<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=176364072800303&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

SAP Distribution Blog

4 Actions for Distributors to Take During a Crisis

Posted by SAPDistribution Team on April 13, 2020

Shelter in place orders have been in place for weeks and negatively impacting buinsess.Fork in the road 

  • The drop in orders for some has been extreme
  • There has been a shift in the mix of products being sold
  • Major customers have had to shut their doors completely
  • Web orders are increasing dramatically

Most companies have hit a point where doing nothing and hoping for the best is not an option.   Consider the following 4 actions you can take now during this crisis.

  1. Talk with Suppliers - Communication is always a prudent activity. You can learn a tremendous amount from the experience of others!
    • How is the pandemic affecting them?
    • What is their capacity during the crisis?
    • What patterns do they see in demand?
  2. Reconsider Stocking Levels - Patterns have changed and so should your stocking quantities. 
    • Although lowering stock can generate cash, consider what customers will need when the shelter in place order is over. 
    • A typical just-in-time approach may not work in an environment where supply chains have been drastically impacted.  What are the items you should overstock?
  3. Review your Inventory Optimization Strategies - Now is a time where we might actually have time to work "on the business" when day to day working "in the business" has slowed.  Although many of our resources feature SAP Business One as the tool, the concepts may be valid with your current business management software.  
  4. Review and Update Disaster and Contingency Plans - Although epidemiologists may have anticipated a global pandemic, distributors did not.   There are many events we can and should develop plans for which can mitigate risk in and to your business.
    • Disaster planning for fire, hurricane, tornado, earthquake, flood or other "act of god" which are common or possible in your geographic region.
    • Cyber attack or other hack of your internal systems or web site. 
    • Server crash, network failure or other technology issue such as the loss of internet service could be crippling to many businesses
    • Loss of key employee or principal owner of the business

Although we strongly believe that the current pandemic will subside and business will return to "normal", the question remains how long it will take and what will the new normal be.  Many pundits believe that the new normal will include a greater shift to online buying (as described in the blog post New Normal of E-Commerce) and remote working (See 6 Tips on Working from Home).  Using this time to think about these issues and plan for contingencies may be the most valuable use of your time!

We are sheltered in place, but still working hard to help our customers survive during and thrive after the current slow down in the economy.  To connect with one of our distribution experts, call at 678-401-6244 (you may have to leave a message) or fill out a Contact Us form.

Topics: Distribution Software, Warehouse Management, distribution solutions

New Call-to-action

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all