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Supply chain services are getting more creative as the Covid-19 pandemic stresses global commerce and businesses prioritize the safety of their workforce. Online tools and services are becoming more popular with vendors offering free assistance and emphasizing their utility in times of crisis.
Tradeshift, an open-source transaction platform, notes buyers, suppliers and their partners all struggle with communication — or the lack thereof. “To mitigate troubles that have surfaced amid Covid-19, there are ways organizations can improve communication,” said Tony Alvarez, vice president for the TradeShift network. “First, form a digital relationship as soon as possible, if you haven’t already done so. Right now, engagement on all fronts is important for smooth transactions and business continuity in general.”
Cash flow has become a significant supply chain problem as partners across the spectrum have closed or cut back operations. Many small and mid-sized suppliers to global manufacturers are strapped for cash. Experts say not all of those companies will survive. “[We saw] supplier bankruptcies during the 2009 crash and is worse,” said Bindiya Vakil, founder and CEO of Resilinc, a supply chain risk management consultancy.