The Coronavirus disease or COVID-19 has created an unprecedented situation in the world. It is affecting lives and livelihoods everywhere.
Arkieva is closely monitoring the situation. In the effort to ensure that our employees and associates remain healthy and safe we direct them to follow the local government guidelines, at the bare minimum, and apply their critical thinking to make decisions that are best for them. We also ask that employees band together to help one another when needed. At the same time, we are doing our utmost to ensure the continuity of supply chain operations for our clients. With an increasing number of jurisdictions calling for social distancing, travel has almost come to a halt. In these cases where we cannot travel to meet with clients, we are ensuring the continuity of our services through other means.
We see the supply chain and business impact of COVID-19 in four main areas:
- In some industries, we are seeing a huge uptick in demand. Companies that make cleaning supplies or frozen meals fit this criterion. For businesses that are affected in this way, the key challenge is to get more supply out of their supply chain.
- Simultaneously, other industries are seeing a significant decline in demand. With all the travel restrictions in place as well as the significant decline in the world stock markets, demand for many items has dropped at an alarming rate. For businesses that are affected in this way, the key challenge is to reduce inventory responsibly, as well as the costs associated with capacity.
- In some industries or locations, there is a need to make changes because of extra demand or a change in workforce availability. When it comes to reducing or increasing capacity, the need is for digital twins or models to evaluate which options make the most sense. It might even make sense to run a range of scenarios and prepare for a variety of possibilities.
- Regardless of the change in demand, volatile times always lead to management asking for lower inventories. The most common type of challenge is the need to simply reduce the inventory across the supply chain in a responsible way.
- The exception here are cases where the manufacturing is of a continuous variety (meaning it cannot be slowed down). In these cases, the decision goes towards how to minimize damage by making the ‘least harmful’ inventory or to prepone a planned maintenance exercise or take an extended shutdown.
Arkieva has always believed in partnering with our customers and making them successful through better supply chain planning. Arkieva is prepared to help our customers in this time of need with a supply chain analysis. This can be in any of the three main areas of supply chain: Demand, Inventory, and Supply. There are three ways in which Arkieva can help:
- By participating in data analysis, side by side, with our colleagues and try to get to data-driven conclusions faster.
- By augmenting staff in cases where there is a shortage of planners due to sickness or other possible reasons.
- A combination of both options above.
In cases where the need is to identify where sales rates are changing significantly (whether up or down), an analysis can be enabled using tools such as demand sensing and regression analysis. One can also compare a past event such as the significant downturn in 2008 and correlate the impact. It might be helpful to break down an existing monthly view into a weekly one to study the effect closely.
In cases where the impetus is on right-sizing the inventory, Arkieva can help identify pockets of inventory that would have been aligned with the unchanged demand but are seriously misaligned with the changing demand. This will lead to the right amount of inventory at the right place in the network.
In cases where the emphasis is on changing the capacity picture (up or down), Arkieva can help facilitate and run various what-if scenarios. Arkieva can work with colleagues to identify the range of data changes, make those changes, and run the scenarios and help users interpret the results.
This assistance is immediately available to all our customers. If you feel this will be of value to your business, please contact your respective practice director and we will set up a conversation ASAP. We are here to help in any way that we can. Stay safe.