Across industries, distributors are facing major stressors from their manufacturers:
- General product unavailability, with fewer completed units coming out of the factories.
- Unpredictable delivery timeframes.
- Lower levels of quality assurance leading to faulty products.
Distributors are witnessing:
- Uncharacteristically large customer orders that, if left unchecked, wipe out inventory.
- An inability to provide complete units, forcing distributors to build from in-stock parts, which significantly slows down and increases the cost of fulfillment.
- Pressure on their workforce as they deal with a larger volume of returns and more unhappy customers.
- A general feeling of helplessness: when will this upheaval calm down?
From natural disasters to trade embargoes, you’ve likely dealt with supply chain issues before.
How can distributors make it through this production slowdown?
Well, a digital infrastructure provides you with a level of control that you might not have if you’re handling the situation with old methods. Current marketplace conditions can be better managed with digital tools:
- Institute buying limits - set up rules in your eCommerce tool to avoid mass purchases and customer hoarding on popular parts or units.
- Use a digital order-tracking system to spot problems quickly when ordering supplies from your vendors.
- Leverage predictive analytics to improve the accuracy of demand forecasts and suggest smarter allocation and replenishment strategies.
One such example is Inter-Store Inventory Balancing, which helps you move products between branches, based on demand.
Digital tools can help you manage risk and adapt quickly.
We’re here to help. If you need a plan to make your supply chain more resilient or to switch from a manual to a digital approach, contact us.