A supply chain disruption is something that blocks the free flow of materials and products.
Over the past two years, a primary cause of supply chain disruption has been the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, many other things can cause issues in your supply chain and interrupt normal business operations. They may arise from an individual (an equipment breakdown, fire, etc.), a local (a labor strike in New York, etc.), or a global event (natural disaster, global pandemic, etc.).
Though natural disasters, catastrophic events, and cyberattacks are infrequent, their impact on supply chains can be massive. Moderate impact disruptions, like demand volatility, access restrictions or warehouse shutdowns, and material shortages, are far more common.
So how does a small business prepare? Check out these three tips to help you survive supply chain disruptions:
Communicate with your customer
Keeping your customers in the loop can make a massive difference with supply chain issues. People generally understand if you set realistic, rather than optimistic, expectations for delays. For example, if you anticipate an item could take 1-2 months to be delivered, make sure your customer knows the time frame upfront. Promising delivery in two weeks, only to repeatedly push it back, will leave a bad taste.
With the competition likely facing the same supply problems, you also can find small ways to stand out. Something as simple as restocking alerts can give you an edge, getting your product in front of customers as soon as it’s available. Educating customers on alternative products and workarounds can also build loyalty as you wait for your merchandise to arrive.
Revamp your products & displays
If you know you’re waiting on a delivery and don’t have the inventory to stock your shelves as fully as you’re used to, you’ll have to get creative to fill in the gaps. Here are some ideas:
- Brick-and-mortar retail stores can reconfigure product displays to showcase available items.
- Online retailers can highlight in-stock merchandise that ships quickly in their marketing campaigns, social media, and website.
- Restaurants can reimagine menu items to play up easier-to-source proteins and produce.
Verify your suppliers
If push comes to shove and you wind up having to replace your supplier, make sure you have a way to find verified suppliers. Supplier fraud is a challenge that small businesses face increasingly every year. Verifying suppliers through online research and Google searches may not be enough to keep your business safe from supplier fraud.
On the Markaaz Dashboard, you can access our Directory with over 300 million businesses powered by Equifax. Owners can claim their business and connect with other legitimate companies, and the Dashboard gives them all the tools they need to stay on top of their business and control their data.
The bottom line
While there are no immediate solutions to overcome many of the supply chain disruptions faced today, there are alternative ways to mitigate some of the challenges. Increasing your communication, finding new ways to display your inventory, and having a quick and easy way to find verified suppliers are all excellent places to start.
Join Markaaz today and become a part of a community built to help you manage your business.