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Management

Five Key Strategies for a Resilient and Agile Supply Chain

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The first wave of the coronavirus hit everyone unexpectedly. While some businesses were awake and had planned for such an event, others were caught sleeping. With China, the global centre of manufacturing shutting down, companies were left in a state of crisis. Even though logistics worldwide had previously seemed to be robust and well-established, the global lockdowns have exposed the real state of it.

We are now in the midst of the second wave and businesses need to adjust in order to overcome this crisis effectively.

It is not only about the ability to produce goods it is also about the ability to meet the demand for them. Consumer buying behaviour changed over the pandemic period. The needs and wants of people changed and there was an increase in demand for products, that up until that point, had not been considered popular.

For companies to survive these new realities they had to optimise their response by adopting new supply chain resilience and agility capabilities.

The five most effective strategies are:

Stop the delay of information along the supply chain

Communication between the parties in the supply chain is paramount to meeting demand timeously. Any change in the process of supply needs to be reacted to as quickly as possible to eliminate any losses.

Companies needed to adopt a real-time communication system sooner rather than later. An effective system is a hotline or a what-app group. All members of the supply chain need to be on board with the system for it to work.

All routine processes or down-to-earth tasks should be automated

Customers will continue to want to pay low prices or feel like they are getting value for money for products and services. As a result, businesses will need to ensure they operate efficiently and frugally when it comes to using capital and when it comes to manufacturing capacity.

It is important to automate routine processes and free up the time of professionals, in the supply chain, so that they are able to address more important problems like developing a new sales strategy and customer relationship management.

Down-to-earth tasks can be managed by machinery and software. By adopting machinery and software, to manage these routine tasks, you improve the agility of the supply chain and lower the costs of the business’ logistics.

The supply chain operates more efficiently and cost-effectively. Products/services will have maximum added value and consumers will view them as worth the price they pay.

Data should be visible immediately / in real-time for all suppliers along the supply chain

All data along the supply chain should be visible immediately. There should be no delay in the passing on of data and information. This eliminates wasting the time of staff and delaying processes.

It assists with meeting demand timeously, effectively and cost-efficiently.

A database of all interactions that gives access to relevant, up-to-date information about the current processes and status of different shipments, in real-time, is a powerful tool on the way to combatting post-pandemic supply chain disruptions.

Unity of the Workflow

One platform should be used by everyone so that no data is lost. It is imperative to eliminate the possibility of errors for the system to be successful.

Help desk and training

All staff or professionals along the supply chain should have access to training on the system. Training videos and a help desk should be available for immediate assistance should anything not be functioning properly.

Management

Smarter business practices for the world today

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Times are changing quicker than ever and for businesses, it may be difficult to keep up in some respects. It’s important to prioritize collaboration, innovation, adaptability. AI automated machinery learning capabilities, quick insights, customisation, and hybrid deployment support, make it possible for you to reach beyond your means.

1 – Prioritise the value of automation

Majority of business leaders agree that there’s a need to enable process automation, to thrive in a pandemic world. Losing 8 hours a week on manual tasks is no longer cutting it. This often leads to bottlenecking and unhappy employees, that are exiting their workplaces because of mundane, tedious tasks, that leave them vulnerable to burnout and disempowerment.

Organisations can now work less and get more done, by automating everyday administerial tasks with various tools. Data collection and reporting, communication, employee and client onboarding, approvals, and sign-offs can become both convenient and visible across the business. Empower your team to have more time on their hands for more high-value and strategic goals.

2 – Move at the speed of change, using data

Analytics are more critical than ever. Industries are changing, customers and buying behaviours are changing and so is your business. The only way you can stay ahead and build competency is to use real-time business data analytics, that will indicate and interpret every transformation and activity in your business.

Unifying data will help you discover hidden insights, make calculated decisions, and take informed and empowered actions, to move you closer to your vision. 

3 – Build your own solutions

The time to innovate fast is here. Not all consultants and IT specialists will know what you need at the exact time you need it, but you do. 

The magic lies in programmatically interacting with your data and metadata, creating components, applying business logic, creating custom connectors, and integrating with external data. Turn your ideas into action by creating a solution for you. 

4 – Chatbot your way to greater customer satisfaction

While emails are not a thing of the past and remain relevant, there are other ways to modernise how you engage with your customer and employees, without the need to be on the receiving end. You can now transform and enrich your customer’s experiences with Power Virtual Agents, personalising responses and customer status updates.

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Logistics

New DHL Global Forwarding Investment Into Johannesburg Facility

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While it is much to early to fully grasp the economic impact of the current Covid-19 pandemic DHL has invested R127-million in a new 13 000 m2 facility.  Twice the size of its current set-up and located next to the OR Tambo International Airport aimed at cementing its position within South Africa.

This new facility will consist of a 10 000 m2 warehouse that enables DHL Forwarding consolidation on all customer warehousing requirements. It will also boast will an exclusive and specialized cold chain facility that consists of three adjustable temperature-controlled refrigerators geared to handle life science and healthcare products in and out of South Africa.

The warehouse is also able to support other value-added services including cross-docking, storage for air, ocean, and road freight services, as well as a platform for breakbulk cargo.  The customised built on the world-class specification with the location only a short distance from the airport and arterial thoroughfares and upcoming industrial parks, will make this new facility a complete game changer for DHL within the country.

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Management

Sustainable Truck Testing

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The largest producer in heavy trucks has brought in two Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) trucks to be tested locally.  These gas-powered trucks have specifically been developed for heavy regional and long-haul operations.  This local testing is being done with the vision in mind that trucks will eventually have zero emissions and the way of achieving a zero-emission system is not through one single solution but rather through several solutions in parallel.

The LNG shows promising potential as a substitute for the traditional diesel trucks, with a good supply globally, and increasing availability locally.  When cooled down to a lower temperature the gas liquefies and reduces in volume thus, an increase in capacity to carry more fuel is made possible.

The powertrain in the new gas-powered trucks is thanks to the renowned diesel engine technology.  Also, by using LNG rather than compressed natural gas (CNG), it can carry larger quantities of fuel and enables the necessary operating range for long-haul assignments.

The new gas-powered trucks offer the same fuel efficiency as diesel-powered equivalents and can operate at the same speed.  However, since LNG is often cheaper a good opportunity exists in reduce fuel costs.  With the 205kg LNG tank, European operators have seen a usable range of up to 1000km dependent on terrain and payload carried.

Testing will soon start to establish the viability of the LNG alternative to reduce climate-impact emissions from heavy commercial traffic that will bring about the change of environmentally friendly transport solutions that are good for the industry and the planet.

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