In the midst of COVID-19, distribution chains may be a bit rocky. In this unprecedented crisis, distributors have been unable to predict market shifts and consumer demands. Therefore, many distributors have seen a decrease in productivity and sales. In order to sustain operations, businesses must find ways to adapt and minimize disruptions within their distribution chains.
Here are a few key strategies you should employ to strengthen your distribution chain:
Embrace the digital experience
With the emergence of COVID-19, fewer people prefer face-to-face sales and dealings. Therefore, most businesses have adopted virtual solutions, such as utilizing e-commerce platforms. This shift has proven to be effective, as digital interactions have more than doubled since the rise of COVID-19. Furthermore, many businesses have plans to sustain this business model post-pandemic.
However, the shift to a digital marketplace is nothing new. Over the years, consumers have begun exclusively shopping online, as they now prefer self-service over interacting with a salesperson.
Utilize analytics to make predictions
A major benefit of embracing the digital experience is that businesses are now able to make predictions about market shifts with the use of analytics. As online orders are placed, businesses can track who is buying what and when they are buying it. E-commerce platforms with analytics tools will allow you to track sales during the best and worst market conditions. Therefore, you can make predictions about the future and better prepare for crises.
Identify vulnerabilities in your distribution chain
One of the most common ways to minimize disruptions is to identify vulnerabilities in your distribution chain. Reflect on these items:
- How many distributors do we have?
- How many units can each distributor deliver, and how quickly can they do so?
- Have any of our distributors ever failed to fill orders in a timely manner? If so, how frequently? Why? Are we contributing to the issue?
Answering these questions will provide insight into how reliable, and resilient, your distributors are. The unexpected happens in a moment’s notice, so it is crucial that your distribution chain is prepared to act. If your distributors have significant vulnerabilities, it
is the perfect time to meet with your distributor and update your mutual business plan. If this does not deliver the desired results, you may have to consider terminating your partnership or bringing on new distributors. Regardless, it is important that you diversify your distribution chain and have distributors lined up from several regions or countries. Having several diverse distributors acts as a buffer when you are faced with a crisis.
At Floro Business Strategies, we want to help you minimize distribution chain disruptions and become better prepared for future crises. We can develop a strategy that will allow your distribution chain to thrive no matter the circumstances. Schedule a no obligation consultation with us to discuss your options.