Scope of Supply Chain Agility for SMBs in the Post Pandemic Era

Needless to say, the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted the MSME community in India. With businesses trying to minimize the impact of macro-level disorder in the MSME space, small and midsize enterprises have faced the brunt of the disruption. 

Furthermore, in terms of procurement and inventory management, agile and robust supply chain solutions in a highly-competitive environment, especially in the post-pandemic era can pave the way for innovation across the enterprise. 

Here is where MSMEs must adapt to change. Using digital technologies, enterprises can streamline their supply chain process and most importantly, stay prepared to predict uncertain disruptions. 

According to a report by McKinsey, a traditional supply chain model would generally involve three important factors – Service, Quality and, Cost and Capital. On the other hand, when businesses want to upscale their supply chain functions with the help of technology, the element of agility, resilience and sustainability plays a key role. 

Yes, companies can have a buffer stock of excess inventories in order to mitigate the impact of external disruptions. However, without the right technology, it becomes increasingly difficult for MSMEs to monitor demands, analyze logistics performance and source the right suppliers. 

Here is how MSMEs can improve supply chain agility in the post-pandemic era: 

Digitizing the Supply Chain Process

From selecting credible suppliers, and sourcing the best raw material to delivering products to end consumers, each and every step of a supply chain model is important. Mismanagement of resources across individual functions of the supply chain can lead to compromised process efficiency and inefficient procurement models. Furthermore, manual documentation of financial transactions isn’t a sustainable way of investing in a seamless supply chain experience. 

On the other hand, although the pandemic had spread a sense of uncertainty and vulnerability, enterprises that have begun to realize the importance of technology have seamlessly transitioned to a time where digital transformation is the new normal. Through digitizing the supply chain process, enterprises can: 

Enhancing Vendor Onboarding Experiences

Just like how an organization invests in streamlined onboarding experiences for potential employees, vendors are extremely important and play an integral part in boosting supply chain agility. Only when enterprises build good relationships with their vendors can they focus on meeting demands and forecasting future inventory requirements. 

By leveraging digital onboarding models for independent suppliers, enterprises will be in a position to utilize the power of data analytics and artificial intelligence to digitally interact with vendors spread across different geographies. Furthermore, contract negotiations are accelerated as vendors can now digitally access contract details/clauses for a hassle-free experience.

Diversify Supplier Networks

Relying on a specific number of suppliers to enhance your distribution no longer seals the deal. The secret to improve supply chain processes for any enterprise is to continuously strive to diversify. By exploring global market opportunities, organizations can leverage future-ready technologies to work with independent suppliers for global competitiveness. 

By understanding and acknowledging the fact that supply chain functions are prone to disruptions as it involves macro-scale production and logistics, companies can prioritize technologies that can offer real-time insights and forecast future trends. Based on this digital information, enterprises can diversify supplier networks, streamline procurement functions and improve business-to-supplier relationships. 

Driving Business Excellence with Supply Chain Agility

The scope and future of enterprises adopting technologies that can drive supply chain agility is immense. As a technology partner, solutions by SAP have inspired businesses to transform their procurement and supply chain functions. To know how SAP can help you instil resilient and sustainable SCM processes, click here