7  Tips For Building Supply Chain Resiliency

An irrepressible supply chain doesn’t just happen. It’s the result of a purposive strategy that may require tradeoffs compared to other approaches. Your plan should encourage technology, processes, and people. To build supply chain resiliency, leaders should consider these factors:

Buffer inventory and shift away from JIT.  

The coronavirus disruptions highlighted the stressed nature of lean and just-in-time inventories. Those factories with essentially zero inventory of critical components were pushed to close or drastically scale back. To increase flexibility, consider widen the supplier base and adding local or near-shore sources. Look over the inventory of materials or necessary products ensure there’s a lot on hand to avoid brief interruptions. It is necessary to invest on a big scale and inventory carrying costs but enables continued production.

Utilize a TMS That provides real-time data to remain agile. 

Many companies are dependent on data that may lag several days. During a crisis, that’s completely too late. Look for a TMS or a managed transportation services provider with the technological capability to provide real-time data to drive optimized decision-making. Pricing may vary significantly based on carriers and lanes and capacity constraints.

Work with a supply chain expert to identify your vulnerabilities. 

Tap external expertise to assess supply chain risks and develop plans to adapt. An experienced provider like KSRtruckingllc has developed strategies for many other shippers and can adapt successful strategies for a customized resilience plan.

Build relationships with your 3PL for capacity and alternative shipping solutions. 

Start by moving from transactional to planned relationships in which all parties have a long-term mutual interest. When disruptions happen, and they will, your strategic partners are invested in your success. A savvy 3PL can tap their relationships to reveal capacity and alternative solutions that would otherwise are not available to shippers.

Build organizational resiliency to support your supply chain strategy.  

Your organization must develop the potential to investigate, resist and recover from disruption, regardless of the source. Build a strategy according to technology, people and processes that provide real-time visibility and analytical support to data-driven decision-making. There will be tradeoffs between cost and efficiency, and each organization must decide on its own terms how to solve those issues.

Collaborate With Customers and Suppliers. 

While companies are looking at supplier distinction, in some cases there are simply no alternatives for off-shore suppliers. Cloud-based collaboration tools connect suppliers and service providers for faster, more efficient shared processes, regardless of the time zone where the work occurs.

Redesign your network. 

Supply chain networks often grow organically as the company scales, so they are rarely designed. A thorough analysis can focus overabundance and opportunities to cut costs and improve service through operational improvements. A well-managed supply chain is better equipped to deal with disruptions than an ad-hoc system that’s stressed at the best of times.


Building supply chain resiliency starts with a commitment that the status quo is not good enough. Communication, technology and collaboration are key elements that support the strategy to prepare for the worst. The effort will pay off in a supply chain that performs optimally in the best of times as well as in the next crisis.