Insights & News

For the Foreseeable Future, Flexibility is the Name of the Supply Chain Game

3 Springs standing together

Posted On April 22, 2020

Over the past several weeks, how many times have you heard the phrase the “new normal”?

More times than you care to think of.

Usually the phrase is followed by someone’s opinion on what that new normal will look like, forgetting that many of us have lived through multiple new normals. Next year we will mark the twentieth anniversary of 9/11. When that tragedy occurred, we heard phrases like “the new normal” and “nothing will ever be the same” over and over—and those pundits were right. The terrorist attacks in New York and Pennsylvania changed our world.

But honestly, who would have predicted that, on a daily basis, the most significant change for the average American would be the requirement to throw away their soda and take off their shoes before entering the airport security line?

(Of course—like always—the men and women who defend our country bore a much higher cost than inconveniences at the airport.)

Predicting the “new normal” during an unfolding public tragedy is impossible. We will only know what the new normal will look like once we are on the other side of the abnormal.

Here’s what we can tell you though: The coming months will require a flexible approach to managing your supply chain.

Efforts to mitigate the health impact of the disease will continue to have an extraordinary impact on supply chains. Bottlenecks and delays will be far more common, at least for a while. Ports will see heavy demand coupled with the potential for continued staffing challenges.

The good news?

Flat World Global Solutions specializes in helping our clients and partners deal with complexity and change.

We have helped shippers navigate inefficient and closed ports, backlogs, and the temporary chaos that can occur in any supply chain for over fifteen years. We helped our clients create cost-efficient, visible supply chains throughout the Great Recession. We have worked around the clock to monitor changing ground conditions during natural disasters. We have used innovation to lower costs for our clients during the era of driver shortages and consistent rate increases.

More than anything though, we know what it’s like to be in your shoes.

Our business was founded by entrepreneurs who know exactly how much blood, sweat, and tears were poured into your business.

There is a parable about a man trapped in a hole. A friend comes to save him and throws a ladder into the hole—but the ladder isn’t tall enough. Another friend comes along and offers help by throwing a rope into the hole—but the rope isn’t long enough. Finally, a third friend comes along and jumps in the hole.

The man in the hole asks, “Why did you do that? Now we are both in the hole.”

The friend responds by saying, “I’ve been here before, and I know the way out.”

Right now, it probably feels like your supply chain is in the hole. Climbing out will require flexibility, adaptability, and a partner that’s ready to dive in the hole with you and figure a way out together.

Flat World Global Solutions is ready to make the climb with you.

In the meantime, stay healthy, stay safe, and stay flexible.

There are better days ahead.