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How to Overcome Supply Chain Disruptions with Distribution ERP Software

How to Overcome Supply Chain Disruptions with Distribution ERP Software

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How to Overcome Supply Chain Disruptions with Distribution ERP Software

May 21, 2021

Ali Coad
Ship carrying cargo

It was the stop heard about around the world.

When the Ever Given, a massive 400 meter container ship, became stuck in one of the busiest shipping canals in the world, supply chains everywhere felt it. For many importing and distribution businesses, the six days when the Ever Given was stuck in the Suez Canal felt eternal. 

Let’s put a couple things into context.

First, 400 meters is huge. From goal line to goal line, that’s over four football fields. The Ever Given has a capacity of 20,000 containers, but when it was stuck in the Suez Canal, it was only carrying 18,300. Those numbers are astronomical.

Second, around 12% of global trade flows through the Suez Canal each day. That’s an estimated $9 billion worth of goods each day, loosely translating to around $400 million per hour.

And that’s just for when it was stuck. A disruption like that has serious cascading effects—delaying supply chains all around the world. It was filled with everything from toilet paper to coffee to furniture.  

But maybe you were one of the lucky ones. Maybe you weren’t directly impacted by the Suez Canal blockage. Maybe you’re importing from Western Asia. Maybe you have a warehouse here in the US.

Regardless, that six-day blockage back in March is a perfect example of how something unexpected can happen and suddenly disrupt and derail the efficiency of your supply chain. And when that happens, all the planning, forecasting, financing and work you did to get your product through the door instead goes out the window. 

The Suez Canal blockage was a headline example—occupying news cycles for days. But in Los Angeles, right now, there’s a massive cargo ship bottleneck. One that’s been ongoing for just over six months. This is the biggest U.S. gateway for Asian imports, and currently, ships are having to wait nearly eight days to offload their containers. It’s not four football fields long, but it is seriously derailing business’s plans to get product to vendors and consumers.

These examples make one thing clear: a lot of things can happen. Really, anything can happen. A pandemic, for example. Or ocean container accidents. Even ocean containers lost at sea.

So what does this all boil down to? It’s simple: the right tools and technology. So that when something unexpected does happen, you’re prepared for it. Plan for the best. Prepare for the worst.

Managing Supply Chain Disruptions with a Distribution ERP

An enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution with robust demand planning tools can help. As soon as something like a canal blockage or an ocean container accident or whatever it may be happens and your shipping containers are delayed, the ERP can notify you specifically as to where you’re going to have problems—what the ripple effects of that disruption will look like. Which customer orders you won’t be able to fill, which customer orders may be delayed, which distribution centers will be short on inventory.

Or in the case of ocean containers lost at sea, it’s not a matter of product being delayed, but product being replaced. To calculate your losses, contact vendors and partners, restart production, you need a solution to help you streamline and maximize your operations. It’s too much to manage manually—too much time, too much energy, too much stress.

Our distribution ERP has robust demand planning tools to integrate point-of-sale (POS) data, customer forecasts, seasonality, supplier lead times and historical sales trends to help you optimize supply chain distribution. And because you often deal with long import lead times, our ERP includes time-phased tools to help further improve forecasting and accuracy.

We offer you full visibility of the supply chain so that you can respond quickly to disruptions and changing market conditions quickly and efficiently. You have the data you need integrated within your ERP to make confident, smart decisions to push your business in the right direction… no matter what happens.

Ready to plan for what’s next, now? Reach out to us.

Háblanos de ti y un especialista de Aptean se pondrá en contacto contigo.