The Supply Chain Can't Stop: Dealing with Not-So-Temporary Process Changes | Elementum

The Supply Chain Can’t Stop: Dealing with Not-So-Temporary Process Changes

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Settle in to “work from home” for the long haul. 3 of the 4 timelines for life returning to pre-pandemic normal, warn that shelter-in-place is likely to continue for more than three months, as covered by The Atlantic. Couple that with the immense strain being imposed on supply chain already due to lean manufacturing and just-in-time principles.

“Our supply chains are failing, and production is slow to respond. We have become too lean.” — Supply Chain Dive

What do these indicators foretell for supply chain organizations? On top of working around the clock to keep goods flowing and triaging everything from stockouts to material shortages to production impacts, they will also need to operationalize process changes that may have felt temporary at first.

Here are 3 not-so-temporary process change areas supply chain leaders should consider.

  • Ripple effects from quarantine requirements: critical staff to run warehouse operations, production lines and more could be in short supply due to quarantine requirements. The impact to the movement of goods is already keenly felt and will continue as ocean container volumes plummet
  • Faster approval of credit terms: as new suppliers are needed to fill gaps caused by material shortages, or as supply chains are required to double down with existing suppliers to keep up with demand spikes, finance teams will need to partner closely with buyers and potentially adjust prior credit term approval practices
  • Additional quality requirements: regulatory requirements will continue to shift through the pandemic as extra sterilization protocols or added certification requirements come to light. Quality teams will need to stay in lock-step with supply planning and production to make adjustments as rapidly as possible

A virtual “war room” can be useful in addressing these operational processes that require input and collaboration with stakeholders outside the normal supply chain teams managing COVID-19 disruptions. Watch the 3-minute video for a quick preview of how the legal team might lead off incident tracking of changing quarantine requirements that have a large logistics impact.


Elementum is a cloud platform that was designed to help global organizations easily collaborate to track, manage and resolve supply chain exceptions. And in this time of global crisis we’re inviting supply chain organizations to use Elementum Essentials at no cost for the rest of this year. Our customer success team stands ready to set up a virtual war room for any organization that needs the extra help. It takes less than an hour to do so, does not impact your IT team, and we promise to have you up and running within 24 hours. Because #SupplyChainCantStop.

To those unsung supply chain heroes out there, a heartfelt THANK YOU. We are here for you — ready to help.

Nader Mikhail
Founder and CEO | Elementum

Nader Mikhail

Nader Mikhail


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