If you are thinking about inventory optimization, you are probably taking a closer look at the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on your company. Even though your company may have taken a significant hit due to the pandemic, there are also several lessons that we can take with us as we emerge on the other side. First, keep in mind that the pandemic is going to be with us for the foreseeable future. Even though there are vaccines that are being released, it will be a while until enough people have been vaccinated that the world can go back to normal. In the meantime, we should focus on the inventory and supply chain lessons that the pandemic has taught us.
Listen to Signals Coming From Your Consumers
First, you should pay attention to signals that are coming from your consumers. For example, at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, many companies experienced abrupt shifts and what their clients and customers are asking for. For example, a lot of customers prefer to communicate with companies via text messages or emails. A lot of organizations are not prepared for this situation. As a result, they ended up failing their customers.
This includes inventory transparency. Traditional techniques regarding inventory transparency are not helpful when customers are not physically coming to stores. They would like to be able to view inventory online from the comfort of their home. Companies that were prepared to provide customers with this type of access immediately had an edge over their competitors.
Do Not Ignore What Your Data Is Telling You
It is also critical for companies to focus on the data. Inventory management is exceedingly complex. Prioritizing data is a fundamental Inventory management strategy. For example, companies can use data regarding inventory management to predict certain levels of demand for their products and services down the road. That way, they can increase the amount of lead time they have if they are looking to restock on certain products. If companies do not pay attention to shifts in their data, they may end up spending more money on inventory management than they have to. Today, there are advanced programs that can help companies analyze this data quickly.
Diversify Your Network of Suppliers
Finally, businesses also need to diversify their network of suppliers. If you have experienced disruptions in your supply chain, wouldn’t it be better to have a backup option? Similar to diversifying your assets in the stock market, you should diversify your network of suppliers as well. That way, if one of your suppliers begins to experience significant issues, you can lean on your other suppliers without failing to meet the expectations of your customers. If you only have one supplier and that supply chain is disrupted, it can bring down your entire operation overnight. Diversify your supply so this does not happen.
Pay Attention to These Lessons from the Pandemic
It is true that the pandemic has created a situation the likes of which have not been seen for more than 100 years. On the other hand, it is better to be prepared proactively than to respond reactively. Therefore, do not wait for everything to go back to normal. There might be a new normal on the other side of the pandemic. Instead, you should focus on trying to improve your inventory management and supply chain practices now so that you can remain one step ahead of your competitors. Pay attention to the lessons that the coronavirus pandemic has taught us. They will serve us well in the future.