Navigating Global Supply Chain Challenges in a Post-Pandemic World

November 30, 2023

Global supply chain challenges came into focus during the Covid-19 pandemic, as we experienced product delays and a shortage of resources. However, the world was experiencing supply chain challenges long before the pandemic and will continue to experience them going forward. The uncertainty of supply chain challenges can be stressful, but there are ways to mitigate your risk and help your business stay afloat.

The best thing you can do to ensure you don’t get blindsided by supply chain challenges is to be flexible and always keep your eyes open to other options. Plan for the absolute worst-case scenario and hope that it never comes to fruition. Prioritization and focus are crucial, but flexibility is equally important. The ability to quickly alternate and pivot is the key to minimizing disruption to your business. Be proactive and start determining plans to mitigate risk. If you have a product, or handful of products, that are essential to your operation, play devil’s advocate and start thinking of backup options. Make sure that no matter what, you can get the core product on time and maintain a strong inventory. Sometimes, it may cost more and may not be the most operationally efficient, but at least you know you have an alternative solution if a supply chain shortage prevents you from getting core resources on time. Unfortunately, these backup plans are, more often than not, becoming urgently needed. To stay ahead of any obstacles, assess your most significant areas of risk and figure out your options should those come to a realization.

The more preemptively flexible you can be, the more prepared you will be for any disruption that comes your way. You need to keep your head on a swivel, looking at all the available options. If you focus too much on one element with “this is how we have always done it” unyielding thinking, you won’t be prepared for an alternate. It is essential to be open to new ways of thinking, and possibly unearthing even better processes as a result.

As cliché as it sounds, every challenge is a new opportunity. As a company, we have changed how we navigate the supply chain over the past couple of years, and we are better off for it. Pressure makes diamonds, and all the pressure that we faced forced us to become more efficient and better prepared. Supply chain challenges will continue to come, but we now feel that we have the tools to properly navigate them.


By: Alexander Burgess, VP of Global Supply Chain Operations at BCD

Alexander Burgess is vice president of global supply chain operations for BCD, a security industry leader in video data infrastructure solutions. He joined the company over eight years ago as procurement manager. Before that, he was a forecast analyst at Grainger on the global sourcing team, with direct accountability for inventory from China. Through the University of Wisconsin Center for Professional & Executive Development, he has earned both the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, as well as certification in advanced management and leadership.