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  • Jaclyn Gallardo

COVIDs acceleration of the digital supply chain

COVIDs acceleration of the digital supply chain

I remember 13 years ago walking around a trade show with my small roller bag stuffed with catalogs, brochures, and CDs. Yes! CDs were a thing. A thing of the past! Then suppliers started giving out personalized USBs with their pdf files and no longer gave out 30-page colored catalogs. Now it's QR codes and electronic digital business cards.

Times have changed in the past decade, but our acceleration over the last two years has been exponential.

Challenges bring innovation and opportunities

The pandemic brought an indescribable amount of disruption that resulted in the ports, manufacturers, logistic providers, and distributors shutting down for an extended period of time.

This time also brought out the best in people, and their resilience was incredible.The challenge was how to ensure success despite these situations. Luckily, however, all supply chain components fully embraced digital transformation, including producers, vendors, logistics, distributors, and retailers.

At ingredient brothers, we have embraced these challenges and built a new model that we believe will transform our industry.

1- Remote Work

Before 2020, remote opportunities in the import space were few and far between. I have applied my knowledge and experience to solve global supply chain challenges for the US market. Something I would never have considered prior to the pandemic. We now have a team that spans four continents!

2- 24/5 Operations

Having teams spanning the globe allows us to operate 24 hours a day. At ingredient brothers, the organization was built to handle teams across multiple time zones. This helps us move faster and be available to our suppliers and customers during their regular business hours.

3- Global Standards

Standards have converged so much over the last 20 years. Each part of the supply chain understands what is expected of them, and there are independent checks along the way. At ingredient brothers, we have extensive knowledge of these standards and ensure we validate our suppliers against them. Reviewing process controls is much more efficient than physically inspecting one sample.

4- Internal Tools

By building ingredient brothers as a remote global team from the ground up, we need to ensure we have the tools in place to operate effectively. There has been so much investment in software for this specific purpose over the last two years that we have embraced. Our small team has managed to onboard hundreds of vendors with thousands of products using our proprietary software. This allows us to improve the onboarding and maintenance of our supply chain and ensure adherence to our strict standards.

5- Communication

Unsurprisingly, the industry has adopted tools such as zoom, google meet, etc. That has helped us maintain healthy relationships with our key partners. It is common to do on-site audits and watch the loading of products through facetime.

In Summary

As a team, we have built new ways to work together and build that in-person team dynamic. During our most recent event, half the team had dinner while half ate breakfast, while we discussed our lives in different countries. While separated by oceans, it is always refreshing to see how we share many of the same values.

We have excelled in managing end-to-end procurement cycles despite disruptions and being spread out across the globe. Utilizing modern tools and workspaces has paved the way for digital transformation in the supply chain to increase productivity and effectiveness.

Book a call and allow us to help you source from our increasing global network of the highest-quality specialty ingredients without ever having to leave your workspace!

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