The Importance of Supply Chain Distribution Planning

It is critical to have a plan in place prior to disruptions to your supply chain.
The following checklist can help your company react to and prepare for disruptions.

Download this checklist here.

If your supply chain is already experiencing impact:

  • Let your local MEP Center know, WMEP Manufacturing Solutions (Southeast Wisconsin’s MEP Center), so we can advise of available resources or support.

  • Consider short-term and long-term impacts when making decisions (your ability to make sales, impacts on production schedule, staffing, etc.).

  • Realize alternative suppliers are probably getting similar requests from other companies and have capacity limits and/or higher prices.

  • Contact WMEP Manufacturing Solutions to see if we are aware of any alternative suppliers available nationally through the MEP National Network™.

If you suspect there may be disruptions to your supply chain:

  • Contact your suppliers, carriers, forwarders and brokers immediately to confirm.

  • If possible, build inventories of your short raw materials and secure production and transport capacity from your supply chain partners.

  • Start sourcing alternative suppliers as needed.

  • Identify a resource at your company to monitor the crisis and potential impacts to your supply chain.

Preparing for the next disruption:

  • Contact your suppliers, carriers, forwarders and brokers immediately to confirm.

  • If possible, build inventories of your short raw materials and secure production and transport capacity from your supply chain partners.

  • Start sourcing alternative suppliers as needed.

  • Identify a resource at your company to monitor the crisis and potential impacts to your supply chain.

 

Preparing for the next disruption:

  • Conduct a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) analysis to revisit overseas sourcing.
  • Conduct a risk assessment of your supply chain and implement changes to handle risks.
  • Consider dual sourcing (locally and overseas) for critical components.
  • Have a disaster response plan in place.
  • Have a process to monitor global events to identify potential supply chain disruptions early.

 

Other Considerations:

  • Communication is key—talk to your customers, suppliers, carriers, forwarders and brokers about potential supply chain disruptions, and how you can work together to mitigate issues.
  • Remember that the impacts vary across the global supply chain, so local suppliers can also be affected based on their sources of supply.
  • Travel and workforce issues overseas can impact your local supply chain.
  • Remember that you face competition for global product and transport resources.
  • Have a process to monitor global events to identify potential supply chain disruptions early.

Source: The Center for Industrial Research and Service, www.ciras.iastate.edu.

Contact John Stampen with questions 608.729.4012 | [email protected]