COVID-19 action plan: Preparing for the second wave

COVID-19, Cold chain management   July 06, 2020

Over the last few months, disruption has become the new normal. The COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated the inter-dependencies of our global food supply chains. Now, logistics professionals and quality teams are taking early lessons from the crisis to prepare themselves for the second wave of COVID-19 disruptions, starting as soon as the fall, while still managing through the current stage of the pandemic. 

Many are focused on efforts to flatten the curve, like thorough and frequent handwashing, social distancing, consistent use of sanitizers, and wearing masks while out in public spaces. Even with these precautions, experts believe we may see a resurgence of infections globally as we enter the fall and winter months. As we have seen in some places throughout the U.S., experts warn of a prolonged first wave of the pandemic if people do not follow the safety precautions.  

Although we cannot say what a second wave of coronavirus will look like or how it may impact the supply chain, we must develop well-thought-out contingency plans based on the possibility of extended shutdowns and closures like those experienced in the first half of 2020. 

Some considerations to think about:  

  • What would be one supply chain tool or insight that would have changed the way that you responded to the pandemic in February and March?  
  • Were there times when seeing the exact location, quality, and condition of your shipment that would have enabled you to make better decisions?  
  • Would knowing that one of your distributors was unable to pick up your products due to a closure or delay change the way you responded?  

If any of these questions reflect your situation, it is an advantageous time to investigate and test technologies that can help you minimize future challenges. Organizations that have implemented real-time temperature monitoring solutions have reduced the impact of COVID-19 in a variety of ways, like: 

  • Assuring food safety through temperature control 
  • Reducing shortages and outages at distribution and retail locations 
  • Minimizing insurance claims and food loss through real-time corrective action 

These teams have taken a control-tower approach to managing their supply chain. The results are evident in that organizations are improving customer satisfaction while saving food from waste and reducing costs. When considering the benefits from a business perspective, these types of insights can enable you to win market share over your competitors for the long-term. 

Responding to the teachings from our adversity is essential. Companies that take these experiences to heart and are intentional about implementing innovative solutions will come out of the current crisis more resilient and well-prepared for whatever challenges the future may hold. 

Next steps: 

  • Use data to collaborate and improve cross-functionally with all stakeholders and partners
  • Develop contingency plans now in preparation for a continued pandemic
  • Take this time evaluate ways to improve upon tactics utilized during the first wave
  • Start to explore new technology that will strengthen your supply chain 

Controlant is dedicated to lessening supply chain disruptions while providing visibility during this unprecedented time. Contact us to learn more. 

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