Put Parts Closer to Customers
Being lean ruled as companies tried to reduce costs by consolidating spare parts inventory in a few large warehouses. However, this pandemic has shown us that it is possible to have operations so lean that they can starve customers’ spare part needs during a crisis.
Many realized that having one depot to service fifty customers doesn’t work, especially during a pandemic. Regional and local restrictions on movement, with shelter-in-place, and even quarantine orders, restrict both the flow of goods and the available labor pool.
Retire the Spreadsheets
The 2018 Supply Chain Resilience Report published by the Business Continuity Institute found that forty-six percent of supply chain professionals worldwide relied on Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to monitor, measure, and manage supply chain disruptions. Some companies still used spreadsheets to manage their entire supply chain.
When it comes to supply chain management, spreadsheets are unreliable. They take valuable time and are vulnerable to input errors that cascade through the system. The pandemic prompted longer leadtimes, fewer available workers, and an urgent need for real-time visibility around the clock. Spreadsheets and manual processes delay access to critical data and can lead to decisions made by hunches or based on outdated information.
Palo Alto Networks was already set up for success prior to the deep impacts of the pandemic. The data provided by Flash and Baxter shared via integrations (electronic messaging), allowed Palo Alto Networks to support their customers by prioritizing critical repairs and delaying less urgent return merchandise authorizations.