The COVID-19 pandemic forced most companies to reassess their business model and customer base. Some have adapted, finding different ways to meet customer needs or to improve existing products and services. Others found ways to leverage existing resources to expand.
“During the last six months, manufacturers and distributors have experienced unprecedented volatility of both demand and supply,” says Lisa Anderson, president of LMA Consulting Group, Inc. “Risks that were not fully considered have resulted in supply chain disruptions, extra costs and/or customer service challenges.”
Ms. Anderson believes that communicating with your customers and their customers is vital for finding future growth potential. “Start with your customers and your customers’ customers. Talking with them is key to realigning manufacturing operations and the extended supply chain. No matter the circumstances, these conversations can lead to opportunities for growth, improved profitability and increased inventory turns and associated cash flow.”
She continued, “It is about constantly building for the future. What do you want your business to look like in six months, one year and beyond? Who are your ideal customers? Creating opportunities for these future customers and products will lead to reassessing market plans and product supply strategies. Revisiting sourcing options, evaluating regional versus global manufacturing platforms, and exploring innovative ideas and the expanded use of technology and automation should all be on the table and analyzed. Opportunities exist if you look for them. But first, the supply chain must be stabilized and resilient. We can learn a lot from diving deep into critical elements of demand and supply both for the present and more importantly, the future,” she concluded.
LMA Consulting recently sponsored Navigating Through Volatility, a webinar series for APICS (Supply Chain Professional Community), and hosted a recent session: The Future of Manufacturing. Ms. Anderson has also released, Future-Proofing Manufacturing & the Supply Chain Post COVID-19, an eBook that provides practical go-forward insights, advice and experiential value for manufacturers and their supply chains.