Entrepreneurs

Facing Supply Chain Issues? Nine Tips For Weathering The Storm

As companies continue to face supply chain issues across the board, many are looking for solutions to help them get back on their feet and heading toward “business as usual.” Even when the current supply chain storm passes, savvy business leaders will be looking ahead and preparing for the next time processes go awry.

To help, nine members of Young Entrepreneur Council share their advice for how entrepreneurs can weather the current supply chain storm, and explain how these tips can help them build better processes for the future.

1. Be Honest With Your Customers

Communicate to your customers what the issue is and what you are actively doing to work through it. Bonus points if you can differentiate yourself in what you are doing versus what the competition is doing. Right now, you would be hard-pressed to find a person on the planet who hasn’t heard there are supply chain issues. Embrace the moment, and demonstrate how you are working through it with your communication. – JT Allen, myFootpath LLC

2. Maintain Balance Between Demand And Supply

For now, the best thing to do is to maintain a balance between demand and supply. Don’t set higher targets to meet each month to fuel your growth. This may benefit you in the short term, but in the long run, the issues you’re facing will continue to grow exponentially. So, don’t strive for growth; survive for now and identify the factors that are causing the problems. Once that’s done, the next step should be to come up with an efficient strategy to tackle the problems head-on. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

3. Diversify Your Supplier Base

It’s important for companies to diversify their supplier base and not put all their eggs in one basket. This will help them weather the storm because they’ll have multiple options for sourcing their products and components. Additionally, building better processes for the future includes having a robust supply chain planning and management system in place. This will help companies more effectively manage their inventory, identify potential disruptions and mitigate risks. Another piece of advice is to build strong relationships with your vendors. This means regular communication and collaboration. By building strong relationships with your vendors, you can develop a better understanding of their operations and capabilities. This knowledge can help you better plan for disruptions and manage expectations. – Pratik Chaskar, Spectra

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4. Consider Adding On Additional Services

Get creative. Is there a way to diversify your product or add a service on top of that? What’s one thing your clients need help with when implementing or using your product that they typically deal with on their own? Adding on a couple of services to support existing customers is a good way to keep the cash flow going even in spite of shortages and supply chain issues. It doesn’t need to be super demanding for the team. After all, with the amount of knowledge and experience you have, you’ll be able to solve certain problems much more efficiently than any of your customers. – Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS

5. Identify Supply Chain Gaps And Correct Them

Identifying potential supply chain gaps and taking steps to correct them should be the first step for companies. There are several ways that businesses can repurpose assets, inventory and capabilities to balance supply chain gaps. One way is by using data analytics to identify underperforming areas of the supply chain. Once these areas have been identified, businesses can take steps to improve their operations. Another way to balance supply chain gaps is by using technology to automate processes and improve communication between different parts of the organization. Further, companies should ensure the physical and mental well-being of their workforce. Providing them with proper training to bridge the visible gaps in a supply chain system is also essential. – Kelly Richardson, Infobrandz

6. Avoid Overinvesting In Products At The Current Prices

When the supply shortages are resolved, you might end up with excess inventory that you paid a premium for. Instead, be mindful about getting just enough supply to minimize operational downtime, but you’ll want to avoid overpaying for more than you need. In the future, find opportunities to get materials and inventory at cheaper prices. When costs skyrocket, be careful not to utilize too much capital at that stage. It’s hard to predict what will happen and when, but you don’t want to put yourself in a position where you’re constantly operating on thin margins and cash. – Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep Mattress

7. Create An Emergency Response Team

This team would be made up of specialists whose key responsibility would be to deploy efficient strategies for managing the crisis and creating better processes for the future. The team would work to improve the supply chain infrastructure and devise optimal solutions for customer or supplier issues faced by the company. For this, it would need access to all important information that can be used to make informed decisions. – Jared Atchison, WPForms

8. Streamline Communication Efforts

Streamline your communication efforts at every part of the chain. Whether it’s with your distributor or your customers, having open, clear communication about supply chain issues is the best way to survive the storm. When you’re communicating well with everyone, you’re establishing trust. Your distributors trust that you’re a client they’ll want to continue working with after the storm has passed. Your customers will trust that you’re being forthright with them in your offering. Clear, consistent and accurate communication is essential regarding supply chain issues, regardless of how turbulent something seems. – Nick Venditti, StitchGolf

9. Manage Expectations

Vendors who sell physical products and are struggling with supply chain issues need to maintain their customers’ expectations. When launching a new product, you should mention that stock is limited and that it’s first come, first serve. This little announcement can help visitors decide if they need to make a purchase now or if they’d rather wait. You can add to this experience by allowing people to join a waiting list once the product is sold out. – Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

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