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How Can Salesforce Solve the Issue of Supply Chain During COVID-19?

August 15, 2020

Table of Contents

    The Current Scenario

    The outbreak of COVID-19 has led many companies to transform their supply chain models.

    The ever-increasing number of patients has put several communities, ecosystems, and supply chains at risk of danger.

    It has been predicted that the pandemic shall have a medium to longer-term economic impact on various industries.

    So, to control the spread of the virus, factories have shut down. The consumption of goods has become the least. The travel and tourism industries have already seemed to have lost the game.

    The movement of humans has become challenging. Determining the full impact of the virus is unknown for now, but it has affected the supply chain to a great extent.

    Challenges faced

    Supply Chains are facing a challenge like never before!

    There have been interruptions in the availability of goods imported from the manufacturing giant, China. 

    • Firstly, COVID-19 took a toll on the supply chains of China; gradually, it has taken the whole world under its control. China is well known as a manufacturing hub. If it has got affected, it will cause a drastic impact on supply chains around the globe. 
    • Customers have been fighting for daily essentials to get them supplied to homes. This situation has led to tremendous pressure on the production and supply chain as a whole.
    • Companies are puzzled to find a feasible way of production and meeting the demands of customers.
    • The fear of not going out has caused a disturbance in the entire chain of suppliers and their factories. 

    A supplier and a factory are dependent on some other chain of suppliers and factories to yield produce.

    For instance, a product needs 200 parts for it to be manufactured, and all parts need to be present at a single point of time. 

    You see, how a lot of people and things are interdependent?

    The disturbance so caused by the regular supply mechanism has led to hindrances in the smooth workflow of organizations.

    Supply Chain of the US market

    Despite difficult situations in 2019, the fruit and vegetable industry entered 2020 and by mid-March, the pandemic brought a drastic shutdown in the sales of the larger retail stores leaving the market to look for other channels to pivot quickly.

    The US production sector is highly streamlined & specialized.

    Most of the produce items are pre-sold and packaged in bulk to meet the specific requirements, which in turn makes it difficult for producers to shift from one marketing channel to another.

    All the produce is properly planted, harvested & packaged to be shipped to stores to meet ‘Just in time’ demands making it very difficult to respond to flexibility in market disruptions.

    The Need for Resilient Digital Supply Chain Models

    The companies need to be well prepared for the current pandemic and for disasters that may incur in the future.

    An approach to a build, resilient supply chain is required.

    How can resilient supply chains be built? 

    Before understanding this, we need to know the flaws in the approach to current supply chains.

    Issues Encountered Due to Covid-19

    Following is a list of issues that are being encountered by Organizations that have led to their inefficient performance with the advent of Covid-19:

    1. Lack of Communication

    The major issue that is being faced by an organization is the lack of proper communication among the varied departments.
    This further leads to hindrance in information sharing and analyzing the progress.

    There are some tools and systems available, but none were designed to support business processes entirely.

    2. Onboarding new suppliers

    The Supply chain is so stressed that there is a constant need to identify new suppliers- the need for a new source.
    E.g., identifying suppliers for a biscuit or a hand sanitizer company.

    • All these processes had been manual until Covid-19 had arrived. 
    • Companies lack an automated or digital medium to look for new suppliers, vet the information about them, and to onboard them.

    3. Handling B2B Transactions

    • A B2C transaction with any e-commerce platform like amazon to buy something may be quite common. 
    • The business-to-business transaction is still done in an old-fashioned manner. 
    • Many B2C sites aren’t of much use when negotiation is involved between two businesses. Purchase orders, negotiating contracts, and digital signatures, none of these is available in a B2C platform. 

    Hence, the Industries thus lack a mode of online B2B  transactions.

    4. Verification and Reliability

    Verification has become difficult with the pandemic on the head.
    How will a representative verify if the new supplier makes use of slave labor or if his organization has diverse ownership?

    •  The risks associated with onboarding the supplier need to be determined. 
    • Third-party verifiers are needed in this case.

    There have been Technology gaps in receiving real-time updates across the supply chain. It has led to a lack of verified information from one system to another.

    There is a strong need for verifying regulatory requirements and new services need to be practiced.
    There are digital capabilities to resolve these issues, but until now, many companies did not feel the need to invest because they could always conduct meeting in person. 

    Issues Encountered Due to Covid-19

    What needs to be done to put everything in place?

    • There is a need to think creatively and find ways to vendors onboarding. Businesses need to electronically onboard the suppliers to their backend systems.
    • There has to be a system to validate the qualifications of the vendor.
    • The suppliers should be able to present their products electronically such that the buyers get vetted information about the products.

    1. Bringing in the changes

    • Although there is a strong need for a resilient supply chain, many companies have failed to achieve an approach to quantify resilience in the supply chain.
    • Many supply chains can’t keep up with the pace because they are structured in a very traditional and sequential way.
    • One phase of the supply chain model is dependent on the other. You cannot choose, but to be in a state of inactivity unless one process gets completed.

    2. Analyzing Traditional & Digital operations

    • There is a need for Traditional supply chains to evolve interconnected and in a smart manner. 
    • Highly efficient supply chain ecosystems with layers of customer solutions and digital operations are the need of the hour.
    • Adoption of Digital Supply Network models needs to be made to respond to the immediate challenge. 
    • The digital supply chain works with great efficiency. 

    A popular feature of this model of the supply chain is the ability to analyze demand using social media tracking. 

    If there is a peak in demand, the production plan is adjusted accordingly. 

    There is a direct link between demand and manufacturing in such a case

    The plan is shared with all suppliers in real-time; who then adjust their manufacturing priorities according to the demand.

    Meanwhile, the customer can track the progress of the order. He can keep himself up to date with the delivery and manufacturing of the product.

    Proactive risk management is taken care of by keeping in coordination with all parts of the business.

    Thus the company works with agility and versatility- something that is exactly needed in today’s time. 

    This leads to happy customers and flowing profits.

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    Implementation of Digital Supply Networks using Salesforce

    The supply chain process design, infrastructure equipment, and information systems are some features that could add value to the customers and can raise the efficiency of the people involved in the supply chain. 

    Introducing Salesforce as a Solution

    Salesforce is one such solution, that lets you implement these features with great ease!

    • The way online tools are going to be used in the future shall be entirely different than the way they have been used until now.
    • Salesforce could be your one-stop solution for getting real-time updates and accelerating the pace of production.
    What is it?

    It is more than a CRM(Customer Relationship Management) tool that not only brings customers and companies together but also helps you grow your business exponentially.

    Here are some of the advantages of a Salesforce-based supply chain network over a traditional one:

    A complete CRM package
    • Sales cloud, service cloud, marketing, collaboration, security, and analytics- Salesforce lets you find everything under one umbrella.
    • Salesforce lets you connect with partners, customers, and products together.
    Data security
    •  It is the most secure cloud as it makes use of HTTPS protocol and SSL layers. Thus, your data is safely taken care of, and you need not worry about the loss of data.

    You can customize Salesforce in any manner you wish to

    • Leads: It lets you convert more leads and utilize them for future opportunities
    • Innovation: It lets you invest in innovation rather than worrying about the infrastructure

    Hence, Salesforce is more than CRM. You can find a fair amount of customers in one place. 

    You can bring in more and more businesses to Salesforce and thus, more dedicated folks would help out the customer through customer service support.

    Salesforce allows you to focus on your business. Other services like customer support, care, and maintenance are taken care of by Salesforce. 

    There isn’t a special requirement for hardware or software. You can implement it on any device. 

    Salesforce has various features which are of great benefit to a business, some of them being:

    • It is the analytics cloud of Salesforce that lets you analyze. It makes use of Business intelligence and data visualization.
    •  It’s an easy development tool for users that do not know to program. It lets users customize the UI by drag and drop facility. 
    • The platform can be customized in accordance with the size and needs of the organization.

    It is a tool by Salesforce that enables the gathering, filtering, and analyzing of real-time data.

    • It is an enterprise social network collaboration tool.
    •  It enables sharing of work and related ideas in real-time. 
    Community Clouds
    •  They are of great significance in order to discuss topics, locations, trends, or projects with your clients.
    • So by now, you would have known that there are innumerable advantages to using salesforce. 
    • It has external communities for brands where they can engage with the customers and get constant feedback.

    Salesforce also allows you to share files. 

    It lets you have repositories from all different sources like dropbox and google drive.

    Past relationships with customers or brands can also be traced using Salesforce.

    It protects the business by leveraging information on our wireless networks.

     It improves the velocity and validity of the information.

    It provides the ability to do the audits, enforce penalties, and increases compliance.

    Salesforce features add a layer of intelligence to emails.

    Automation, filtering, and actionable insights, and IoT are some valuable features of Salesforce. Purposeful collaboration can also be implemented using the salesforce cloud.

    Thus, Salesforce lets a business move to the next level by having many inputs coming from different data.

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    Why are various businesses implementing Salesforce during  COVID-19?

    1. Helps acquire new customers
    2. Increases efficiency and marketing campaigns
    3. Enhances cross-selling and up-selling activities
    4. Reduces costs associated with Sales, services, and marketing
    5. Scalable as per business size
    6. Increases margin of profits
    7. Enhances business mobility
    8. Increases customer satisfaction and retention
    Why are businesses implementing Salesforce during COVID-19?

    Expectations post-crisis

    • Digitization has led to changed customer behavior. 
    • There is a need to have an effective supply chain strategy in the time of the pandemic. 
    • Salesforce does this task effectively and with great ease.
    • This strategy is all about how you deliver value to your customers.

    Digital Supply Chain systems are going to expand globally and support the rapid adoption of technologies like Salesforce.

    This way, they can convert their supply chain into a real competitive advantage and use it as an epitome of new business models

    Companies that can set up effective supply chains will empower themselves through efficient use of technologies like salesforce. 

    They will meet and fulfill customer needs over multiple channels. This is because they can quickly identify demand and manage their supply chain.

    These organizations will make huge profits in the upcoming future and will be able to set up standards for other businesses to come into the industry.

    Cyntexa specializes in implementing Salesforce from scratch and taking businesses to heights.

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