Coronavirus and Your Supply Chain

 We are all acutely aware of the impact of the Coronavirus Covid-19 on Supply Chains and Business generally.

Here at Logistics Bureau we’ve been closely monitoring developments and have been assisting our consulting clients implement a number of short term measures.

Note we have a Webinar on this topicWebinar Details 

You might want to think about these too.


Remotely Delivered Supply Chain Support Services to assist you.

Here at Logistics Bureau, like many businesses, we have ‘pivoted’ our services.  Our full range of Supply Chain and Logistics Consulting services are now being delivered from our staff working from home.  We are still reviewing supplier arrangements, realigning distribution networks, conducting cost to serve studies, facilitating outsourcing and even designing warehouses.  

Additionally we have developed a range of easy, fast and cost effective services that can be deployed remotely to assist businesses in maintaining customer service, reducing costs and simplifying their Supply Chains.

Feel free to contact Rob O’Byrne our CEO directly (Click Triage Desk button at top of this page) for a 15 minute assessment call to help identify your immediate issues and potential mitigation strategies.   There is no charge for this, we are just happy to help.


Your Supply Chain Focus Now 

Here are some things we advise you to focus on, if you are not already.

Sourcing and Suppler Management.

Obviously one of the biggest challenges particularly if you import much of your product line.
I’m sure you’re communicating with alternative suppliers, offering customers substitute products, and talking to local suppliers.
Don’t forget to talk to ‘other businesses’ to see if you can collaborate in some way too.

Inventory Management.

If you still have supply, how are your safety stock calculations working?
These might need to be re-jigged and closely monitored
If you haven’t already, you might need to look at ‘rationing’.
This is always a tough call of course.
Which customers, customer types or regions might you need to support more than others?
Depending on your business this can raise moral issues, ethical issues and of course business sustainability issues.

Home or ‘On premise’ Deliveries.

Our major supermarkets appear to be struggling with the increased demand for home delivery.
Is this something you may need to do or do more of? How will you do it? What resources are required? What are the cost implications?
These type of plans are fairly quick to prepare.

Collaborative Distribution.

This can involve shared warehousing space as well as co-delivery.
This is particularly effective where you and another business share many common customers.
A great way to maintain services, improve use of assets and collectively cut costs.
We’re working on a couple of these now.

Understand the bullwhip effect and be prepared!

One company last week sent out 54 B Double loads of frozen foods to retailers from one site – an average day being 20 FTLs. This exceeded their biggest day of the year. Next day – 3 loads!
The Supermarket DCs became flooded with stock.
Good communication and ‘War Rooms’ coordinating product flows are often required with constant communications with suppliers and key customers.

Be prepared for the ‘lag effect’.

Another company currently has 38% of electrical goods SKUs out of stock.
All sourced from China. Eventually the ordered volumes will arrive to meet built up demand.
How is this being communicated to customers? Will the sales be ‘lost’ or just delayed?

Is your DRP process up to the job?

Is your DRP process coping? Do you need to overlay manual processes to assist?
Be aware of extra demand on Demand Planners (no pun intended). Their job just got a lot harder.

Control Tower Team?

Do you have an additional team made up to cope with the ongoing challenges, whilst everyone else tries to maintain and look after ‘Business as Usual’
We’ve already helped clients set up and establish these.

Lock in rates with Carriers

Good to do this now while volumes are down so that you don’t get hammered by the carriers (land or sea) when the recovery starts.
One of our team posted about that here:

Risk Modelling

Have you looked at a range of potential ‘scenarios’ for your Supply Chain and the business impacts?
It might be time for a couple of hours with a whiteboard and calculator at least!

If you need any urgent support on these or other Supply Chain related matters, please reach out to me directly, as I’m the one personally running our ‘Triage’ desk to assess client needs and our ability and capability to help.


Best Regards


Rob O’Byrne
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +61 417 417 307

Further Reading..

How COVID-19 is Battering Australia’s Imports and Exports

Viral Disruption in the Supply Chain: COVID-19 vs SARS

Audio Interview: Why Supermarket Shelves WILL Empty Even More – Corona Virus Impacts

The COVID-19 Supply Chain Hit Could Trigger Recession in Australia

How COVID-19 is Battering Australia’s Imports and Exports

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