A man sitting at a desk in a warehouse takes notes while looking at a computer screen
By Your Edge Blog Team | September 17, 2021

The Supply Chain Situation is Serious, but There are Some Things Small Businesses Can Do to Turn Things Around.

Thinking about increasing your safety stock, tech spend, or vendor relationships to ensure on-time delivery to customers? Our experts explain what it really takes to regain control of your operations.

“What if?”

That’s the question small businesses should be asking over and over right now if reliant on – or responsible for – the smooth execution of the supply chain, according to Xavier Villarreal, who spends his days advising companies on how to make their businesses more resilient in the face of adversity.

The only thing that you can really count on these days is that things won’t go as expected. You must have a plan for anything and everything that could happen to ensure you can still meet customers’ expectations, regulatory mandates, and that magic number that keeps the lights on.  

Mark Wheeler, Director of Supply Chain Solutions at Zebra, agrees.

Like Xavier, Mark has spent the last several months helping customers negotiate the supply chain disruptions caused first by pandemic shutdowns then cumulative shortages: labor, materials, transportation, you name it. He knows how even the slightest imbalance between supply and demand can exacerbate every pain felt by manufacturers, warehouse operators, distributors, shippers, retailers and consumers.

Fortunately for you (and all of us, as consumers), both are well-practiced in relieving critical and compounding pain points in supply chains. So, we asked them to get real about the current situation:

  • Do businesses have any control over the current supply chain situation?
  • How hard will it be to recover from the latest disruptions?
  • Is there anything that small businesses in particular can do right now to improve stock levels, shorten fulfillment lead times, or regain control of their operations more broadly?
  • Is there a right way for companies to level set with customers about delivery delays or inventory shortages without driving them to competitors?
  • Can we keep current issues from further escalating – or happening again in the future?

The good news is that it wasn’t all doom and gloom. In fact, Mark and Xavier made it very clear in our 15-minute conversation that small businesses might have some underrated advantages when it comes to agility, even if they don’t have the same resources as larger enterprises. You’ll want to hear what they have to say (regardless of the size of your business):

Small Businesses are Well Positioned to Overcome Supply Chain Challenges. Here's Why.

Podcast, Manufacturing, Retail, Transportation and Logistics, Warehouse and Distribution,
Zebra’s “Your Edge” Blog Team
Zebra’s “Your Edge” Blog Team

The “Your Edge” Blog Team is comprised of content curators and editors from Zebra’s Global PR, Thought Leadership and Advocacy team. Our goal is to connect you with the industry experts best-versed on the issues, trends and solutions that impact your business. We will collectively deliver critical news analysis, exclusive insights on the state of your industry, and guidance on how your organization can leverage a number of different proven technology platforms and strategies to capture your edge.

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