As we head into the last quarter of the fiscal year, the continuing supply chain crunch is one of the top concerns for businesses.
Signs show that goods and materials are flowing better through the supply chain than earlier in the pandemic, but we are still nowhere close to pre-pandemic inventory levels. Trends surrounding unavailable supplies and shortages in staffing drives businesses to consider different ways of pivoting to fulfill client needs in terms of products and services.
Learn more about where experts anticipate changes in supply chain and check out a few tips from Merchants & Marine Bank on how your team can combat supply chain challenges below.
Signs Show Supply Chain Improvement
Earlier this year, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York created the Global Supply Chain Pressure Index to measure supply chain conditions using transportation costs and manufacturing data.
The latest GSCPI numbers decreased in August, continuing a trend toward improvement in the supply chain over the past few months. Regardless, the data shows that even with this easing of backlogs, pressure on the global supply chain remains at historic levels. Add in increasing inflation, and it makes sense that businesses continue to experience disruption in day-to-day operations.
Now is a great time to reevaluate inventory needs and carefully forecast for the future. As consumer demand changes alongside inflation and supply chain struggles, some businesses may find they have too much inventory of the wrong things.
How Can Customers and Businesses Weather Supply Chain Issues?
Many businesses have employed creativity and ingenuity to combat the disruptions in our global economy. Here are a few ways to build loyalty and trust with clients through practicing excellent communication around supply chain woes:
Encourage customers to shop locally. While national suppliers may not have the prefabricated items they seek, local businesses often have strong alternative offerings. Plus, with the holidays coming up, local items often have more personality than their mass-market counterparts.
Stay in touch with customers during fulfillment delays. Transparency goes a long way. Clients want to hear from businesses when there are delays in shipping or availability. Consider timely ways to update customers such as text messages and emails. This will provide understanding and make clients feel better about delays while you reinforce your brand.
Help clients find alternatives. Often consumers are looking to fill a need rather than buy a specific product. Companies that provide transparent information about inventory levels and suggest alternatives for items out of stock will increase overall client satisfaction.
Take advantage of technology. For those selling online, consider adding features to your site that make it easier for customers to see what is in stock and pre-order or receive notifications when a product becomes available again. Website features also can help customers find alternative options and allow them to track the fulfillment of their orders.
We’re Here to Help
No business is immune to the ever-changing economic climate, which is exactly why Merchants & Marine Bank is available to support our clients in any way possible. We offer various business solutions, including business checking, merchant and cash flow management services, business loans, and credit cards. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can support you.