the restaurant sector to help with home delivery in China, Hubei province.
Due to gradual decrease in inventories, JD.com chipped in. they took advantage of this opportunity in Hubei by procuring goods from other business stores and then selling them to other businesses at lower prices.
2. The Chinese Familiarity and Content with Online Shopping.
A recent study shows that close to 71% of all Chinese citizens conduct transactions online. Out of this statistic, 80% of them carry out these transactions using a portable mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet.
As a result of robust supply chains and Chinese familiarity with the digital world, distribution of goods at home became easy. Beijing residents are using group apps to find volunteers to receive and deliver commodities to the doorsteps of community members.
The effects of corona on supply chain in China are much lower than in other countries. A high level of familiarity with online shopping platforms helps the Chinese buy and sell goods amid the ongoing pandemic.
All retailers whose businesses are at stake due to effects of coronavirus on supply chain, need to rethink their strategy.
Implementing the above ideas depending on your business case can help you weather these storms. If you have been hesitant to make the online transformation then this is the time to do it.
Aim atkeeping your business on its feetand reducing the effects of corona on supply chainuntil this pandemic is over because.Soon everything will be back to normal.
China’s has gone digital to control the spread of coronavirus and even recorded lesser cases. This should be a wake-up call for other nations because a few months agoit was the first and most affected country.
Regions that are still struggling witheffects of coronavirus cases like North America, should emulate what china is practicing to stabilize the virus.
For many US small and medium entities, the challenge is to get the funds to stay on their feet and upgared when cash flow is a problem. Luckily, the government announced loan reliefs which should serve as a stepping stone.