Warehousing, Supply Chain Management, Technology Create an agile, real-time approach. Have an effective communication strategy, one that includes internal users, vendors, and carrier partners.Alan Miller is President, TransportGistics, 631-567-4100With the one-two punch of the coronavirus outbreak and the nearly unprecedented economic shock, we're forced to deal with uncertainty amid constantly changing conditions.It is highly likely the number of issues your business is facing will rapidly escalate; now is the time to take action to get ahead of what may be forthcoming.You need to start establishing multiple contingencies as, more than ever before, maintaining flexibility in logistics is essential.You need to be prepared to address capacity, supply chain instability, and vendor viability, to name a few issues. The recent surge in demand across nondiscretionary product categories is slowly diminishing excess capacity.Just last month trucking demand increased by 150% year over year, while freight costs have also soared. Carriers seem to be favoring the spot market over existing contracted rates.If you haven't already, now is the time to search out secondary and tertiary trading partners to mitigate any potential issues with your primary partners. Take Decisive ActionDon't delay. Create an agile, real-time approach. Have an effective communication strategy, one that includes internal users, vendors, and carrier partners. This will have a critical impact on your success.Quick and proactive communication could help you avoid breaking the transportation link in your supply chain and help contain any pain and damage by alerting your trading partners to act fast and in accordance with your ever-adapting requirements.In preparing any communications, you should clarify your ideas before you communicate them, be clear, simple, and succinct, respond in a timely manner, adapt readily to any situation, practice positivity, and put your audience at ease.Take advantage of tools that will help automate your communication tasks. Now is not the time to be scouring the market for all-encompassing solutions; however, there are a host of simple, incremental solutions available today that can be deployed quickly and with minimal interruption to your process. You can achieve many advantages and mitigate risk by deploying these.Make Timely AdjustmentsTo help source backup carriers or to effectively purchase in the spot market, consider engaging a Bid solution. Many solutions afford you the ability to shop on the open market or in a closed market with trading partners that you've already qualified. This should also allow you to manage ad hoc lanes, manage repetitive shipments, and support your global, cross-functional teams.With the landscape ever changing, you'll need to be able to easily communicate new carriers, new receiving policies, and a variety of other changing rules of engagement to your suppliers and team members.With a Routing Guide solution, you'll be able to make immediate adjustments to adapt to requirements and simultaneously push these to your trading partners without impacting your supply chain. The good solutions are easy to use and easy to implement.Whatever you decide, do something, take action. Be smart, be bold, be nimble, and be well.
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