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How to Get the Supply Chain Moving Again

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Imagine a long line of dominos. Maybe you lined them up when you were a kid. The best part was watching them fall. And when they didn’t, it was a disappointment and you tried to figure out where you went wrong.

But what if you did nothing wrong? It can happen, as you can’t design for everything. A business supply chain is like dominos, and the world didn’t design for a global pandemic (or ships getting stuck in the Panama Canal). The result? Sadly, lots of upright dominos and empty shelves.

We all know the supply chain right now is in shambles. Trucks, rail, ships, even labor: everything is struggling to catch up. The pandemic forced a lot of businesses to downsize and consolidate their resources and as the world returns to “normal,” the rapid increase in demand for goods and services continues to greatly outpace supply. To be clear, efforts are being made. Since January, businesses have opened jobs at a rate of 540,000 per month and tried to keep up with orders. But we’ve lost efficiency and speed and in some cases replaced it with hope and prayer.

A slow road (literally)

Part of the problem is structural. Most of the United States cargo is moved by trucks after being unloaded at a port or railyard. But right now we are seeing massive traffic jams and backlogs at these areas delaying shipping and affecting the supply chain as a whole. In September, 62 ships waited offshore to unload cargo in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. These jams happen due to the scarcity of available trucks and drivers ready to pick up cargo. The long queue does not pair well with the increased number of orders for international goods.

With the loss of speed and spike in demand, shipping prices go up. According to the Washington Post, in September “the median cost of shipping a standard rectangular metal container from China to the West Coast of the United States hit a record $20,586, almost twice what it cost in July, which was twice what it cost in January, according to the Freightos index.”

Time to plan ahead

The pressure on the supply chain will only increase as the holiday season approaches quickly. Time is not exactly on our side as obstacles arise to slow down different aspects of the chain. This means that businesses need to focus on planning ahead on their shipments and watching their inventory levels carefully. Strategically ordering ahead is not a new business concept, though. We have a user who knows to order six months prior to the Chinese New Year in preparation for delays. But right now there is no magic timeline to get around the supply chain issues. What’s needed is a quick look into the future.

The Ballast

The good news is that the right business software is helping some businesses do well in the middle of our supply nightmare. Innovative machine learning algorithms and AI can help plan for the future in ways humans cannot. While some businesses are standing out with success stories, Recurrency’s AI is here to help everyone who is ready to succeed in any business climate and even during a global pandemic. Recurrency is like a ship’s ballast: it offers stability in the strongest seas.

Features geared towards tomorrow

How so? First, Recurrency’s Demand Forecasting feature is tailor-made for purchasers to avoid stockouts and overstock. That prescient look into the future becomes possible with this feature. Dynamic Pricing will suggest relevant prices to you that adhere to your company’s pricing rules, follow industry trends, and consider your customer’s history. This feature will help do something you might otherwise think impossible: grow your profitability during this supply chain crisis by helping you control your margins.

Recurrency’s Upsells feature will be a close friend, too. Upsells recommends additional products your customer likely needs but is forgetting, and it can do it before the end of your quoteflow (which often takes one minute). Last, let’s make sure your customer doesn’t run out of items they need only to contribute to our supply chain crisis. The Customer Reorder Prediction tool is all about timing: it tells you when your customers likely need to restock their supply, based on their historical usage patterns and other data points. You’ll keep their business running smoothly and make sure you don’t miss a possible sale.

Regain your momentum

We all know supply chain problems are slowing business down. But now you have access to the forward-thinking software to fight back. Recurrency has its eye on the future and on your supply chain. Let’s knock those dominos down. Book a demo today.