The supply chain, which exists to provide goods and products from manufacturers to consumers, has continued to experience multiple delays and issues since the pandemic started last year. These issues stemmed from a halt in manufacturing early last year, which have triggered shortages as consumers ramp up purchases this year at a record pace.
In one capacity or another, all organizations depend upon the supply chain. They either rely on it for supplies to keep their business going and provide products and services for their customers. This presents a quandary for all industries since these issues will likely continue to exist even as the pandemic’s impact hopefully begins to fade at the start of next year. Businesses can help mitigate supply chain challenges by updating current technology and strengthening organizational resiliency – not only to help solve short-term problems but provide long-term solutions to help prevent or reduce future disruptions.
Disruption of a business’s supply chain can come from anywhere. Some of that is due to natural forces, like bad weather and disasters, for example. Sometimes the interruptions can come from specific data networks that are now under extreme stress or increased demand. Other times it can come directly from hackers and cyber attackers looking to harm a business or a specific industry. This is especially true if an organization is a government contractor that manufactures sensitive equipment for the military or another federal agency. If the attacker knows where critical supplies are sourced, say from another company, they could even target that separate company as well.
Threat modeling is a necessary action to take in minimizing these potential disruptions. A threat modeling expert can conduct a thorough audit of the varying levels of threats an organization may face and suggest appropriate actions and preventative measures.
Update Legacy Systems:
The world is changing, but many companies still rely on older, legacy systems to handle the complex data necessary to make their businesses work. While that might save money in the short term, the long-term costs could be even more significant, especially if the older system can’t keep up with changes in the marketplace and does not equip users with the right tools to analyze data and make informed decisions. There is also no guarantee that a legacy system’s creator or developer will continue to support the existing system, as the developer may move on to newer or even wholly different system offerings.
That’s why replacing a legacy system with either a cloud-based version or even an AI (artificial intelligence) based system is a more strategic approach. It helps to future proof against potential legacy system issues or cancellations. It allows teams to have the newest tools available to review data, share insights within the organization, and ultimately determine the best way to use the data. An experienced tech consultant can review a company’s current system and help determine the best solution among the myriad of new options available today.
While technology is key to helping drive positive change, that technology is only as good as the people who work with it. Organizations should now take a hard look at their personnel and management and how they respond to delays and unexpected roadblocks. Is the staff up-to-date on the necessary technology and software that they need to perform at their best? Is management able to communicate effectively, especially during a crisis? Does organizational alignment need to be reviewed and adjusted to respond to today’s ever-changing global marketplace?
Making sure that the internal house is in order is a great way to respond to any outside situation and best answer your customer needs. This may include adding or updating technology, reorganizing workflows, and learning how to automate more daily tasks to improve efficiency.
Enhance Data Accuracy and Speed:
Processing customers’ data, especially for any commercial transaction, is key to making sure products are delivered on time. Establishing a series of time-sensitive yet accurate protocols is paramount for e-commerce, internet banking, and email communication to be successful.
Start by ensuring organizational infrastructure for handling customer data is secure and up-to-date. This includes any necessary encryption, digital certificates, and/or other security measures needed for customer data. Your organization will also want to ensure that any outside suppliers or vendors they work with keep their own customer data systems up to date and compatible to prevent any unforeseen delays in deliverables.
Cost-Effective Operations and Maintenance:
One big issue many companies face when dealing with the supply chain is not having immediate access to needed resources. If a company relies on one vendor for a specific product or a service, and they are out of stock or even out of business, alternative sources must be found. This is true even for technology companies who rely on specialized IT services or support to keep their operations moving forward.
Finding the right solutions at the right price is critical, especially when an organization needs to secure new vendors to meet sensitive deadlines. An experienced consultant who focuses on operations and maintenance for IT services can suggest effective solutions that ultimately meet project goals and satisfies customers’ expectations.
Disruptions to the global supply chain will likely be an issue for some time. While organizations can’t solve all the underlying problems, they certainly can focus on what they can improve and enhance internally to minimize current pain points or prepare for future delays while simultaneously ensuring project goals and customer deliverables are all met on time.
Interested in learning how your organization can put some of these strategies into practice? Reach out to J5 Consulting and get connected with our team of IT experts.