Battling Through Crisis Together
As society adjusts to the impact of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, many households have stockpiled goods for safety reassurance. With retail stores being one of the few businesses that remain open to the general public, supply chain operations have had to embrace creativity to deliver effectively.
Q: What are some of the bigger challenges that COVID-19 has inflicted on supply chain operations with respect to delivering into retail?
A: Well, first off, I want to thank all of the truck drivers out there who are working diligently to deliver goods across the country. They've battled through new regulations such as limited off-road breaks with increased emergency shipments and continue to deliver for our country. It's really inspiring to all of us.
Unfortunately, we've seen multiple retail stores close down as well as some states adhere to full quarantine orders. So that's obviously going to have a huge impact on supply chain operations.
However, we've seen open retailers really embrace creativity to replenish orders. For example, store hours are being limited to give teams enough time to restock shelves.
We've also seen distribution centers prioritize items that are most needed by the general public, which has increased our 'days of supply' (DOS) settings in our replenishment systems.
Some retailers have also adjusted their compliance requirements during this time, which is really encouraging. We all understand the most important thing on everyone's agenda is to make sure people have everything they need.
Q: What advice would you give retail suppliers during this time?
A: My advice would be to prioritize essential items. Some retailers have already suspended non-essential shipments into their warehouse network.
Fortunately, we have already seen our customers exhibit this as we've had to free up capacity to make sure retailers have enough inventory to meet the new demand of the public. We're really fortunate to work with great customers who have adjusted to these trying times.
Q: What has been Hub Group CaseStack Retail Supplier Solutions' strongest attribute during this period?
A: The beautiful thing about supply chain is there are many moving parts and sectors that all play a key role in delivering for the public. Without strong business relationships with these companies, you're limited in how effective you will be.
Our focus has always been to form strong lasting relationships with retailers, suppliers, warehouse providers, and carriers. It really does take a village to keep things moving. We try to play our part by assuring we can deliver with speed and precision in a safe manner for all parties. Our team is seeing record shipping weeks to most retailers, and this has been because of our ability to collaborate with these companies.