Transparency and visibility during the restart phase

Yesterday I posted an introductory article on resilience and agility to face the new normal of the post Coronavirus pandemic. (article available here)

This new normal will come upon us. As mentioned, it will change many behaviors both economic and social. But let’s come back to the topics of tomorrow which will be key for our supply chain managers.

I have listed 6 actions to take in a value chain to restore activity. The first is to create transparency in the value chain. What is it about?

Building a comprehensive vision of a multi-level supply chain can (should) begin with identifying critical components for your industrial activities. By working with the teams, will mean, for example, examining your nomenclatures, the use cases of the components, the volumes consumed, and identifying those which come from high-risk areas and which have no substitute.

One could imagine setting up a risk index for each product in the nomenclature, based on the uniqueness and location of suppliers, thus helping to identify the parts presenting the highest risks.

Once the critical elements are identified, we must focus on the links where the risk of interruption is high. This step consists of asking the identified links to carry out the same process on their own network. Sometimes, we can see that it is about creating unusual bridges between players in the same value chain. Then, the key to success is to focus on the most critical products and to share demand and inventory information throughout the value chain. It requires transparency, trust, and patience.

And if these conditions are not met, what methods should be implemented?

My experience leads me to believe that all sectors have leading indicators which allow phenomena to be anticipated. And once again, let’s bring supply chain managers closer to sales and marketing teams. They very often have the answers to our questions to explain the behavior of our markets.

The sale of commercial aircraft in a geographic area is correlated in part with the GDP of that area. Drug sales are linked to doctors’ prescriptions,…. It is then a matter of finding the indicators that are relevant to your specific activity.

Artificial intelligence can help identify correlations or causalities. But keep in mind that, in times of crisis, we are all in the same boat, and those who will recover quickly are those who play the collaboration, transparency, and speed of action cards. Today, we can see this in the great solidarity movements that put in motion a whole chain of independent actors at the service of a common cause.

Let’s bet that our supply chain managers will be the conductors of their value chain and that they will be able to show solidarity, transparency, and calm