For the majority of us, the summer holiday is just around the corner. Whereas there would usually be a mass exodus to tropical destinations, concerns about sudden virus flare-ups means that many people are considering a ‘staycation’ instead. This will be a different kind of summer for businesses too. The logistics sector has not escaped the economic downturn. Although manufacturing activities are gradually recovering from the initial shock and factory shutdowns, production is nowhere near back at previous levels and supply chains are still not running as smoothly as before the crisis. Nevertheless, there are some small signs of optimism. It might not be an entirely carefree summer, but these five tips will help your supply chain to emerge stronger after the vacation period.
Tip 1 – Don’t waste time on ‘wait and see’
Whereas the biggest headache for logistics managers used to be the labour shortage, the main cause of sleepless
nights has now become the drop in both demand and production. The whole supply chain is having to cope with different volumes and different routes. And things are unlikely to change for the foreseeable future because – according to the IMF – the global economy will shrink by 5% in 2020, and the recovery from 2021 onwards will be slow and gradual. So you can’t afford to ‘wait and see’. Make use of this summer to think seriously about the impact of the coronavirus crisis, and then take constructive measures. Based out of our offices in Utrecht, our team of supply chain specialists can work in close collaboration with everyone concerned (customers, carriers, logistics service providers and other partners) to optimize your transport activities, both now and after the summer break. They are always on hand to help you.
Tip 2 – Obtain good advice
Every year, highway associations caution motorists to make sure they are well prepared before setting out. That advice is as solid as a rock for the logistics sector too. Every European country has its own rules and limitations, and in Germany the approach to tackling the virus even varies per state. Some travel restrictions are still in place for Sweden and the UK, and parts of Italy are going back into lockdown. The fragmented easing of the restrictions is actually making the situation even more chaotic. At IDS, we monitor the changing situation on a daily basis. That way we can help our customers to make sense of all the rules – both now and in the future. This ensures that we can advise our customers on the optimal logistics solution for them at all times.
Tip 3 – Gain insight
The economic downturn is making headlines every day. A quick look at your manufacturing facilities is probably enough to confirm that things are quieter than normal – but how much quieter, exactly? This is the time for insight, not guesswork,. So that you know where the abnormalities are and where intervention is needed. A transport management system (TMS) puts more data at your fingertips. It enables you to download detailed management reports about freight flows as the basis for gaining insight into where things could be done better, faster and at lower cost.
Tip 4 – Look for extra cost savings
Cutting costs is always on every logistics manager’s to-do list, and it definitely can’t hurt to look for extra ways to make savings this summer. However, it’s important not to compromise on quality and customer satisfaction. Our supply chain specialists love nothing better than using the TMS to help our customers find the most efficient transport solution in each specific situation.
Tip 5 – Plan for various scenarios
Despite many restrictions now being eased, the future remains uncertain. To gain a greater sense of control over the situation, it helps to plan for various scenarios. What if the volumes decline even more dramatically,/ What if they shift from one raw material to another? What if countries close their borders again, such as France or Belgium? Our TMS really proves its worth when shipment volumes, weights, frequencies and (international) destinations are constantly changing. We can work closely with you to analyse the various scenarios and identify the potential bottlenecks. We can also draw up a plan of action and help you to define KPIs. A reassuring thought!
As carefree as possible
So this summer will be about recharging your battery and preparing for more uncertainty in the future. But it’s always nice to know that you can fall back on a reliable transport management system, and on supply chain specialists who are doing everything they can to make your summer as carefree as possible.
Are you curious to find out how we could do that for your supply chain? Contact Arno Spoek for a meaningful discussion about the future of your logistics activities.