Introduction — Be Grateful
Before we launch into a brief discussion of what we are all probably experiencing as consumers in our supply chains, it is important to maintain perspective. Most of the modern world can still get online and just order things. Of course, not everything will meet our images.
But just imagine what it is like for others in the world who lack a modern infrastructure. Rural people, refugee camps, those in conflict areas or failed states. The very idea of just sitting down, ordering some food and having it delivered to your door is like a fantasy.
So, let’s keep our cool in all this, and be grateful.
Home Delivery and Other Stuff
For the last few years, we have been writing about supply chain risk. We thought about updating our pandemic preparedness reports last month, including how to prepare the back-end of the chain. But we realized it was way too late for foresight. Those who had good practices in place after learning from previous ups and downs and shortages, and who did not rely on single sourcing, are in much better shape than others.
That being said, there is the consumer end. With most of us “sheltered in place,” we have turned to online shopping. These times have highlighted the lack of foresight and attention given to last-mile delivery. This is really hurting those who did not think ahead and have those services in place. Interestingly, this is not necessarily an issue of large vs. small. One of our local produce and specialty family-owned businesses has been doing home delivery for years, whereas another national favorite has no — read that NO — home delivery. I can’t imagine what the revenue impact of that decision is currently.
Amazon, as many know, responded with great intelligence. They refocused all their logistics, hiring, and so on to high priority items. Nonpriority items have been left to the seller to ship. Some of the sellers are very angry because they did not have a process set up. But interestingly, there are many sellers — again, some of them quite small — who already were or could drop ship.
Many of the trucking companies and last-mile delivery services are also offering pay hikes and/or bonuses to the people who continue to serve us across the supply chain, through distribution and into our homes. And many grocers are hiring laid-off workers to help in this time.
Those of us in high risk personal situations who are really sheltering in place are extremely grateful for those who are out there delivering our goods to the doorstep.
There are businesses, too numerous to mention, who are responding with intelligence and with a sense of community. So, let’s remember the lessons and remember that end-to-end logistics is a priority for any business.
And let’s be grateful.
Here, we want to offer, for your consideration, best practices reports.
Read: “Of America and Sacrifice: Is the Country Ready to Step Up to the Plate?” From AP News
To view other articles from this issue of the brief, click here.