5 Supply Chain Trends to Watch for in 2020

With 2019 coming to an end, it’s important to know what the new year will bring the world of supply chains—here are 5 supply chain predictions for 2020.

The year’s almost over. 2019 saw significant changes for supply chains all across the globe. Technological advancements continued coming in thick and fast. Additionally, several preexisting innovation picked up steam. Going forward, many of 2019’s develops are set to continue into 2020. On the other hand, several supply chain changes that come next year could be entirely novel. It’s impossible to know for sure, but there are certainly some indications one way or the other.

This article by Morai Logistics highlights 5 of the most prominent supply chain trends to be mindful of in 2020.

Going Green

More than ever companies will need to make their supply chains green. That means bringing down their carbon emissions and waste. Not only will this be critical for pleasing consumers but also in avoiding sanctions by governments. Furthermore, having a more sustainable supply chain means reducing inefficiencies, further reducing costs.

An Industry Week article further expounds on the value of a green supply chain,

Transportation is the second largest source of greenhouse emissions after electricity generation, Lapide noted. He said companies need to develop energy efficient transportation operations, greatly enhance their reverse logistics capabilities, move toward green product design and take a holistic view of supply chain compliance as they become aware that their image in the marketplace depends not just on their own operations but their whole supply chain.

Focus on Integration

With technology becoming an ever-increasing factor for supply chains, integration is going to continue to be crucial going forward. In fact, even more so than before. As the number of supply chain innovations grow, it’ll become even more important to consolidate them. In turn, as data continues to be an increasingly valuable commodity for smart supply chains, integration will ensure it’s all collected and stored in the same space.

Blockchain’s Gradual Increase in Significance

Blockchain technology hasn’t quite arrived with the impact some predicted. Quite clearly it’s a promising technology, but it needs time. 2020 won’t necessarily be its breakout year, but it should be another year where it makes steady gains. There will be particular focus on TradeLens. It being the most comprehensive and highly adopted blockchain platform in the field of shipping and logistics. Ultimately, the demand for visibility and transparency in supply chains is only going to grow more pronounced. As such, blockchain isn’t going anywhere.

Automation and its Consequences

Automation is only going to become more prominent with each passing year. With that said, that move towards a less human supply chain might have costs in the short term that will become apparent over the course of the year. After all, digitization which is a prerequisite for automation, is extremely expensive and takes time to adjust to.

Trade Ready’s post explains why digitization can be detrimental to companies in the short term,

While many companies are moving to an increasingly digital workflow to reduce costs, in my opinion going digital is itself a big cost as investing in technology would be. While it will be beneficial at some point, investing in infrastructure and training humans will help to increase the productivity of supply chain and eliminate the additional cost of maintenance.

Smarter Warehouse Management with IoT

The internet of things (IoT) is integral to the earlier mentioned integration. When it comes down to smart warehouse management, having devices continually connected to the internet and giving constant feedback is vital. They allow warehouse managers to know the state of their inventory and track the performance of their operations.

TradeGecko emphasizes the importance IoT is set to have in integrating and boosting the productivity in warehouses,

That being the case, supply chain technology will likely become not only more integrated with other such tools, but will also become more specialized, as well. Supply chain teams that adopt this highly-integrated and specialized technology moving forward, then, will almost certainly spur a massive growth in productivity throughout their processes.

The Cloud - Transforming Supply Chains part 1

Supply chains are changing in a variety of ways due to technological advancements—here’s why the cloud is proving to be the most significant innovation of all.

Rapid advancements are taking place in the way supply chains operate, and companies need platforms to support them. These advancements are coming in the form of a variety of technological innovations. Namely, these innovations include artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, the internet of things, automation, smart sensors, and much more.

However, in turn, with all these new technologies and their corresponding platforms, there comes a need for all them to work together cohesively. This means all their data and processes being consolidated and being able to interact with each other. This is where the cloud comes in. It’s the technology that binds everything together.

This ebook covers just what cloud computing is, a couple of its most important features, and why those features are of such value to supply chains.

What is the Cloud, and What Makes it Such a Significant Technology for Supply Chains?

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That’s it for us this week! If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? Interested in our 3rd party logistics services? If so, don’t hesitate to check out our services . We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news.

The 4 Greatest Hurdles Blockchain Technology Is Currently Facing

Blockchain technology continues to garner a lot of attention, but here are the 4 biggest obstacles it’s currently facing.

As supply chains continue to transform with the advent of a variety of technologies, their adoption of blockchain remains uncertain. Unlike technologies like artificial intelligence, automation, and IoT, blockchain has yet to prove itself as viable. It has displayed a great deal of promise and, in theory, could prove incredibly beneficial to a variety of industries, including supply chains. As of yet, however, there are a number of areas in which it needs to win over the masses.

CIO Dive elaborated on this earlier this year,

In its 2019 Hype Cycle for Blockchain Technologies, Gartner found most blockchain technologies remain stuck in an “experimentation mode.” The analyst firm said most applications are yet to live up to their hype, and that interest in them has waned as applications failed to deliver on their expected outcomes.

This article by Morai Logistics explains the four most significant barriers blockchain technology faces today.

Explaining it’s Value

Blockchain, in large part due to its complexity and nascency, is hard to explain. As a consequence of this, it can be incredibly difficult for decision-makers at companies to be convinced of its value. It can be reduced to a pithy line such as: blockchain is an immutable, transparent, and decentralized data base.

However, this hardly gets across the intricacies of the technology. Any elaboration on such a barebones explanation inevitably involves neologisms specific to the technology. This makes it even harder to understand than it already would be. Moreover, this is only made worse because even some that do understand the technology remain skeptical of its benefits. Thus, the burden for blockchain companies to prove the technology’s value remains incredibly high.

Lack of Maturity

In turn, just as blockchain suffers from its complexity, it also suffers from its recency. The technology has only been around for about a decade and only really taken off in the last few years. As a result of being such new technology, there are valid concerns over its maturity. Essentially, it’s yet to prove itself. It has been experimented with, yet there are very few instances of it being successful on a broad scale.

The previously CIO Dive article touched on this as well,

The immaturity of blockchain technology has been delaying its application in enterprise settings, as the majority of applications have either stalled at the experimentation space or will be in need of replacement in the near future.

Concerns About Reliability

Additionally, as blockchain technology isn’t proven, it’s hard to assuage fears about its reliability on some fronts. For example, how will it scale? So far, it’s proven not to be able to handle a large number of transactions, marking a considerable liability for large companies. Not only that, but there are additional concerns about how slow its transactions are due to the verification required of them.

Difficulty of Collaboration

Finally, in order for blockchain technology to work, it requires all actors involved to be on board. In the case of a supply chain, this means getting all the disparate parties involved to buy into the technology. Furthermore, this issue gets only more complicated as all parties also have to agree upon the best platform and development project for the technology. Without one outright blockchain leader in the field, this can be incredibly testing.

A recent Supply Chain Dive post explains the best way forward for blockchain collaboration,

Instead of having competing blockchain projects under development at different companies, success stories include the formation of standalone companies or consortiums in order to better articulate a strategy around a specific technology.

What Does End-to-End Supply Chain Transparency Look Like?As consumer demands for transparency grows, the need for end-to-end supply chain visibility grows along with them—so what does such a supply chain look like?

Many of the changes in the way supply chains operate in recent years have come due to the pressure placed upon them to be more transparent. Customers (and others) want to know everything going on in a supply chain. They want to know what goes into creating their products, where they come from, how they are maintained, and much more.

Harvard Business Review underscored the importance of supply chain transparency in a post earlier this year,

Companies are under pressure from governments, consumers, NGOs, and other stakeholders to divulge more information about their supply chains, and the reputational cost of failing to meet these demands can be high.

As a result of this pressure, organizations are having to ensure that know about every aspect of their supply chains. That means them knowing their supply chain operations from start to finish. From where their raw materials are coming from to their product’s journey right into the customer’s hands. Moreover, they have to be able to easily share this information with their customers throughout the process. This is where end-to-end supply chains become a necessity.

This article by Morai Logistics explains what an end-to-end supply chain is and the prominent components such a supply chain needs for transparency.

What is End-to-End?

Investopedia defines end-to-end as,

End-to-end describes a process that takes a system or service from beginning to end and delivers a complete functional solution, usually without needing to obtain anything from a third party.

In the context of supply chains that means taking care of all the disparate operations that make them up. By having control of the totality of a supply chain, companies are able to guarantee that they know everything that’s going into them. In turn, reassuring their customers that their products are above board, ethical, and of good quality. But for their customers to be entirely satisfied, companies need to provide the necessary transparency throughout their operations. As such, their supply chains require certain characteristics to make that possible.

Digitized

The foundation upon which end-to-end supply chain management is built upon is digital transformation. The reason for this is that it enables the many technological tools that are needed for it. This includes automation, AI, machine learning, IoT, cloud computing, and more. Furthermore, it’s through such technologies that increased transparency becomes a reality.

For example, automation can increase the accuracy of data collection, making it easier to follow daily operations. Another is smart sensors, that can be put on the packages being shipped, providing information about where they are and what conditions they’re experiencing. Thus, it is through digitization that supply chains become intelligent and data driven. Consequently, they have more information for companies to provide their customers.

Connected

End-to-end supply chain should mean end-to-end visibility. A recent Supply Chain Digital article emphasizes this

A truly connected end-to-end supply chain has the aim to reach 100% visibility in real time which creates an integrated view across the enterprise, including, suppliers, retailers, manufacturers, outsource partners, and customers. This then allows companies to easily see any inbound problems and fire up tailored solutions where needed.

However, in order in ensure that there are no gaps in this visibility, supply chains require greater integration. Particularly, they need to have all their processes integrated. While some of that is achieved by social collaboration and dynamic strategy, that in of itself isn’t enough. Digital connectivity is equally important, as a well as having a central platform for all data to be aggregated.  Hence the need for digital transformation.

Traceable

One final component of transparency that may gain traction going forward is traceability. With the growth of blockchain, many are starting to place importance on being able to follow each transaction in a supply chain.

An ASQ article from earlier this year points out,

Traceability is also gaining prominence as a key issue, and permissioned blockchains provide one way to make this happen with sensor data and transaction data.

Digital Transformation - Top 5 Supply Chain Benefits

Digital transformation has become a big buzzword lately, but it is nonetheless key to companies having well functioning supply chains going forward. 

There has been an almost overnight paradigm shift regarding attitudes towards digital transformation. It has gone from being a goal to achieve at some nebulous future date to something that is a matter of survival. Companies of all kinds have come to see the numerous potential benefits of digitizing their practices and are embracing it as a result. The same is true of supply chains. Perhaps even more so.

An article by McKinsey explains as much,

McKinsey research suggests that, on average, companies that aggressively digitize their supply chains can expect to boost annual growth of earnings before interest and taxes by 3.2 percent—the largest increase from digitizing any business area—and annual revenue growth by 2.3 percent.

This article by Morai Logistics covers the top 5 advantages supply chains that digitize their operations are set to experience.

Decision-Making

A critical component of a healthy supply chain is the framework in place that drives its decision-making. Through the technological advancement digital transformation brings with it, that framework evolves as well. Getting access to machine learning in particular means supply chain managers can have very accurate predictions at their disposal. Which in turn can help them be much more precise with their decision-making.

As the earlier mentioned McKinsey article outlines,

Machine-learning systems can provide supply-chain managers with recommendations for how to deal with particular situations, such as changing material planning and scheduling in response to new customer orders.

Automation

In turn, digital transformation also unlocks automation. Which is set to play an enormous role in boosting supply chain productivity and efficiency. It does this in several ways. This includes reducing manual errors, completing laborious tasks faster, and making data collection more reliable and accurate. Automation is central in making tedious, repetitive supply chain work faster and more accurate, while involving less waste.

Customer Experience

Moreover, digitization brings with it a significant improvement to the customer experience companies can give their clients. This is because it enables clients to have end-to-end engagement. They can track their orders throughout the shipment and delivery process. This gives customers the transparency that they’re after and the peace of mind that comes with it.

Integrated Processes

Additionally, supply chains have gotten larger and more complex over the years. This is in large part due to the opportunities and costs globalization has brought with it. As such, it’s more important than ever for the many parts that make up a supply chain not to be silo’d but rather be integrated into one system where they can all be followed. Digital transformation means being able to have a single data management platform where all the disparate parts of a supply chain can be kept track of. This also means less resources and time spent on keeping up that tracking.

Future Growth

Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that digitization isn’t just some checkmark or objective to reach and move on from. It’s a mindset, culture, and infrastructure that allows for continued innovation and access to future technological advancements. It’s a foundation from which all future development can be built upon.

Slack addressed this in a post last year,

 New technologies will continue to shake up customer expectations and processes. A digital business builds resilience by replacing rigid structures and inflexible processes with a workplace culture and infrastructure that can respond and adapt to new demands.

The 7 Greatest Obstacles Supply Chains Face Today

As supply chains continue to get larger, they also continue to get more complex and complicated, leading to a number of challenges that they have to overcome.

Today’s supply chains are facing a whole host of new demands and hurdles. Supply chains are larger than ever. Not only that, they’re more sophisticated than ever before as well. While both of these things have a number of upsides, numerous obstacles arise as a result of them. Growth and progress come with difficulty, after all.

Blume Global highlights some of the ways modern supply chains have to evolve to the new demands placed upon them,

The modern supply chain must evolve to meet new demands and supply chain challenges, and supply chain managers need to plan ahead to keep everything flowing smoothly. A combination of consumer expectations, more routes to market, international complexities and other factors creates significant challenges throughout the supply chain network.

This article by Morai Logistics covers the 7 biggest challenges supply chains are currently facing.

Technology

With the rapid advancements in technology pertaining to supply chains, not integrating them is a considerable liability. Whether it be artificial intelligence, machine learning, automation, or some other innovation, they are all critical to running an optimal supply chain. More broadly speaking, that’s why digital transformation is such a fundamental part of the modern day supply chain.

Cybersecurity

With that being said, taking your supply chain digital also brings about further risk. It opens up your operations to the threat of hacking and other cybersecurity vulnerabilities. These can slow down down, disrupt, or halt the running of a supply chain. Thus, it’s of the utmost importance that, when digitizing, companies also secure their new technologies. This includes vetting their partners and vendors.

Forecasting

Given the previously mentioned increased size and complexity of the modern day supply chain, forecasting is more important than ever. As such, companies have to be as precise as possible with their supplies to meet customer demands.

The Houston Chronicle explains,

Proper forecasting helps ensure you have enough supply on hand to satisfy demand. An overestimation of demand leads to bloated inventory and high costs. Underestimating demand means many valued customers won’t get the products they want.

Overseeing Inventory

Tying into forecasting, is the need for the management of inventory. In order to have the adequate amount of supplies on hand to satisfy demand, companies need to be able to closely track their inventory. With that being the case, having proper count, visibility, and quality assurance of inventory is critical in today’s market. In order to meet these requirements, companies need to invest in the proper inventory management software and technology.

Market Expansion

Companies looking to grow will have a harder time than ever in today’s market. A company that expands its supply chain to new regions has to contend with a variety of issues. This includes new policies, cultural impediments, governmental incentives and disincentives, political instability, weather, and more. Without covering all these bases, a company is destined for failure.

Customer Service

Due to the all technological advancements mentioned earlier, customers are more particular in their demands than ever before. They want their orders delivered faster, with greater care, and for less. And it’s up to companies to cater their supply chains to those demands. In turn, however, through the utilization of technology such demands are more feasible than ever too.

Globalization

Finally, in many ways, globalization’s central to many of the obstacles outlined here. The market’s gotten larger, more interconnected, and complex. With that comes uncertainty, confusion, and externalities that are hard to prepare or mitigate for. Thus, companies have to account for these factors when constructing their supply chain strategies.

Robots, Cobots, and Bionic Workers - the Future of Supply Chains

The nature of supply chains are quickly changing with advent of robots, but that doesn’t mean human workers don’t have a place in them—here’s what the future of supply chains could look like. 

Much has been made of the advent of autonomous robots and what they mean for the future of supply chains. Questions have been raised over their growing prominence and whether human workers are set to be replaced. Recently, however, with cobots and bionic workers coming into the picture a new wrinkle has been added to this new paradigm.

It appears that robots and humans are no longer in a zero-sum game but rather can be most productive together. We’ve already talked about cobots, just what they are, how they bridge the human-robot divide, and how they will help supply chains. But they are just one component of an evolving work environment in supply chains.

This ebook explains what autonomous robots, cobots, and bionic workers are, why each of them are successful, and why supply chains will be using all three going forward.

What Does Work in Supply Chains Look like in the Future?

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That’s it for us this week! If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? Interested in our 3rd party logistics services? If so, don’t hesitate to check out our services . We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news.

The Path to and Benefits of a Zero Waste Supply Chain

Sustainability is becoming increasingly important in supply chains—here’s why a zero waste supply chain is not only realistic but beneficial. 

In recent years the expectation for companies to have supply chains that are sustainable has grown considerably. As a result, many have started making pledges and commitments outlining their transition to greener supply chains. Major companies like Nestle, Coca-Cola, and Unilever have all done so to varying degrees already. Other businesses will soon have to do the same if they’re to stay competitive in this environment.

As a recent article from Supply Chain Digital explains,

It’s clear that the ‘war on plastic’ is gaining momentum. As the world becomes more focused on the environmental impacts of plastic pollution, you should examine your supply chain and see how you can eliminate it.

With that said, converting a supply chain to zero waste doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated. And, in turn, if handled the right way, it can be useful beyond just meeting market demands.

This article by Morai Logistics highlights a realistic path to a zero waste supply chain and why having such a supply chain can be advantageous.

What is a Zero Waste Supply Chain?

A zero waste supply chain, just as the name suggests, is a supply chain that produces no waste. This means ensuring every step within the supply chain is sustainable—the materials are either reused or recycled, so that there is no trash. In turn, what this amounts to is no waste ending up in landfills or incinerators.

Such a goal might sound highly ambitious, verging on unfeasible, but that isn’t the case. Rather, it’s a necessary objective that companies like Unilever are already making a reality. Keep in mind that, for example, in the United Kingdom a majority of consumers are willing to pay more for products that don’t use plastic packaging. And that’s just plastic, only a single component of green supply chain. The demand is there. It’s up to companies to meet that demand.

Why is it Beneficial?

An entirely sustainable supply chain is beneficial for a number of reasons. First of all, it’s great for efficiency. Since zero waste supply chains cannot afford to be excessive in any way, that means they have to be careful with processes and materials that they are using. This leads to extreme efficiency. This efficiency leads to cost reduction, since less has to be spent on materials and superfluous operations.

Moreover, a sustainable supply chain is good for the environment. This isn’t just a feel-good benefit. It also means companies are likely to receive government incentives, while avoiding sanctions. Thus, it’s not only a good thing to do, it’s also a business friendly move. Additionally, it’s good for a company’s image, which in turn can attract more business.

How can Supply Chains Make a Transition to Zero Waste?

Making the switch to zero waste isn’t as challenging as it might seem. Like with any other major change, the first thing to do is come up with a strategy. In this case, a sustainable supply chain strategy. Then formulate reasonable goals as benchmarks on the route to the ultimate objective of zero waste.

Furthermore, it’s important to have key indicators that you can examine to see if you are being successful with those goals. Essentially, the transition is about starting broad (the strategy) and getting increasingly granular and specific until it’s ingrained into your company mindset and culture.

Finally, there are the four R’s as outlined by Unilever.

Unilever credits its four ‘R’ approach to achieving zero waste. The four R approach encompasses: reducing, reusing, recovering and recycling. Viewing waste in this way – as having various potential alternative uses – can be introduced across all businesses.

Cobots - What are They and How are They Helping Supply Chains?

Cobots or collaborative robots are changing the way supply chains operate, but just what are they and what makes them valuable?

Supply chains are in a state of transformation. Technological innovations are driving supply chains forward, making them more productive and efficient. Artificial intelligence, automation, robotics, blockchain technology, and many more other advancements in technology are taking supply chains to new heights. Digital transformation is central to most of these changes.

As an article from GlobeCon Freight Systems explains,

Supply chain management is undergoing a significant transition that will change the face of shipping and logistics. Companies who aren’t starting to plan for digitization aren’t going to recognize the industry in the years to come.

In many ways these develops are pushing out more and more human workers for their digital or robotic counterparts. This paradigm shift presents an opportunity for a technology that bridges the gap between and best utilizes human expertise and digital and robotic efficiency. That’s where cobots come in.

This week’s article by Morai Logistics discusses what cobots are and the many ways in which they are useful for a supply chain.

What are Cobots?

Cobots are collaborative robots. Robots that work with or side-by-side with humans.

Or, as the IFA expounds,

Collaborative industrial robots are complex machines which work hand in hand with human beings. In a shared work process, they support and relieve the human operator.

As such, they represent a middle ground between automation and human labor. With that in mind, just what benefits are they providing supply chains?

Increased Productivity

Just as with the use of regular robots, cobots, too, help boost productivity. Cobots are more accurate and less error-prone than humans, while also able to do more physically demanding tasks. What this results is an increase in output of whatever activity they’re tasked to perform. That, in turn, frees up the human workers they’re working alongside to focus on other activities that only they can do. In this way, productivity is improved on two fronts.

Reduced Worker Injury/Strain

As a consequence of cobots being able to handle the more laborious operations in a supply chain, workers avoid straining themselves.

A Supply Chain Dive post from earlier this year expands on this topic,

Industrial physical ailments like back strain tend to escalate when shelving is too high and picking volume has dramatically increased. Robotic picking can eliminate some of this risk.

Overcoming Long Distances

The spaces in warehouses are getting larger due to the market demands placed upon them.

CBRE’s Jack Fraker touches on in his post,

E-commerce operators require up to three times more space than traditional warehouse users due to a greater diversity in products handled and the need to have them immediately accessible.

Consequently, workers have larger distances to traverse in order to fulfill their requirements. Realistically, given customer expectations, this is an impossible task for workers—they need assistance. Thus, cobots are invaluable here. In conjunction with AI, cobots can bring the right shelves to the workers.

Happier Workers

Workers in a supply chain generally don’t get much enjoyment out of repetitive and laborious activities. Therefore, cobots taking care of such activities tend to make them considerably happier. Moreover, this leads to additional benefits like limiting reductions in motivation.

An article from WiredWorkers highlights this,

The boring, monotonous work will be outsourced to the robot so that employees will do their work more ‘humanely’… In this sense, robots contribute to an attractive working environment.

Easy Use and Implementation

Cobots are simple to use and straightforward to implement. Not only that, but their implementation is fast. Many traditional robots can take hours if not days to get ready, between their softwares being programmed and installed. Whereas cobots can be up in running in as soon as an hour.

Supply Chain - Overcoming Extreme Weather

A critical component of supply chain management is planning around risks that can compromise the chain, and few risks are more disruptive than extreme weather.

In a time when the ill-effects of climate change are being felt around the world more than ever, supply chains have to mitigate for those effects to function year-round. Of course, what makes extreme weather so troublesome for supply chains is that it’s unpredictable and can come in many forms. With each form—flooding, storms, freezing temperatures, etc.—coming with its own host of problems. It’s imperative then that supply chain managers help form their chains with the possibility of extreme weather in mind and plan accordingly.

Resilinc spoke about this and the importance of planning around disruptive weather in their blog,

Bad weather tests the agility and resiliency of even the best supply chains. However, companies that manage weather-related disruptions as part of their event-monitoring best practices and supply chain risk management strategies tend to fare better than those that don’t take preventative measures, Resilinc’s work with customers shows.

This article by Morai Logistics highlights some of the key ways that supply chains can navigate the risks of extreme weather.

Have a Back-up Plan

At times the weather event that hits a supply chain will be too great to overcome. No amount of resilience can overcome a hurricane, for instance. This is when it’s crucial to have an additional plan in reserve. So, in practice this could look like a warehouse being impacted by bad weather. And, in response, those in charge of the supply chain having some spare carriers ready at another warehouse (at a separate location) with the same product.

While this is an additional cost, considering the physical and reputational damage bad weather can inflict, it’s a necessary one. Not only that, but, in the long run, a potentially cost-saving measure too.

Embrace Technology

There’s a variety of technology that helps supply chains work around or anticipate extreme weather. Foremost amongst this technology is artificial intelligence, particularly machine learning. Via machine learning supply chain companies can gain access to data regarding internal and external risks, including weather.

This means having the latest information about the weather as well as the most precise predictions possible regarding it. Thus, through this technology supply chain companies can potentially avoid extreme weather by anticipating it. Or, at the very least, they can start planning for the weather as soon as possible.

Flexibility

A supply chain needs the ability to maneuver whatever comes its way. This is true in general but especially so with extreme weather. There will be instances where the weather isn’t so bad that the supply chain is completely brought to a halt. Rather, more often than not, the weather will require supply chain adaptations to still function. These can be as simple as taking a slightly altered route.

This point was emphasized in a Supply Chain 24/7 article about El Niño,

The key to riding out a situation like El Niño is to have a supply chain that is flexible enough to adapt. With an efficient and accurate inventory process, you’ll know what must be shipped by air and what can wait the extra week to arrive via ocean.

Robust Infrastrucure

Even with great technology, planning, and flexibility, each facet of a supply chain needs to be strong enough to deal with harsh weather conditions to some extent. For example, a supply chain’s warehouse should be able to withstand strong wind without being breached. Or, its production facility should have a variety flood-proof installations so that a flood has minimal impact upon it. In turn, when the products are being transported they might need to be temperature controlled. All in all, each step of a supply chain needs to have resiliency. So it can handle whatever weather conditions it might face.