By Erik Beissel, Demand Planning Consultant, Lanham Associates
The effect of COVID-19 on supply chains runs the gamut. Based on what we’re seeing with our Demand Planning clients, it seems every company has been affected in some way. However, no one scenario applies to all areas or all businesses.
Many of our clients have experienced large decreases in sales in all items and areas, or just in specific locations or product groups. Others have experienced the exact opposite and have large increases. One client had to close all of its retail locations for more than two months because of government restrictions, and at the same time, they experienced a 300% increase in their eCommerce orders.
For most clients, the impact has been less extreme -- more of a general decrease in sales, with high consumer demand on specific items or item categories. And almost all clients have had large increases in alternate items when standard items are out of stock and unavailable from suppliers.
While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to this situation, there are many steps one can take. For example, it is crucial to be alert and ready to adjust lead times, history, forecasts, and more. To this point, we have identified four “core response options,” which the majority of our clients are using to meet the current pandemic-related demand planning challenges.
If you’d like to know more about these core response options, watch our Innovia webinar on-demand.