The natural reaction when people face emergencies or dangers such as the current COVID19 pandemic is to pull in your horns to weather the storm.

Depending on the resiliency of your supply chain, this could actually be the absolutely WORST action you could take at this time.

This is especially important for Online Retailers, and also Traditional Retailers who have now closed their stores, and so are only shipping online ecommerce orders for the forseeable future. The list of brick & mortar retailers closing their store doors continues to grow hour by hour, and likely all that will remain open soon are Grocery Stores, Pharmacies and Gas Stations.

Brands also need to heed this warning, as if Amazon is your only route to consumers, actions like halting shipments into Fulfilled By Amazon (FBA) as announced March 17th could also effectively mean you're out of business.

Additionally, those who ship to multiple countries from one location may also want to consider relocating stock to "In Country" facilities to again ensure your ability to sell to customers and fulfill orders should borders become congested, or even closed, during this or future crises.

Over the last several years Tompkins Fulfillment have been establishing a Distributed Logistics capability to help clients to improve delivery service, reduce transport costs and drive increased sales.

And although all of these still remain important goals, another aspect of Distributed Logistics is dramatically increased Business Continuity based on the use of a fully co-ordinated MultiSite Fulfillment Network utilizing many Logistics Providers working in a controlled manner through the shared Tompkins Digital Commerce platform.

Over the next 2 to 3 weeks, there's a window to make some of these changes if leaders are prepared to move fast, once this window passes, making these changes may become difficult if not impossible to implement.

Please feel free to reach out if you're interested in working together to rapidly develop a Supply Chain Contingency Strategy in order to quickly take the actions necessary to remain in business as the pandemic supply chain impact continues to expand.

Take Care
Jeff Ashcroft

About the Author
Jeff Ashcroft
Jeff Ashcroft

Vice President, Business Development

Tompkins Fulfillment Services

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