Defined as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, resilience has become a core mission for companies across most industries right now. After putting businesses through a battery of strategic-resilience tests in 2020, the pandemic continues to place new pressures on many organizations in 2021.
“The global pandemic has put resiliency on the agenda of every company in the world,” McKinsey & Company observes. “As they cope with the seismic changes brought about by COVID-19, businesses of all sizes and types have needed to adapt to remote work, reconfigured physical workspaces, and revised logistics and supply networks.”
Calling the COVID-19 pandemic a “rude awakening” for many companies, McKinsey says one of its recent surveys revealed that about 42% of respondents report that the crisis weakened their companies’ competitive position (compared with just 28% that say their companies increased their competitive edge during the pandemic).
On a positive note, the management consultancy says organizations can both protect against downside risks (e.g., pandemics and other disruptions) and improve economic returns from both increased output and productivity. “The successful companies today—and in the years ahead—will redesign their operations and their supply chains,” it notes, “to protect against a wider and more acute range of potential shocks and disruptive events.”
Don’t Go it Alone
If there’s one thing that all organizations learned from the pandemic crisis, it’s that no one operates as a single entity and that smooth-running supply chains require participation across business partners, service providers, vendors, suppliers, and end customers. This careful orchestration has become even more critical as customer demands change; e-commerce sales continue to increase; and issues like ocean port congestion and truck driver shortages persist.
“As shippers continue to navigate the challenges of a worldwide pandemic,” Inbound Logistics states, “many are finding that the strategies they used to deal with past supply chain disruptions are not the same ones needed to be successful in today’s marketplace.”
To offset these disruptions and prepare for the future, companies are exploring the outsourcing of logistics and transportation to reliable, reputable providers that specialize in these non-core business activities.
By working with a global logistics provider like DB Schenker, organizations can focus on what they do best—running and growing their businesses—and let their partner handle activities like fulfillment, warehousing, logistics, importing/exporting, transportation, and other steps that it takes to get products from origin to destination.
Aligning with the Right Partner
Along with managing the shipping process, a reliable logistics provider can help companies build supply chain resilience right at a time when they need it most. Through their integrated, flexible service offerings, these valuable partners can help keep supply chains flowing even in the face of obstacles like capacity crunches, container shortages, driver shortages, and double-digit transportation rate hikes.
“At DB Schenker, we’ve spent decades building out a robust logistics offering that touches all points of the supply chain,” says Daniel Bergman, Chief Commercial Officer, Region Americas at DB Schenker. “With this platform in place, we’re well prepared to tackle the rigors of the modern supply chain and help infuse more resilience into all of our customers’ networks—regardless of current conditions.”
For example, an experienced logistics provider will keep close tabs on the transportation environment, knowing when to move resources between truckload (TL), less-than-truckload (LTL), freight brokerage, and dedicated transportation options. Even minor shifts in this area can help balance out capacity and help shippers get the best possible freight rates.
These moves translate into improved resiliency for companies that lack the internal logistics resources needed to monitor and adjust quickly when the situation calls for it. With the next potential disruption waiting around the next corner, now is the time to align your company with a reputable, reliable logistics provider that can help build up its resilience and agility.
“Companies understand, now more than ever, they need reliable partners,” Red Classic’s Dave Glancy tells Inbound Logistics. “Interruptions in raw material supplier networks, drastic changes in consumer behavior, and the need for agile manufacturing have forced shippers to increase flexibility in their supply chain without increasing inventory or warehouse expense.”