We all know that regular health checkups can help stave off bigger and more expensive health problems down the road. Routine, proactive checkups on homes, vehicles and other major investments can do the same, and help to prevent issues that otherwise might not surface until there’s a complete mechanical breakdown.
Your organization’s supply chain is just as vulnerable to problems and interruptions, and regular checkups can keep it running smoothly and reliably. Much like every New Year’s Day celebration prompts people to rethink their goals for the future, as we transition into the post-COVID-19 period, now is the time to take a look at your supply chain and ensure that it’s operating well.
Bodies might need only an annual physical, but supply chains benefit from quarterly checkups. With so many moving parts across a supply chain, organizations need to be able to diagnose and address potential bottlenecks.
Additionally, by breaking up checkups into four segments throughout the year, you can tighten up your areas of focus from quarter to quarter. Being able to drill down into what is and isn’t working on a quarterly basis enables organizations to make a more positive impact on operations going forward.
The healthcare industry is a prime example of why regular checkups are needed. The COVID-19 pandemic crippled distributors and the national healthcare system with unprecedented shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other needed materials. Ideally, had they direct relationships in place with manufacturers, they wouldn’t have found themselves in that position. But with a lack of visibility into early indicators of disruption, there was no way to prepare.
The way a checkup is conducted also matters. Being able to see where relevant data is housed, how to analyze it, and how to present it to gain the right insights is just as important as actually conducting the checkup.
The Efficient Quarterly Checkup
So how can companies conduct efficient quarterly checkups that identify weaknesses and strengths, and set goals for the next quarter? Following are a few considerations to keep in mind.
Revolutionizing the Approach
If you’re still examining your supply chain within the context of a pre-COVID world, you’re most likely falling behind. In a world where supply chains are adjusting on every level in response to new developments, conducting annual assessments is definitely a case of too little too late. You won’t be able to make real-time adjustments, or determine the precise data that will enable you to shift on a dime in case of a supply chain disruption.
Analytics and data-driven strategies are essential to address supply chain issues before they negatively impact the organization. They can reveal unforeseen risks and untapped opportunities for improving efficiency, and increasing your ability to pivot when disaster strikes the supply chain. Using digital tools and strategies to transform your supply chain has never been easier — and it’s never been more essential than now.
Matt Stewart is chief executive officer and partner with RiseNow.
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