Spending the weekend snowed in with the family might actually be cozy and relaxing. However, the same cannot be said of the effects that winter – or any seasonal change, for that matter – can have on your organization’s supply chain. After all, if you are unable to get Internet of Things (IoT) components from your Teltonika product distributor or raw materials from the source supplier, your business cannot conclude the manufacturing process. Ultimately, your end users will have to wait for their goods, you will lose money and no one will be happy. That’s why it is important to do all you can to prepare for winter before it happens.
Keep an Eye on the Sky
We’re not talking about actual cloud-gazing. Fortunately, you don’t need a meteorology degree to remain aware of conditions that could prove potentially disruptive thanks to today’s automated weather technology. Set it up to monitor conditions in areas where your suppliers have their headquarters, and act immediately to reroute shipments or use an alternative supplier if it looks like a storm is on the way.
Increase Shipping Lead Times
Although you may not know that a particular storm is on its way until shortly before the snow flies, you should reasonably expect to be affected by inclement conditions at some point during the season. To that end, adjust your lead times to take potential runway, road and shipping delays into consideration. Stay in touch with customers to make them aware of possible delays, and consider over-estimating delivery dates. A product that arrives ahead of schedule is always preferable to one that is late.
Protect Your Company and Your Freight
The components and products you manufacture and ship may be delicate. If extreme cold can damage any of their parts or impair their ability to function, you should take steps to guarantee that they remain unaffected. Check out your various transportation options to see which ones might provide heat to keep your freight from icing over.
In addition, look into supply chain insurance if you have not obtained it already. This coverage can protect your company from losses due to weather, including business interruptions caused by blizzards that may slow down your manufacturing centers and could potentially stop deliveries altogether for a period of time.
Communicate With All Parties
Failing to notify customers of delays in the delivery of their products can lead to reputational damage. Furthermore, problems in the links that join your company’s representatives to both internal administrators and external suppliers can cause confusion and frustration. These scenarios underscore the importance of a culture that encourages collaboration and communication among all stakeholders at all times, not just when a winter storm is putting knots in your network.
The line that conveys raw materials and components to your factories and eventually on to end users in the form of fully assembled products is complex.
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Inclement conditions such as winter weather can expose weaknesses that can affect your bottom line and do damage to those essential customer relationships. Doing all you can to be proactive can help to safeguard your supply chain from the worst that winter has to offer.