How Covid-19 exposed weakness in the supply chain

Although the full impact of Covid-19 on supply chains remains unknown, what we do know is that the economic and financial ramifications are being and will continue to be felt across global supply chains for some time to come.
Heinrich de Leeuw, Managing Director, Seidor South Africa

How do you build a resilient supply chain that can quickly adjust and recover from any unanticipated disruptions? By Heinrich de Leeuw, Managing Director of Seidor South Africa

In a report titled “Covid-19: Managing supply chain risk and disruption” Deloitte posed the question: ‘Could Covid-19 be the black swan event that finally forces many companies, and entire industries, to rethink and transform their global supply chain model?”

Although the full impact of Covid-19 on supply chains remains unknown, what we do know is that the economic and financial ramifications are being and will continue to be felt across global supply chains for some time to come. We have seen how the ongoing digital transformation of industries has accelerated as a result of the pandemic. Companies have been forced to innovate and optimise beyond the usual in order to navigate their unexpected vulnerabilities and we anticipate seeing tech-led businesses emerging as industry leaders.

Some companies were better prepared than others

According to the Deloitte report, “some companies are better prepared than others to mitigate the impact of the pandemic and respond to this event, but others are scrambling. These companies are over-reliant on a single geography or a single supplier for key products. They don’t have enough visibility across the extended supply network to see their risks. They don’t have the systems to understand their inventory status, to project stock-outs of direct materials and optimise production, or to project stock-outs of finished goods to optimise customer allocation, and they don’t have flexible logistics networks to ensure the flow of goods in a profitable manner.”

Companies have been forced to innovate and optimise beyond the usual in order to navigate their unexpected vulnerabilities and we anticipate seeing tech-led businesses emerging as industry leaders.

The time to adapt is NOW

Right now, supply chain leaders would be wise to quickly change how they do things if they want to overcome the challenges that arise from lack of visibility, collaboration and coordination. The need for more automation and information is an opportunity for manufacturers. In the wake of Covid-19, companies still need human workers to manage the supply chain, but they also need to evolve their businesses into digitally intelligent organisations that are equipped to drive efficiencies throughout their business processes.

Looking to the future, ABI Research forecasts the supply chain impact of Covid-19 will spur manufacturers spend on enterprise resource planning (ERP) to reach $14bn in 2024. While many ERP platforms include modules for inventory control and supply chain management, in light of the outbreak many manufacturers will also turn to specialist providers.

It’s a journey that begins with an extensive due diligence process as these organisations need to understand their risk exposure, potential failure points and where buffers can be built to aborb delays and disruptions. This includes the operations of their suppliers suppliers too.

To help our customers discover what it means to be a digitally intelligent organisation and drive efficiencies throughout their §business processes, Seidor Africa, which represents SAP Business One in South Africa, can enable companies to build a more productive and data-led business.

It’s an opportunity that offers several key benefits:

1. Businesses will gain access to the real-time, reliable business information it requires to align components such as stock levels (in-stock and “on order”) with customer orders (current & back-order) and accurate delivery schedules.

2. Moving from a reactive, back-capture methodology to continuous manufacturing process where material consumption, stage updates and quality control data is entered real-time on the production floor will aid accurate stock management, replenishments, and efficient order fulfilment. Continuous manufacturing and the electronic tracking thereof are also key to identify any potential inefficiencies in certain production lines or phases of production.

3. Providing sales reps with the ability to view pricing, stock availability and place orders in real time from their mobile or tablet while in the field or with a customer, through SAP B1 Mobile Sales application integrated to SAP Business One. Having these orders added to the manufacturing and subsequent delivery cycle automatically will provide an invaluable advantage for businesses in the supply chain industry.

Although Covid-19 illustrates how many companies are vulnerable to global shocks through their supply chain relationships, technologies such as SAP Business One are available to improve visibility across the end-to-end supply chain and support greater supply chain agility and resiliency.

Digital transformation is key to future-proof businesses

Digital transformation and end-to-end information management are the key to future-proofing businesses in the supply chain. Now, more than ever, wholesalers and distributors must be optimising their stock holding and making their internal processes, from sales to shipping, purchasing to warehouse management, as streamlined, responsive and effective as possible, using the best digital technology available to them.

The “Managing supply chain risk and disruption” report concludes that “the traditional view of a linear supply chain and optimising for your own business is transforming into digital supply networks (DSNs) where functional silos are broken down within your organisation and you are connected to your full supply network to enable end-to-end visibility, collaboration, responsiveness, agility, and optimisation.” 

It makes sense to build a resilient supply chain by leveraging technology that also allows for more business efficiency, security, compliance, scalability and better productivity.

“They don’t have enough visibility across the extended supply network to see their risks.”

About Seidor Africa

Seidor Africa is a leading SAP Business One Reseller in Africa and a top technology integrator. With the use of technology, the company enables busineses to reduce costs, ensure their competitive edge, improve profitability and realise new opportunities.

The Seidor Group of companies has been taking care of the IT needs of both South Africa and Africa since 2005. The company offers everything from ERP business management Systems for SMBs and Enterprises, to businessintelligence & analytics, as well as cloud, security and ifrastructure.

The range of “best practice” solutions span all industries and Seidor Africa has a large geographical footprint, supporting more than 400 customers across sub-Sahara Africa, with offices in South Africa,; Zambia, Mauritius, Kenya and Tanzania.

Seidor Africa partners with clients who want to use technology to differentiate themselves.

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