As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues to escalate, the supply chain sector is reeling from the shock of one of the most devastating and unpredictable global developments in living memory. It is also bracing itself for a long journey of disruption, rising costs, logistical challenges and product shortages.
The vast majority of markets are likely to be affected and the effects will be far-reaching. It is vital that supply chain leaders do all they can to mitigate the impact and prepare for significant ongoing disruption, as well as a long and arduous recovery.
Here are some ways businesses can reduce the impact of the Russian-Ukraine conflict on the supply chain.
Continually monitor the impact business-wide
As we mention above, the effects of the conflict are and will continue to be far-reaching. Naturally, supply chain leaders will be keeping a close eye on rising commodity and fuel prices, as well as specific circumstances that will affect their suppliers. It’s also important to assess new risks to your business that are associated with cybercrime. This is very challenging to do without the right expert support. If you don’t have a team internally that can handle this, speak to a cyber security company that can help you with detecting, mitigating and responding to cyberattacks.
Manage supplier relationships
Naturally, this is a high priority of all supply chain companies, even during business as usual. Right now it is more important than ever. Your suppliers are likely to be under a great deal of pressure so it is vital you don’t add to it. Make sure they know you are there to help wherever you can but keep non-urgent enquiries to a minimum and factor these companies into the monitoring activities we mention above.
Make sure you have complete visibility
Having the right technology is essential. You will need end-to-end visibility of your operations at all times. If you are concerned about any weaknesses in your IT or operational infrastructure they need to be addressed as a priority. You will also need advanced analytics packages and experts monitoring them to alert you to any new risks or problems.
Re-evaluate your supply chain and product offering
Unfortunately, the situation is unlikely to improve in the near future. So, it's time to think carefully about how resilient your business is as it stands. You may need to make some tough decisions based on your ability to manufacture in the short and long-term and how this might affect your operations and cash flow.
Try not to be too reactive
This follows from the previous point. While it is critical that you remain realistic and proactive, if possible it is important not to be too reactive. The procurement and supply chain sector has weathered all manner of storms in the last few years; the pandemic and the EU exit to name just two. If you can adapt your business strategy to be more flexible and tackle the current challenges presented by the conflict in Ukraine it should not only make your business stronger it will also help to support the rest of your supply chain during this challenging time.
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