How to Scale Your Business Despite Supply Problems


Author: Chelsea Lamb

Thousands of business owners have had to deal with supply problems, on top of other COVID-19 concerns. Limited production of raw materials due to pandemic restrictions has impacted everyone from car manufacturers to grocery stores. Now that the pandemic is finally starting to wane, it is becoming easier to access goods for customers. But the return to pre-pandemic supply levels will likely take some time. Supply chain management collaboratives like ASCM Michigan East offer businesses a diverse platform with practical resources to help streamline supply chain management efforts amidst COVID-19.

Sustainability for Your Supply Chain

Your business is only as successful as its ability to provide the goods or services intended. To keep your business functioning, your supply chain should be reliable and sustainable. A circular economy model, in which supply chain managers and companies use goods for an extended period of time to prevent waste, is more important than ever.

Many companies are conscientious about recycling efforts, but creating a more environmentally friendly and economical solution is beneficial on many levels. Sustainable systems promote a business culture that is responsible, and this can be a great way to connect with customers. Another way to help bridge the gap with customers during this supply deficit is to offer them deals they cannot refuse.

Make It Worth the Wait

Customers have become familiar with empty shelves where toilet paper and hand sanitizer used to sit. Delays in shipment and a decrease in supplies will not be a surprise to anyone entering your establishment or visiting your online business. You can reduce the discomfort of supply shortages by making up for it with killer customer service.

Offer customers discounts and other promotions to make the discomfort of waiting for goods less aggravating. Discounts on items you have in mass can also take a load off your inventory management strains. Consider bundling deals in which clients can purchase several popular items or services at a discount. There are many ways to satisfy customer needs and, in turn, ease their worries by reassuring them that their access to important goods remains unchanged. But it’s just as important to create a less stressful work environment for your employees.

Taking Care of Your Employees

Your employees do all the grunt work that makes your business function, so taking care of them during tough times is crucial. Employee care ranges from offering comp time and appreciation days to surprise bonuses for great customer service. Take a survey to see what you can do to help your employees feel cared for and appreciated.

One foolproof way you can take care of your staff is by keeping payroll streamlined and reliable, especially during hard times. Time tracking should be simple for both yourself and your workers — not to mention, accurate. A good platform will allow your staff to clock in and out with ease, while mobile access lets you track, assign, and manage employee schedules on the go.

This also gives you visibility to better assess employee performance and productivity levels so you can address staffing issues proactively. For instance, if one of your workers is dedicated and committed but struggles with being on time, you can work together to identify problem areas and brainstorm ideas to remedy the problem, rather than moving directly into disciplinary action. When employees know you care about them and want them to succeed, they are more likely to go the extra mile for you and put in their best work. Mutual respect is crucial for the success of your business, so look for ways to build this into your work culture.

When your employees feel respected and your customers are satisfied, your business stands a greater chance at success. Even during times of supply chain shortage, your company will survive and come back stronger through exemplary customer service and being proactive. Make sure to visit the ASCM Michigan East blog for more tips and consider becoming a member to always be in the know.

Chelsea Lamb has spent the last eight years honing her tech skills and is the resident tech specialist at Business Pop. Her goal is to demystify some of the technical aspects of business ownership.

As a supply chain professional, what trends are most likely to impact your company over the long term and how are you planning for them? Send us your thoughts at We'd love to hear from you and possibly feature your company in one of our upcoming blogs!

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Looking for a chance to network and share infomation with other local supply chain professionals? Join our next Supply Chain Community Connect session scheduled for Tuesday, June 15th from 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm! See below for more details.