Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery was recently able to talk to Andrew Lynch, president and co-founder of Zipline Logistics, about the coronavirus's effect on the domestic food supply.
Liz Parker: How is the logistics industry working to mitigate issues related to COVID-19 in order to keep essential businesses like food production running as smoothly as possible?
Andrew Lynch: We are working to not only keep our customers online during this time but also to ensure they excel despite current conditions. While many industries are experiencing a substantial pause in operations, those in the food space have seen quite the opposite. Throughout much of this crisis, they’ve received order increases in both volume and velocity.
As logistics solutions providers focused on creating strategies for brands in this industry, we’ve continued to manage clients’ transportation operations and encourage best supply chain practices. Our team of CPG logistics specialists continue to stress the importance of timely communication and realistic expectation setting to manage the disparate parts of their supply chain.
Food brands should now look to diversify sourcing and storage to gain flexibility in their supply chains. They should also strive to exercise as much control over these processes as possible to avoid collateral disruption.
LP: What can snack and bakery businesses do to help improve their ability to quickly handle crises like this in the future?
AL: To readily handle similar crises, whether they be seasonal or economy-wide disruptions, snack and bakery businesses should focus on creating healthy, long-term partnerships with supply chain vendors. When you have established working relationships with the right partners, you gain command and increased visibility into your supply chain.
By having this control over crucial production, storage, transportation, and delivery processes, your brand can remain in the driver’s seat, which is essential for success in any challenging period. With the right partners, your business can stay agile and adjust to crises more quickly.
Additionally, it is vital to assess the financial health of your supply chain partners. The current pandemic has morphed beyond a public health risk to an economy-wide business disruptor. In situations like these, whether it be a natural recession or an accelerated one brought on by an event, it is critical to limit your exposure to risk. Those in a strong position before difficult conditions are more likely to survive and curb your business’s ability to handle crises and keep your operation running smoothly quickly.