In our post-COVID-19 era, Australia has become one of the most disrupted countries in the world – particularly in terms of our supply chain management! Of course, Australia’s recent and emerging complications with its supply chain logistics are the result of many factors. Notably – disruptions to economic, logistical, manufacturing, and distribution processes, as well as heightened consumer demand, have all played a part in causing these drastic supply chain issues.
As a result, we need to develop new and innovative ways to deal with supply chain logistics and management in Australia. These innovations should, hopefully, aid to reduce the severity of the supply chain problem moving forward. However, we still have a long way to go! Stay with us as we discuss this pressing issue, and its management, further.
Australian Supply Chain Issues: Why They’re Happening
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Australia is currently experiencing an unprecedented level of supply chain issues, the likes of which we have rarely seen pre-COVID-19. Naturally, it is concerning to note that these issues are now causing retail supply chains to struggle to meet our increasingly heightened levels of consumer demand.
Of course, increased consumer demand is not the only factor that is creating complications with our supply chains. Other issues affecting Australia’s supply chain management also include complications with logistics, distribution, manufacturing and production, as well as economic and financial concerns. To develop further on these concepts:
Heightened Consumer Demand
With our global population constantly growing, it makes complete sense that demand for consumer goods is through the roof! This is especially relevant to products that fall under the umbrella of FMCG or Fast Moving Consumer Goods. These types of products generally encompass perishable items – such as food and beverages – as well as medicines, cosmetic products, and cleaning products, to name a few. Importantly, due to reduced shelf life, FMCG products need to be distributed at high speed – which is why any complications with the logistical distribution of these goods can have extremely negative effects on supply chain management.
Logistical Supply Management Issues, Including Distribution
The distribution of goods is a central component of supply chain management. However, in our post-COVID-19 era, delays with logistics and distribution have elicited disastrous effects on Australia’s supply chain!
Studies have shown that the logistical issues experienced throughout the COVID-19 pandemic continue to impact the management of supply chains, even today. This is because – during the pandemic – we simply were not able to meet the growing demand for consumer goods or have items distributed to consumers quickly enough. Indeed, distribution companies such as Australia Post are still trying to catch up to this day, and these delays are likely to continue to be a problem in the future.
Delays with Manufacturing and Production Lines
One reason for delays in distribution has been that manufacturers simply couldn’t keep up with demand! It then, of course, becomes a chicken before the egg situation – with distributors blaming manufacturers, and vice versa. Irrespective of who was to blame, these huge delays had significant carry-over effects on the production and supply of goods to consumers – the likes we have barely ever seen before.
Financial and Economic Factors
Lastly, the economic downturn experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a determining factor in the failure of our current supply chain management today. Of course, it will take a long time for the global economy to bounce back. Countries around the world are experiencing extreme, unprecedented levels of inflation – which catastrophisers may suggest can be almost compared to those seen during Australia’s Great Depression – during which time the economy collapsed completely! Of course, while we are not yet to see a complete collapse of the economy – fortunately! We are however in dire straights in terms of a global financial crisis, with the cost of living rising almost daily.
How to Fix It: Turning Australia’s Supply Chain Issues Around
Sadly, Australia’s supply chain issues are likely to continue well into the future, according to reputable sources. This is even though the COVID-19 pandemic is now essentially considered to be ‘under control’. That is to say, the number of positive daily COVID-19 cases has finally declined to a manageable level, and we are learning to adapt to a new reality of living with the COVID-19 virus.
But how to fix our ensuing and continued supply chain issues? Admittedly, the way to go about turning around Australia’s current and ongoing supply chain issues is inconclusive. That is to say, a positive solution is yet to be found. As pessimistic as it may sound, we may just need to start learning to live with our current situation – and our exorbitantly high cost of living – until a resolution is discovered. While this may sound terrifying to some – the truth of the matter is, we learnt to live with the COVID-19 pandemic, more or less. If we can get through that, we can get through anything!
Of course, solving the global financial crisis would be a good first step in resolving some of these issues. Some would argue that this is the responsibility of the Global Reserve Bank – which is seen by many as not doing enough to help solve the problem. Additionally, Australia’s recent federal budget was also met with much contention. Many contenders argued that it completely disregarded the ‘little guy’ – that is to say, it did nothing to assist low-income earners, and the people who will be struggling most with our current cost of living situation.
Needless to say, the carry-over effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been disastrous for Australia’s supply chain management. These are issues that have developed as a result of the financial crisis caused by the pandemic, as well as manufacturing and distribution delays that occurred as we raced to meet unprecedentedly high levels of consumer demand. Of course, these are issues that are still with us, and that are likely to carry into the future. The fact that we have not yet resolved them is dire! And – not to be alarmist, but rather, realistic – if we do not do something soon, things will never improve.