A well-functioning supply chain is not only a matter of taking your products from production to delivery. If monitored and secured correctly, your supply chain can help you to keep up with competitors and live up to the promise of your value proposition – ultimately being the crucial factor to success
Over the past years, a pandemic, a war (and trade war), a climate crisis, and even a container ship blocking large parts of global trade have shown that even tomorrow is uncertain, and that a resilient and collaborative supply chain is license to operate for all businesses: the ISP business is no exception.
But how, as a service provider, do you secure your supply chain in times of turbulence? And how can you turn disruption into opportunity?
“We are in the middle of a perfect storm, with different crises affecting all parts of the ISP business. As a service provider, you need to understand how both internal and external factors in every link of the supply chain affect your business.”
–Anders Stahl Eriksen, CFO, Icotera
In our opinion, taking proper steps to assess, monitor and secure your supply chain will not only put you in control – it will also provide you with clear competitive advantages.
In this article, Anders Stahl Eriksen, CFO at Icotera, points to three strategies to secure your supply chain.
1. Identify and understand the risks
Whether launching a new product or scaling up production to meet the rising demands of connectivity, you need to understand the situation as is and identify potential roadblocks:
– We are in the middle of a perfect storm, with different crises affecting all parts of the ISP business. As a service provider, you need to understand how both internal and external factors in every link of the supply chain affect your business, Anders Stahl Eriksen explains.
Supply chain risks can both be financial, regulatory, operational, social, environmental, manufacturing and cultural, and they can show up in many different ways:
– The conflict between the US and China, the pandemic, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine have not only caused serious market turbulence. They have also led to extended lead and delivery times, major increases in costs, lack of raw materials, disruption of traditional supply routes and last but not least, the global chip shortage crisis. Every industry is affected, and as a service provider, it is important to identify the risks in order to turn disruption into opportunities, the CFO states.
2. Plan ahead
Being aware of potential disruptions can help you plan ahead. Not just now, but also in the long run:
– The just-in-time-mentality or even a forecast of six months is no longer suitable in times of turbulence. As an ISP, you need to look 12 or even 18 months ahead and book your orders now if you want to avoid fluctuations in deliveries and prices, Stahl Eriksen says.
He explains that the majority of Wi-Fi end-users expect to be up and running in no time, and a stable pipeline of deliveries is crucial to meet the customers’ demands and keep up with your competitors:
– It all comes down to running a profitable business with happy customers. And if you want to deliver on your brand promise and value proposition, planning ahead is your best security.
3. Collaborate with your stakeholders
While securing your supply chain may be top of mind within company walls, you are only as strong as your most vulnerable supplier.
Fortunately, your suppliers are not only helpful in delivering the desired service or product. Instead, you should see them as partners to bring valuable know-how and insights to your business:
– Build a network of trusted suppliers and collaborate towards improving data management, reducing costs and lead times, eliminating waste and managing risks, Stahl Eriksen says and ends:
– Let us be an active part of your supply chain management by contributing to making forecasts and plans so that you can achieve your long-term business goals. It is a win-win for both of us.
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