China seems to be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel by combating the COVID-19 outbreak domestically. Last week the country reported no new cases of coronavirus for the first time since the outbreak began, and people are returning to work and their daily lives. Though the country has washed off its hand from the virus, it has impacted the global supply chain in an unprecedented manner and speed.
COVID-19 affected global supply chains
China provides the bulk of the components, raw or processed materials, as well as significant subsystems to manufacturers globally. As per the World Economic Forum, not only have China’s original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) faced the challenges of resuming their production capacity, but also global manufacturers have felt the impact of part shortages in their supply networks. Companies inside China are slow to return their usual productions due to various factors. These include the lack of parts from lower-tier suppliers, scarcity of laborers who are still trapped in the shutdown villages, and other infected regions—the slow recovery of transportation network capacity due to road closures and other emergency regulations and priorities.
Goker Aydin and Tinglong Dai, both experts in operations management and business analytics from the Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School, have been monitoring the spread of COVID-19 and taking note of how the disease is affecting business supply chains and operations. According to Aydin, “For a business to deliver its promise to its customers, it must have a properly functioning supply chain, without an intact supply chain, a manufacturing business will starve for key inputs into its production process. A retailer will have empty shelves.”
The shutting off the supply chain in China adversely impacted the global fashion supply chain because of two primary reasons. First, it is a well-known fact that the region is a vast source of components and finished goods. The longer plants are locked-down, the emptier would be the global pipeline to feed manufacturers and retailers. According to the experts, if the disruption continues, many manufacturers, and maybe even retailers, suspending their operations as they run out of the critical inputs they need. The second reason is China is also a significant market for goods and services. Anywhere in the world, local economies that depend on China as a customer are feeling the effects, as consumers in China limit their travel and consumption, and as manufacturers in China slow down or suspend their production.
Techniques to Adapt for Fighting COVID-19
According to Vogue Business Magazine, the impacts of Covid-19 are global and pervasive, and the fashion industry is no exception; luxury is bracing for a decrease in sales of over €30 billion. Gap already lost $100 million just in Asia and Europe, before the outbreak hit North America, its biggest market. However, the industry has suffered an enormous backlash from the virus, but now is the time to look for solutions that can help in sustaining the adversity and prepare us better for future problems.
Here are some of the ways which can be of help to manufacturers as well as retailers:
- Automating Business
It is high time to adopt automation that can help in covering the labor shortage. Customization and personalization are the essential tricks that can do wonders for leading fashion brands. Apart from this, digital technology can be of great help as it would allow customers to design the products digitally. It would, in turn, reduce the stress on the supply chain as lesser goods would be manufactured.
- Supply Value Chain
Traditionally, corporate executives consider the cost, quality, and delivery as their key metrics when developing supply value chain strategies. But as the recent crisis has shown, major global events caused by pandemics like COVID-19, as well as natural disasters, climate change, and geopolitical tensions, can create significant disruption to the reliable supply of parts or products.
Vogue Business Magazine suggests that the fashion industry should move towards better buying platforms. These podiums encourage retailers and brands to adhere to their contractual agreements, preventing the risks that workers are now facing. It also allows suppliers to rate the purchasing practices of the companies that buy from them; Better Buying is currently surveying suppliers on how Covid-19 has impacted their businesses and workers.
The digital supply network must not only be aligned with business strategy after it is set but be integral to its formulation. iDesigniBuy understands these hiccups that leading fashion brands are facing around the world. Don’t worry, we have got you covered as we provide modern-day solutions that will enable your business to walk through the crisis and foresee the future problems smoothly.
Don’t wait up,