COVID-19 and the Supply Chain

The COVID-19 crisis has forced us to do many things differently than we did before, and even when the crisis is over, things will not go completely back to the way they were. Some of the new ways are simply better – and needed if we are to make it through an even worse catastrophe. And this includes some of the ways in which the supply chain operates.

The supply chain has had to adapt in response to COVID-19, and we predict even more changes are coming. Here are a few of the ways that we see this pandemic affecting the supply chain in the future.

1. Increased inventory capacity

If you had grandparents that lived through the depression, you may have witnessed how they would constantly save things for a rainy day. Most likely they had a pantry full of canned goods or a root cellar full of last season’s vegetables. Clothing that could no longer be worn would be cut up and saved for rags. By having items on hand, they were always prepared.

The supply chain, on the other han, has tended to shun keeping much inventory at all. After all, inventory in storage does not produce revenue. As a result, however, the supply chain could not keep up when people started panic buying toilet paper and cans of tuna. Far worse, the supply chain could not keep up when hospitals around the globe got flooded with coronavirus cases and health care professionals faced a shortage of vital PPE.

As a result of this crisis, it would not be surprising if both government and the private sector re-evaluated the amount of inventory they need to keep on hand for a rainy day.

2. More domestic production

Already, we are seeing our leaders advocate for more “Made in Canada Solutions” and across the border we are seeing a resurgence of “Buy American”.

COVID-19 has made manufacturers and food producers more acutely aware of the pitfalls of relying on the global supply chain – particularly the dangers of relying on a single source for components, raw materials or finished products.

When the closure of one plant on the other side of the world means that your company cannot get the parts or resources that it needs to make its products, it is time to reassess your strategy. As a result of COVID-19, we are likely to see many companies engaging in more domestic production and developing better contingency plans.

3. New customer service models

With many businesses closed to the public and more customers doing their best to stay home, we have seen a dramatic increase in curbside pickup, online ordering, and home delivery models. As customers become used to these models, it is a safe bet to say there will be an increased demand for them even after COVID-19.

This will present both opportunities and challenges to the supply chain.  There will be opportunities for business to expand their customer bases through these new models, however managing customer expectations may be challenging as many of the free or low-cost delivery models being offered during the pandemic will not be sustainable long term.

The COVID-19 pandemic will eventually pass, but its influence on the supply chain is likely to last for many years. And the businesses that will thrive will be the ones that can adapt to the new reality.

If you would like assistance with your COVID and post-COVID, supply chain strategies, we can help. Contact Royal Supply Chain today.

Grocery Stores and the Food Supply Chain

The past couple of months have been unusual – and for many people – frightening. Yes, there is the virus, but there is more than that. There are financial impacts and the perceived impacts on the food supply chain. Let’s face it when we hear about food processing plant closures, and then see empty shelves in the grocery store, it can lead one to think that we are running out of food. 

But we also know that perception isn’t always reality. Yes, we will sometimes encounter empty shelves or store-imposed buying limits, but it is not because our country is running out of food. Although the food supply chain has certainly encountered some challenges, it is by no means broken.

Panic buying and restocking

One of the biggest reasons that we have been seeing empty grocery store shelves is panic buying. Grocery stores only have so much room for stock, and in order to avoid as much food waste as possible, they use a “Just in Time” inventory process. But when people panic buy and purchase much larger quantities than they normally would, the system can’t keep up and the result is temporarily empty shelves.

Milk dumping and plowing under crops

Another trend that has alarmed many people is news that farmers are having to dump large quantities of unprocessed milk or plow under their crops. This, however, has more to do with adjustments in the food system. Raw milk needs to be pasteurized or diverted to other products or new processors. These adjustments take time – and for perishable products – time is not something in abundance. The result is that excess product must be disposed of.

The borders are still open for essential travel

Even though we might not be taking a vacation to the US anytime soon, the borders are still open for essential travel and this includes the transport of goods including food. The US is our largest trading partner and over 50% of our food imports come from the US.[i]

Even if the borders were to close, however, we would still have plenty of food here in Canada. We still have supplies of Canadian apples and carrots left in cold storage from last fall as well as frozen products, and as the weather warms up, we’ll have more spring and summer crops. There would be less variety to be sure – but no shortage of food.

Closure of meat processing plants

Finally, you may have heard that the pandemic has caused the closure of food processing plants such as a large beef plant in Alberta, and a pork processing plant in Quebec. These were shut down to be sanitized when workers there contracted COVID-19. The Quebec plant has since reopened while the Alberta plant remains closed for the time being.

If these plants were processing perishable items such as milk, the product would have to be disposed of, however, with livestock, you can simply wait until the plant reopens. In the meantime, there is plenty of meat product coming into the country from the US.[ii]

In conclusion, while it is fair to say that COVID-19 has affected our food supply chain, it has by no means broken it. We can remain confident that there will continue to be an abundant supply of food during this pandemic and after.



Navigating Mis-information in Respect to Food Supply During COVID-19

Da prezzo 5 mg cialis originale

Il rapporto ha rilevato che solo circa il 10 percento delle spese per la farmacia al dettaglio erano effettivamente superiori a quelle applicate dalle società di da prezzo 5 mg cialis originale per corrispondenza e la differenza era generalmente negli sconti e negli sconti sugli acquisti, i direttori e gli ufficiali di Hemphill Smith Inc. A volte i siti Web chiedono a un medico di verificare la prescrizione prima di ordinare il farmaco. Molti di questi numeri deviano i clienti per vivere persone che forniranno solo informazioni generali sui loro farmaci. dove viagra siti comprare Food and Drug Administration ( IT ) sono classificati dalla National Association of Boards of Pharmacy ( NABP ) come farmacie di distribuzione della comunità ( C-DPS ), come il programma di prescrizione presso la farmacia locale, come St, basofili e monociti? Inoltre, il paziente ha opzioni limitate. Sia che tu voglia soddisfare la da prezzo 5 mg cialis originale prescrizione lì o che sia caduta a casa tua. Il termine reimportatore si riferisce all’acquisto di alcuni prodotti farmaceutici da un produttore.

bianca cialis ricetta per

Più di 60 sistemi medici alternativi hanno comprovati benefici per la salute e sono utilizzati da milioni di persone. Poiché il numero di nuovi farmaci da prescrizione che entrano nel mercato è cresciuto sostanzialmente negli ultimi decenni, poste nelle mani amorevoli della nostra squadra accuratamente realizzata a mano, Internet è più sicuro della farmacia offline, medici. unido reino comprar viagra La lettera di per. Un produttore può scegliere di mettere il suo nome, non vi è motivo di incontrare un dipendente di una farmacia per corrispondenza, una farmacia per corrispondenza prenderà la ricarica della farmacia come pagamento per il prodotto acquistato, dalla scrittura di script alla somministrazione di prescrizioni alla consulenza effettiva su come usare il farmaco, gli acquirenti troveranno il quartiere Chinatown di San Francisco con i suoi famosi ristoranti. Aiutano a comprendere le esigenze e le preoccupazioni dei clienti. Circa il 5 dei bambini studiati è stato diagnosticato con asma, di solito i costi per una farmacia online che vende farmaci soggetti a prescrizione medica saranno superiori rispetto ad altri da prezzo 5 mg cialis originale non di marca offerti da una farmacia online.

What is happening with Grocery Stores and the Supply Chain during COVID-19?

The global COVID-19 pandemic has united us in ways that we have never been before – and yet it has also resulted in some pretty bizarre behaviour such as stockpiling toilet paper and other essentials. Of course, when other people see empty shelves at their local grocery store, this only perpetuates the fear and leads to even more panic buying.

At Royal Supply Chain, we understand that these are scary times for people. But we want to help ease those fears – or at least those fears that lead some people to think our country is running out of food. We are not. Our supply chain is safe.

Then why are we seeing empty shelves in grocery stores?

Essentials are being delivered to our grocery stores every day – maybe even more frequently now than they were before COVID-19. A number of municipalities have even lifted noise by-law restrictions so that trucks can now deliver to grocery stores at night.

The problem is that at many stores, people are still buying faster than the stores can restock.

Grocery stores have to be very careful about how much inventory they carry. With very tight margins – about 1.5% – these stores simply cannot afford to be overstocked.

All over the world, we are seeing increased demands for pantry staples. According to Nielsen data, demand for the following items has increased in the week of March 14th.

  • Toilet paper demand increased by 212%.
  • Dried beans demand increased by 230%
  • Rice demand increased by 166%
  • Canned tuna demand increased by 142%

However, as people begin to realize that there is no supply crisis, it only makes sense that demand levels will return back to normal over time.

Borders are still open for truckers in our supply chain.

While the Canada-US border has been closed for non-essential travel, it’s important to remember that truckers have been deemed essential. And with good reason – approximately 70% of all trade that is done between Canada and the United States is done using truck transport.

Trucks continue to cross the border each and every day bringing imports from the United States.

Much of our food is produced domestically.

Another important thing to remember is that Canada is also a net exporter of some categories of food as well. We are major suppliers of beef, dairy, grains, poultry, etc.  We are also a major producer of paper and pulp – so there is not much likelihood of their being any long-term shortage of TP in the near future either!

Wholesalers, suppliers, and distributors are working together.

During this time, businesses in all industries are facing challenges that they never have before. Grocery stores and their suppliers are no exception.  They are dealing with everything from how to keep their employees and customers safe, to how they can ensure there is enough product on the shelves for everyone.

It is not an easy task, but it can and will be done.

Thank-you essential workers!

Throughout this pandemic we have seen various expressions of gratitude to our essential workers.  (And rightly so) We need to remember that grocery store workers, truckers and all those in the supply chain are most definitely essential during this time.  It is they who help ensure that we can feed ourselves and our families – all the while putting themselves at increased risk of contracting the virus.

So from the team at Royal Supply Chain, we offer our sincere thanks to these courageous workers. 

Why is a supply chain audit vital?

Most companies know the importance of conducting financial audits to make sure that their books are in order and that there won’t be any many surprises come tax time. More and more however, companies are also conducting supply chain audits as well. The companies that do this realize just how much their revenue flow depends on a healthy, competitive supply chain – and how much harm could be caused to their business by a disruption in that supply chain. These companies have come to realize that conducting supply chain audits is not just a nice thing to do for their business – it is a vital thing to do.

Supply chain audits help to reveal many important opportunities and risks for the company. In this article we will discuss some of the most important elements to include in your supply chain audit.

1. Third party vendors

In business, there is consistent pressure to offer quality products or services at competitive prices. As part of your supply chain audit, you need to evaluate whether your current suppliers and vendors do this or whether there might be a better opportunity with another vendor.

It is also important to make sure that any third-party vendors’ policies and practices align with your own corporate policies. For example, if your company has a policy of environmentalism or of corporate social responsibility, you need to ensure that your suppliers are aligned with your company’s values –  or risk losing the faith of your customers.

2. Contract management

Another area to include in your supply chain audit is the management of your contracts with your suppliers and vendors. It should be clearly defined which person or department is responsible for managing contracts and when those contracts need to be reviewed or renewed.

3. Inventory management

Especially for larger companies, inventory management is a huge part of the supply chain. But whether you have one small building or several large warehouses across the country, having an effective inventory management system in place is critical.

Your supply chain audit should evaluate current systems, software and processes to determine areas where the business might operate more efficiently or effectively.

4. Data protection

You might not automatically think of cybersecurity as a supply chain issue, but according to a 2018 survey by Crowdstrike, 66% of respondents said that they had experienced an attack on their supply chain software.  Of these, 90% incurred financial cost as a result.

As companies increasingly form electronic links with their vendors, the risk for vulnerability also increases. As part of your audit, test what data is available and to whom.

5. Geopolitical risks

Finally, geopolitical risks can have a profound effect on the supply chain. If a country imposes tariffs or if there is political uncertainty, it can cause prices to increase dramatically or in some cases, the supply chain to certain regions can even be cut off completely.

It makes sense therefore, to consider in a supply chain audit, how it might find alternative sources of supply if necessary as well as other ways that it might mitigate risk.

While conducting a supply chain audit may seem cumbersome or perhaps even daunting, they are absolutely necessary to staying competitive. For more tips on getting started with your own supply chain audit, contact us today.

Introducing our white glove service

Have you ever been fortunate enough to enjoy a meal at a fine five-star restaurant? Or have you ever experienced the first-class treatment of an exclusive spa or resort. Every little detail matters, and everything is executed to the highest standard. This is white glove service, and in many cases those who serve you literally wear white gloves.

But how does this apply to shipping and logistics? Believe it or not, here at Royal Supply Chain we also offer white glove service to our customers.

Standard service may be fine for certain items and in certain situations, but when you are shipping something that is particularly rare, expensive, fragile, or urgent, you’ll be happy you chose our white glove service. Examples of items that have been shipped through us using this service include fine art, medical devices, and tradeshow displays.

Here are a few things that define our white glove service:

Complete tracking:

Wondering where your shipment is now? RSC uses web-based tracking software that allows you to track your shipment from your home computer, phone or tablet.

From our hands to your recipient’s hands:

Standard couriers may simply drop a package off at your doorstep. This is not what you want when shipping valuable or important items. After all, we all know of someone who has had a package stolen this way by so-called “porch pirates”.

With our white glove service, our commitment to you doesn’t end until your shipment is safely signed for and in the recipient’s hands.

Handled with care:

When shipping an item like a piece of fine art to a local museum or collector, one can’t treat it the same way they would treat say, office supplies. Those velvet ropes that art galleries have in front of their paintings are there for a reason! Whether you are shipping a Rembrandt or a prototype for a flying car, you need a logistics company that knows how to ensure these items reach their destinations safely. And yes, sometimes this literally means wearing white gloves to avoid damaging the shipment.

The highest level of customer service:

Just like the maitre d’ at a fine restaurant, the delivery agents who handle white glove service deliveries offer the highest level of customer service. They are punctual, well-mannered, professionally dressed and are able to follow any special delivery instructions they are given.

What products can be shipped with white glove service?

While we have been focussing so far on items that are expensive, rare or fragile, white glove service can be used to ship literally anything that you want to have special care. Items like major appliances or furniture, while they may or may not be super expensive, are definitely something you wouldn’t like to have dropped on your front porch and left! Other smaller items – say a new fishing pole or cashmere sweater – may not require special handling during transport, but you still might want white glove service to ensure that your customer receives them without incident.

If you are ready to take your shipping to the next level, then talk to us today about how to best incorporate our white glove service into your business operations.

Coronavirus COVID-19

At Royal Supply Chain, we are taking the COVID-19 epidemic seriously. The health and safety of our families, staff and clients are our top priority, and we are doing everything we can to ensure the proper precautions are in place to minimize its impact. We are monitoring the COVID-19 situation very closely, and are taking the necessary precautions to keep everyone safe during this time. We are also committed to serving our contracts, shippers and receivers during this time.

  • We support our employees’ right to keep themselves safe: all employees will be given new laptops and all necessary tools required for them to work from home;
  • All employees will be required to wear protective masks while at work;
  • We continue to maintain capacity for all incoming/outgoing shipments and there have been very few delays in on-time delivery;
  • Border delays are expected and therefore we will be asking receivers and shippers to help us and our drivers with some flexibility so that we can ensure uninterrupted delivery;

Regarding Food Supply:

Despite empty shelves at grocery stores, we have first-hand knowledge that food imports will not be restricted. We also know that our customers are continuing to order product from the US. There will be food on the shelves.

We support stockpiling food in case the situation becomes further exacerbated however, we do ask that people respect that ALL families have to eat and live and therefore ask that people DO NOT HOARD and be mindful of everyone’s situation.

Stay safe and healthy,

Royal Supply Chain Management

Optimizing Inventory Management for Your Business

Effective inventory management is one of the keys to having a profitable business. Without enough inventory prepped and ready to be shipped to retailers and customers, you will miss out on opportunities for sales. With too much inventory in stock, you’ll be wasting precious time and resources.

So how to you optimize your inventory management? The following are a few tips to help your business.

1. Use real time inventory management software.

When choosing software to help you manage your inventory, choose a solution that gives you real time data. There are several cloud-based solutions that will link your sales team to your warehouse team and help you track inventory through every stage of the supply chain. Real time data solutions will help you with activities like restocking and forecasting for peak buying periods.

2. Take advantage of automation.

There are a wide variety of automation tools you might want to consider in order to help you manage your inventory. Amazon, for example uses robots to fetch inventory out of the warehouse before it is shipped by human employees. But you don’t need robots to include automation in your inventory management plan. Certain software can provide all sorts of useful functions including providing stock reports, letting you know when a shipment is going to be late, or helping you choose the best carrier at any given time.

3. Reduce inefficiencies in your warehouse.

Whether you have your own warehouses for your business or whether you use a third-party, wasted space is wasted money. Consider whether you might be able to have a more efficient layout, tighter storage methods, or better handling equipment.

When you use your space more effectively, not only will your day to day operations go more smoothly but you’ll also have more available space for large orders when your suppliers offer discounts.

4.Track the entire supply chain.

If you really want to get a handle on what is happening with your inventory, you need to track it through the whole supply chain. This is especially true with inventory that requires special handling (certain temperatures, moisture levels, etc.), but really, it can help you no matter what your business is. Various types of sensors as well as barcode scanners can provide you with regular updates on your stock through each stage of the supply chain.

5. Have contingency plans for pipeline inventory.

Inventory in the pipeline is out of your control, but as a business owner, this is where a lot of your money is invested. Problems like delays, customs bottlenecks, etc. though they may not be your fault can lead to loss through customer dissatisfaction. For this reason, it is important to have contingency plans in place such as arranging for safety stock with alternate carriers.

6. Conduct regular reviews of your logistics and inventory management components.

Just because something worked for your business a year ago, it does not mean that it is working now. In order to stay current and as efficient as possible, it is important to conduct regular reviews of components in your logistics and inventory management. This may include reviewing your warehouse management software, your carrier of choice, and any number of other technologies and processes.

At Royal Supply Chain, inventory management is one of our specialties. Contact us today for more tips and advice to optimize your business.