skip to Main Content

Boost supply chain resilience despite load shedding

A company’s ability to adapt to disruptions in its supply chain can be the deciding factor between success and failure. A resilient supply chain is not only vital to maintaining uninterrupted operations, but also to protecting a brand’s reputation and customer trust. It is the key to not just surviving but thriving.

Supply chain resilience refers to the ability of a supply chain to anticipate, adapt to, and recover from disruptions, whether they are natural disasters, economic fluctuations, or other unforeseen challenges (such as a global pandemic). A resilient supply chain can maintain its core operations and quickly returning to full functionality after a disruption.

South Africa is currently facing all the supply chain resilience challenges that organisations across the world are facing, from rising fuel costs to skills shortages. However, we also have a unique challenge that other countries do not face: loadshedding.

For supply chain management to be successful, it needs consistency. Loadshedding disrupts everything from delivery schedules to real-time tracking, causing delays that paralyse the entire supply chain.

To overcome this challenge, supply chain managers would have to find ways to work around loadshedding and ensure a smooth flow throughout the supply chain even if there is no power for a few hours.

How loadshedding impacts supply chains

Inventory management has traditionally been a core component of supply chain resilience. The stockpile of inventory often serves as a buffer against disruptions. However, loadshedding challenges traditional inventory management practices. When production is halted or slowed down due to power cuts, inventory levels can quickly become unbalanced. Excessive stock might accumulate for products that can’t be produced, while insufficient stock might exist for products in high demand. Such imbalances can strain supplier relationships, affect revenue streams, and lead to wastage due to expiration or obsolescence.

Loadshedding’s influence extends beyond factory floors, however, impacting supplier relationships as well. Manufacturers rely on timely deliveries of raw materials and components to maintain their operations. However, with loadshedding causing delays and disruptions, suppliers may struggle to meet deadlines. This not only undermines production timelines but can also harm relationships built on trust and reliability. To navigate this challenge, businesses must embrace transparent communication, explore flexible contracts, and diversify their supplier base to ensure a steady flow of inputs.

Strategies for resilience and sustainability

In the midst of loadshedding-induced chaos, businesses can take proactive steps to enhance their supply chain resilience and sustainability. One key way to achieve this is with a partner that offers functional outsourcing solutions. When selecting a partner, it’s important to consider whether the business has deep sector experience and understands the exact challenges that businesses face, whether they are offloading fishing vessels at docks or receiving specialised goods at warehouses. Every business within a supply chain is subject to upheaval. The ability to have a workforce onsite when there is work to do is critical. However, not having a workforce on site when operations must stall, whether due to loadshedding or another unforeseen issues, is equally important to the bottom line and maintaining profitability.

When a company chooses to work with a functional outsourcing partner like FunxionO, the arrangement comes with several advantages:

  • Flexible workforce size: The company can adjust the number of workers up or down as required. This is useful in industries with fluctuating demands, where the number of workers needed can change frequently.
  • Adjustable work schedules: The ability to ‘switch on and off’ shifts allows a company to schedule work during specific times that match their operational needs. This could be during peak hours, weekends, or certain times of the month when demand spikes.
  • Redistribution of workforce: If there’s a surge in work volume or an unforeseen circumstance at one facility, the company can quickly redirect workers from one location to another. This helps to ensure that all facilities are adequately staffed.
  • Agility and responsiveness: Having access to a range of skills from flex to perm means that the company can be more adaptive to the needs of its clients. If a client requires more resources or different services, the company can accommodate these changes swiftly.
  • Proximity to work: Functional outsourcing partners can also provide workers who live close to the facility where they’ll be needed, reducing travel time and potentially increasing employee satisfaction.

Working with FunxionO

We are productivity experts with a focus in outcomes based workforce solutions to the FMCG manufacturing and logistics sectors. Our solutions are based on a measurable productivity risk and reward model.

Your non-core processes become our core focus. We assume management control over the people, technology within the defined contracted scope of work.

Connect with our team to find out more.

Back To Top