Adopting a risk-tolerant approach to supply chain management
From COVID-19 and bushfires to global trade tensions and cyber-attacks, 2020 has put pressure on supply chains. Our new white paper, developed with Deloitte, explains the four pillars of resilient supply chains and how your organisation can proactively address vulnerabilities and manage ongoing risks.
Video: A slim bearded man smiles before a Booktopia sign. Seated, he is interviewed beside bookcases laden with books.
Text: Wayne Baskin, Deputy CEO & CTO, Booktopia.
Wearing a high-vis vest, Wayne views crates on conveyor belts. Surrounding the belts are rows of full bookshelves.
The Australia Post logo sits in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.
Audio: Wayne: I'm Wayne Baskin, Deputy CEO and CTO at Booktopia. At Booktopia, I look after all the IT, technology, all the systems, but also all the strategy and operation, so the customer experience and the logistics and the distribution centre.
Video: Male workers sort book orders. Cardboard envelopes move along a conveyor. A female worker drives a warehouse vehicle loaded with plastic crates.
Wayne is interviewed.
Audio: Wayne: Managing risk in the supply chain comes down to how good your planning is, making sure that you've always got fallbacks in case that things happen, and you always have a plan in the event of something happening that you don't want to happen. eCommerce has just gone gangbusters over this period, this COVID period, and we've seen eCommerce excel, you know, three, four years into the future. The demand has been crazy.
Video: Male workers prepare orders and collect books from shelves. Crates hold books. Workers operate warehouse vehicles. Male workers sort envelopes. A female worker works by the conveyors. Other workers operate various vehicles in a warehouse. One reverses a forklift.
Wayne is interviewed.
Audio: Wayne: We've been at what we call Christmas peak demand, shipping out maximum, you know, over 30,000 units a day out of our distribution centre. I think our biggest learning from a supply chain perspective this year has been that continued demand, that continued, you know, volumes has really allowed our business to operate very efficiently. With not having major peaks and major troughs, allows us to keep our resources at a good level and also allows us to operate at a very good, efficient level.
Video: An Australia Post van drives. Wayne is interviewed. A worker attaches an 'Express Post' sticker to a parcel. A forklift operator loads cages into a truck. A large warehouse sits by an urban main road.
A postie delivers a package on an Eevee trike to a woman.
Audio: Wayne: I think the partnership with Australia Post is extremely important for Booktopia's future. It's everything from logistics, delivering the books, through to data - you know, using Australia Post data to better service our customers, get a better outcome for our customers. And we have customers all over Australia, and no-one else can get to all those customers like Australia Post can.
Video: An Australia Post van enters a car park.
Text: Delivering for Business. Delivering for Australia.
The Australia Post logo appears on a red screen above the URL: auspost.com.au/business
Audio: Female voiceover: Delivering for Business. Delivering for Australia. Australia Post.
- Supply chains around the world have been disrupted in 2020
- An agile and resilient supply chain depends on four factors: visibility, flexibility, collaboration and control
- By planning for supply chain disruption, you can be ready to weather threats and emerge stronger
Resilient Supply Chain Framework
Resilient Supply chains are characterised by four key pillars: visibility, flexibility, collaboration and control; and supported by a clearly defined governance structure, enabled by people, processes, data and technology.
Having access to real-time information and lead indicators is crucial, on both the demand and supply side of the chain. This allows you to spot emerging trends and address any issues before they become business-critical.
It’s one thing to be able to pivot quickly to new opportunities, and quite another to have the flexibility to do so without blowing out costs and creating an unsustainable response. Flexibility means also being able to mitigate the impact of a critical disruption – being prepared with plans for different scenarios.2
Building trusted and effective relationships with your supply chain partners – including suppliers, distributors and logistics service providers – can help you solve problems more efficiently. Drawing on their expertise and broader perspective, you may be able to reconfigure or flex your operational capacity – or even improve service and response times.
Having robust monitoring systems, policies and processes in place ensures you can effectively manage the end-to-end process.
Ready to respond
Baskin says managing supply chain risk comes down to good planning. “Making sure you’ve always got a fallback, in case an unexpected scenario happens – especially an event you don’t want to happen!”
He says his team’s biggest learning this year, from a supply chain perspective, has been how efficient their operating rhythm has become through the volume surge.
“We’re not having such major peaks and troughs now, and this lets us sustain our resources at a good level – and operate more efficiently.”
From a collaboration perspective, Baskin points to Booktopia’s strong partnership with Australia Post. “It’s everything from logistics – delivering the books – through to using Australia Post data to better service our customers. It’s quite a transparent partnership.
We’re always open with each other, making sure we’re hitting our promises to each other.”
This gives him confidence Booktopia is well positioned to take advantage of any future acceleration in eCommerce. “We have the operational capacity to cope with it, and a great team to service our customers.” And the experience that comes with having a global pandemic put his supply chains to the ultimate test.