They prompted a supply chain disruption ⏤ food and goods stuck on container ships in the waters, unable to reach our shelves and tables ⏤ from which we’re still recovering.
Part of the cause was the result of tremendous upheaval in supply-and-demand as a result of the pandemic. Part of it was a number of industries not planning ahead. And part of it was the carrier shortage. Everyone pointed fingers, it seemed, and then we’ve all been trying to create workarounds.
The 5 Ps come into play here: Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. It’s an old phrase, yes, yet one that carries real weight in the transportation industry.
Bottlenecks don’t begin and end at the ports. They can ⏤ and do ⏤ crop up at each transition point of the supply chain.
Picture Asian manufacturing companies of computer chips, mothballing a percentage of production during the pandemic, until it seemed that we were recovering enough; when the demand surged, the manufacturers couldn’t keep up. So: delays. That’s part of the reason why you couldn’t get your computer or a new car with a GPS dashboard for weeks or months.
Then all those ships got stuck off the coast, waiting for a spot to unload. That was from variables like lack of physical space to move containers to land, and lack of vehicles to move the goods throughout the country.
Let’s say a business finally receives inventory at its warehouse. (Yes, it happens.) More delays. The commercial truck driver sits in his or her cabin, and the delivery remains on the rig. Why? Poor planning: someone forgot to schedule or confirm the services necessary to unload the truck.
Valuable minutes and, yes, hours, can be lost due to this all-too-common situation. And those are billable hours, which usually land on the customer’s invoice. The driver loses out on new opportunity, the receiver’s operations flow is disrupted, the trucking company or 3PL’s reputation is questioned, and nobody is happy.
We’ve all been stuck in traffic. Delays happen. That said, it’s remarkably easy to communicate and confirm turnkey services. Proper preparation prevents poor performance.
Team NATCO’s secret to success has always been hiding in plain sight: consistent communication. Proactively and reactively.