Prepare for the Unforeseen

The recent outbreak of Coronavirus has highlighted how easily the industry’s supply chain is affected by unforeseen global events. Numerous documents have been published, detailing best practice for businesses managing risk within their supply chain. One thing is clearly evident – sourcing locally minimises risk.

Sourcing domestically enables easy connection with suppliers and other key stakeholders. Not only will this contact be completed in the same language and time zone but it also facilitates easy site visits. There is no substitute for seeing your product being made.

Take back control

The further away you are from elements of your supply chain, the less control you have over them. Suppliers may say that they treat all of their customers and purchase orders the same, but if they anticipate a site visit or a drop-in meeting from you, the chances are your business needs may become more of a priority. Face-to-face visits will allow you to address any concerns and ensure all products meet your requirements. There’s also less chance of things being ‘lost in translation’, which often occurs when working with far-flung teams of people, many of whom aren’t actually on the floor and touching your products. Ensuring material and compliance standards are adhered to is also easier managed at source.

Reaction time

Local suppliers are typically more reactive and flexible than suppliers who are farther away. They are able to deliver products quicker, and it is much easier for a supplier to coordinate a shipment across the neighbourhood than around the world. And don’t forget that localising your supply chain represents a tremendous opportunity to help the environment. When you reduce shipping and storage, you also reduce emissions and energy usage.

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