Distributors Facing Major Supply Chain Disruptions

Distributors Facing Major Supply Chain Disruptions- warehouse

With all the instability in your distribution network, can digital tools like predictive analytics provide some solutions?

Across industries, distributors are facing major stressors from their manufacturers:

  1. General product unavailability, with fewer completed units coming out of the factories.
  2. Unpredictable delivery timeframes.
  3. Lower levels of quality assurance leading to faulty products.
The labor shortage in manufacturing and slowdown of global facilities due to employee furloughs, full out shutdowns and supplies trickling in, mean that distributors and their customers are feeling the heat.

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:

  1. Institute buying limits - set up rules in your eCommerce tool to avoid mass purchases and customer hoarding on popular parts or units.
  2. Use a digital order-tracking system to spot problems quickly when ordering supplies from your vendors.
  3. 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.

Let's Talk