When Amazon couldn’t deliver what I ordered in two days, I knew there were supply chain problems in the COVID pandemic. Now, this breaking of the supply chain has been a huge issue for small business owners and threaten their comeback to profitability.
On The Small Business Show this week, I talk with Victoria Jones who is an Evangelist on Zoho‘s customer advocacy team. She is a frequent speaker and trainer on digital collaboration, AI, and privacy. Victoria focuses on creating Zoho centered educational content to support and empower customers.
Interview with Victoria Jones of Zoho on COVID’s Impact on Supply Chain for Small Business
During this time, Victoria explains that small business owners realized it was a supply “chain”; when one person (a link in the chain) got COVID at a company, anyone they were in contact with had to be out for 14 days as well. Multiply this across the many companies you have involved in your supply chain and there is a big problem! This is why it takes a long time for the supply chain to recover. Victoria says that “we realized we can’t take getting our products quickly for granted.”
Victoria believes that it doesn’t matter how sophisticated your company is; unfortunately, there are some tasks that only one person knows how to do. This is because processes are not well documented, and companies don’t use tools effectively that can help solve this issue.
Few small businesses effectively keep track of their inventory because they were never really forced to; if they needed to get something more quickly, they just paid more for it and “buried” the cost. Now, Victoria adds that “not getting a part for two weeks” no matter how hard you try is becoming a reality and small business owners must make a change to manage their inventory more efficiently.
To keep track of your inventory, Victoria suggests using Zoho Inventory for automating reorder points (when you are low on stock) and reorder quantities (how much to order). In addition, you may need something more sophisticated to pick and pack things in your warehouse. Inventory tracking tools like Zoho learn what your customers order overtime and gets more cost efficient. This will help you deliver your products to customers more quickly and with less cash investment in inventory.