4 Tips to Effectively Communicate Supply Chain Delays
“No one knows it’s there until something goes wrong,” said Andy Kirchner, President and CEO of NOTS Logistics. “The supply chain is silent infrastructure. People just expect it to work, but they really start to take notice and inquire about it when things are disrupted,” Kirchner said. Covid 19 has really shone a spotlight on the supply chain due to challenges created by the global pandemic.
The supply chain provides everything from necessities (like toilet paper) to luxuries, and many have come to rely upon the quick delivery of goods in our daily lives. However, nearly 40% of businesses have experienced supply chain delays since the beginning of the pandemic. And the effects are passed along: 45% of consumers say that before 2020, they never considered how products were delivered, but now almost 91% say they consider the supply chain when making a purchase. Communication is key to gaining your customers’ and employees’ trust, which means your business can thrive even in the face of supply chain issues. Put simply, good communication is crucial. Here are four tips to keep your business moving:
Tip 1: Customize your supply chain communications
Not all stakeholders will need to hear the same thing. From clients to coworkers, each audience must be considered separately. Customers, for instance, may want to know how costs and delivery times will be impacted by any disruptions. Employees on the other hand may be concerned about how their job will change (or if there will be layoffs), and stakeholders may need to know how it impacts the bottom line. Customize your communication to address each of your audience’s concerns to stay ahead of any sort of panic about supply chain issues.
Tip 2: Play offense with customers
Be up front with communications. Offense is always better than defense. For instance, your customers will appreciate knowing ahead of time if their order may be delayed. You can’t go wrong with open, honest communication. Share information on your website, social media channels and in email or newsletters that customers may experience shipping delays. Social media can be an especially effective channel because it allows in the moment engagement with customers in real time, as well as real time updates.
“No one knows it’s there until something goes wrong.”
Andy Kirchner, President and CEO of NOTS Logistics
Tip 3: Keep your team informed
It is also important to communicate supply chain updates or delays promptly with your team. Not only do they need to know how to respond to questions or concerns, but they may have questions and concerns of their own. Like how will this impact my job? Or will I still have a job? For internal updates, utilize intranets, emails, texting or other platforms you have access to for reaching your employees.
As your team deals with these types of difficulties, support them in every way possible—from providing the right training and resources to making them feel understood and heard.
Tip 4: Work with experienced partners
Another way to maintain transparent and open communications with your audiences is to partner with experienced logistics experts and suppliers. They know the ins and outs of each step in the process, and can have eyes on things you may not consider. These partners, like NOTS Logistics, can help keep controllable parts of the supply chain moving smoothly and give you up to date information to relay to your important audiences.
Weather supply chain storms with communications
Clarity and up-front communications are key to keeping your clients and coworkers informed and educated, as well as happy and confident. Utilizing best in class partners will help reduce other slow downs and logistical frustrations. By customizing your communications to different stakeholders, your business can thrive even in the face of supply chain issues.
Sources: Cooper, Jackie. “The New Brand Truth: Without Trust, We Can’t Love.” Edelman, 25 June 2021, Web. 16 Feb. 2022.; Kolmar, Chris. “17 Stunning Supply Chain Statistics : Facts, Figures, and Trends.” Zippia, 28 Sept. 2021, Web. 16 Feb. 2022.; “Survey: 82% of Americans Scared That Supply Chain Issues Will Ruin Their Life Plans.” Cision PR Newswire, Oracle, 29 Sept. 2021, Web. 16 Feb. 2022