Day 22. Just when you thought you were getting your supply chain team organized to manage through the COVID-19 disruptions — BHAM! You get hit with a curve ball — an indirect material shortage. First it was one or two small locations that were running low on cleaning supplies, which meant they couldn’t wipe down surfaces and took an operational hit. But then 3 of your largest distribution centers also ran out of cleaning supplies and now, 2 major manufacturing sites are out of lab coats and gloves.
Why is it always the little things that get you and how do you stay ahead of the next curve ball? Tune in for an episode of “Confessions from a Supply Chain Crisis Manager” to gain some insight on how to answer that question:
Confession #1 : Stop the email abuse people
If I see the words “toilet paper shortage” for the 111th time from our branch operations, *__* is going to hit the fan. And please resist the urge to reply-all just to say “ok’ or send emojis when there are 350 people on an email chain — NOT HELPFUL.
Confession #2 : I think I broke the spreadsheet… twice
I may, or may not, have updated the wrong cell with “urgent” status and had gloves and booties rushed to the wrong plant. Hey it’s hard to keep it all straight when there are a million rows, 80 columns AND you’re sleep deprived.
Confession #3 : Fingers crossed the big boss doesn’t ask for any analytics
That will definitely break the spreadsheet. We’re barely keeping up with issues as it is. And the conversations from Microsoft Teams don’t match up with issues in the master sheet so there’s no way I can track how long it took us to resolve something.
By Rob Cheng - May 12, 2019
No matter how well your team has done its supply chain planning, it seems like exceptions always keep arising and you’re constantly in fire-fighting mode. Why can’t things ever go to plan? In reality, however, the “unexpected exception” really...Read more
By Nader Mikhail - June 5, 2020
Buzzzz… it’s your supply chain calling and it wants OFF this crazy roller coaster caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It wishes for the good-old-days when the crisis to be managed was a natural disaster like a flood, fire, or port closure. Because...Read more