The Pandemic Won’t Go Away Soon – Here Is How You Can Make Your Supply Chain More Resilient

supply chain manager with face mask stands with his arms folded
Featured image credit: DNY59/

The corona pandemic has disrupted supply chains around the world and the United States is no exception.

According to a report, 94% of Fortune 1000 companies are seeing supply chain disruptions due to Covid-19. Also, 75% of companies have had strong negative impacts on their business and 55% of companies plan to downgrade their growth outlooks or have already done so.

With the virus still a live threat and a number of economies still in lockdown, the disruption to supply chains continues to be severe.

But, as economies restart, businesses need to make their supply chain more resilient by focusing on the following key areas to supply goods and services quickly, safely, and securely.


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Last-Mile Delivery

According to a report by Digital Commerce 360, in the first six months of 2020, American consumers spent a whopping $347.26 billion online. This is almost 30.1% growth from $266.84 billion for the same period last year. And, according to Adobe, eCommerce grew by 55% to $66.3 billion in July alone compared to last year. That’s massive!

Such a rising trend in online shopping resulted in more demand for home deliveries. And, most importantly, customers want items delivered faster than ever and at times convenient to them.

A delivery route planner app can help you overcome last-mile delivery challenges easily. This is because such an app can create the most optimized and fuel-efficient routes for drivers while taking into account various factors like traffic congestion, weather, roads closed due to construction, sunrise and sunset times, and load, weight, and height constraints.

In this way, your drivers will get the best routes and can make timely deliveries, while making even more stops than usual, without taking additional time.

So, you don’t need to burn your cash during this tough time by buying new vehicles, hiring more resources, and spending more on fuel to meet the rising consumer demand.

Also, the best route planners come with a GPS tracking feature that helps you monitor where your drivers are on the road and what they are doing in real-time.

That’s not all! Below is  a quick rundown of many other useful features of a last-mile delivery software that helps make supply chain management (SCM) seamless:

  • Geofencing technology automates the check-in and check-out process.
  • Reporting and analytics track fuel expenses and performance.
  • Speed alert refrains drivers from overspeeding.
  • Customer portal allows customers to track package delivery statuses on their own.
  • Customer alerting and notification feature informs customers whenever their deliveries are nearby or out for delivery.
  • Android and iOS mobile apps help plan routes on the go.
  • Driver breaks feature ensures your drivers do not get fatigued when working on-site.
  • eSignature allows for proof of delivery.
  • Telematics gateway connects your telematics solution with Route4Me’s route planner.

Manufacturing Automation

According to a McKinsey survey, 45% of the respondents were struggling with sudden materials shortages, while 30% of the respondents were suffering from worker unavailability.

So, manufacturing leaders should focus on the immediate challenges of keeping their businesses running. For example, companies should form rapid action teams to gain a better understanding of production demand changes, labor support challenges, and supply chain ecosystem constraints.

Also, companies need to understand the implications the pandemic has on each critical ecosystem player, including raw materials suppliers, contractor companies, co-manufacturers, and so on. They must then adopt the right strategies to keep things moving.

Companies should also look at automating their manufacturing processes. Automation was previously mainly used in the automotive industry in manufacturing, but now there is a need to use robots instead of humans to manufacture all sorts of items. This is because automation will address the problems of labor shortages and reduce the risk of Covid-19 infection spreading.

Supply Chain Procurement

Procurement leaders need to maintain business operations, as usual, fulfill urgent demands, and mitigate supplier challenges against a backdrop of significant disruptions to their teams.

You must focus on managing upstream supply disruptions from tier 1 and tier 2 suppliers. At the same time, you must rebalance short-term sourcing decisions in the light of supply network constraints.

You should also develop a refreshed digitally-driven procurement operating model and try finding new ways of working with customers, external supply chain partners, and the supplier ecosystem.

Your goal should be to manage and mitigate supply uncertainty with suppliers of all sizes, whether small, medium or large. Make an effort to build resilience for the future by updating supply chain risk management strategies to ensure purpose-led procurement decisions.

Final Thoughts

Your sole focus should be on making your business as future-proof as possible because there are several speculations that the second wave of the pandemic will soon hit. And, adopting advanced emerging technology solutions are your best bet to increase resilience for your supply chain operations, ensure the continuance of operations, and support workers through the crisis.

So, do you have any suggestions to make an efficient supply chain?


Want To See For Yourself How Route4Me Can Boost Your Profits?

Whether you want to slash the time it takes you to plan routes for your drivers, increase the number of stops they can make, or keep your customers satisfied knowing that your drivers show up on time… Route4Me helps you achieve that!

Start Free 7 Day Trial

About author: Rahul Dasgupta

Rahul Dasgupta is a content writer with over 20 years of work experience. He holds a master’s degree in computer science and has written thousands of blog posts on route planning and scheduling, making it easy for readers to learn about these complex topics. Rahul enjoys playing tennis in his spare time and loves cuddling with his pet labrador Shinu. Rahul is a big fan of Roger Federer, Messi, and Bill Gates - he admires their drive to be the best at what they do and their philanthropic efforts.


About Route4Me

Route4Me has over 40,000 customers globally. Route4Me's Android and iPhone mobile apps have been downloaded over 2 million times since 2009. Extremely easy-to-use, Route4Me's apps create optimized routes, synchronize routes to mobile devices, enable communication with drivers and customers, offer turn-by-turn directions, delivery confirmation, and more. Behind the scenes, Route4Me's operational optimization platform combines high-performance algorithms with data science, machine learning, and big data to plan, optimize, and analyze routes of almost any size in real-time.