Editorials

Using Crisis Management Steps to Protect Your Supply Chain

COVID-19 has taught manufacturers many hard lessons about supply chain vulnerabilities and management. The pandemic caused delays for everyone on critical items, including Nexperia analog and logic ICs. Although disasters are often unpredictable and organizations cannot prevent the next one no matter what they do, adopting a crisis management strategy when it comes to their supply networks can help to soften the blow of tomorrow’s terrorist attack, typhoon or global pandemic.

PLAN AHEAD

Trying to figure out what to do during an upheaval only heightens the chaos and can even make the situation worse. Instead, devote time to developing a clear, actionable set of policies and instructions that can be rolled out if needed. The plan should be to protect and inform all affected parties to promote minimal interruption, with survival as the ultimate goal.

DELIVER A CONSISTENT MESSAGE

You cannot afford to have several company representatives disseminating confusing or even contradictory messages about the crisis. Well ahead of time, choose one spokesperson, and make sure that individual understands their responsibilities as well as the direct informational source they should trust. In all personal, written and digital messaging, strive for honesty and transparency to minimize rumors and hysterical media attention.

KEEP EMPLOYEES AND THIRD-PARTY VENDORS INFORMED

A lack of solid information sows the seeds for speculation and untruth. Therefore, make sure that all stakeholders, including those valuable suppliers on whom you depend, have access to the facts that affect them.

PROVIDE REGULAR UPDATES

Even if the news is not good or if no significant changes have occurred, suppliers, customers, investors and shareholders should be kept in the loop about how your organization is navigating the crisis. Offer regular reports noting what progress has been made if any as well as an honest assessment of time lines and future progress.

DON’T NEGLECT SOCIAL MEDIA

Sites such as Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube are viewed by millions of people every day, and they represent a forum for expressing your crisis management plans that you cannot afford to ignore. Doing so requires that you choose a team of savvy professions in advance. During the event and its aftermath, it will be these people’s responsibility to monitor and respond to social media activity.

Natural and human-made disasters can deal heavy blows to manufacturers on every level of production, from raw materials acquisition all the way to distribution to end users. An intentional, comprehensive crisis management plan will not prevent the incident, but it will often lessen its long-term impact on your organization’s bottom line, its reputation and the customers it serves.

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