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Pandemic to-do list for suppliers, distributors and customers

Sept. 16, 2020
Strong Links: Part 6

Read more in the Strong Links mini-series!

To better cope with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, experienced suppliers and distributors advise their colleagues and customers to follow some basic recommendations and procedures. These include:

  • Use personal protective equipment (PPE), social distancing, reduced staffing levels, body temperature checks, and enhancing cleaning and disinfecting procedures;
  • Follow the rules and recommendations of local healthcare authorities for safely responding to COVID-19;
  • Investigate, anticipate and manage risks to the supply chain, and establish a plan to gauge impacts, balance cash flow, and determine what's is needed for operations to continue;
  • Build up added inventory or a safety stock of crucial items that are more likely to run low;
  • Seek new backup sources for suppliers and networks that are more likely to be disrupted;
  • Add more lead time to procurement, shipping and logistics processes to offset new delays;
  • Investigate flexible financing and deferred payment options with trusted suppliers;
  • Increase networking bandwidth and cybersecurity capabilities for remote workers;
  • Learn to us online conferencing tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, GoToMeeting and others;
  • Maintain an easy-to-use website and add functions for customers and remote staff;
  • Enlist trusted partners to operate an integrated supply chain solution, and source products on your behalf;
  • Research and employ online forecasting, analysis and procurement services like Z2A, Ariba and others to keep track of markets and proactively organize inventories; and
  • Explore application programming interfaces (API) for automating system-to-system price checking, ordering and shipping. 
About the author: Jim Montague
About the Author

Jim Montague | Executive Editor

Jim Montague is executive editor of Control. 

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