It’s fair to say that the COVID-19 pandemic is the worst thing to happen to business for nearly a century – and possibly in all of modern history. Governments have intentionally shut down economies, leaving productive firms to wither on the vine.
When it comes to sourcing products, things will probably never return to how they were before the crisis. We’re likely to see many firms diversify the way that they source products, and perhaps go to different suppliers.
It is challenging to say at this stage how things will pan out. We’re dealing with a political, economic, and public health crisis. And they’re all interacting with each other at the same time, possibly yielding results businesses never anticipated.
The Rising Risk Of Tariffs
COVID-19 seems to be changing the way that people think about globalization. For many, it is clear that the integration of countries helped to spread the virus quicker than otherwise. Thousands of people traveling from China to Europe and America seeded those countries with the disease, leading to fresh outbreaks of their own.
Political sentiments, therefore, are likely to change. People will see the advantages of being an independent nation and demand that politicians reduce the amount of trade occurring around the globe. If that happens, it will be tough for anyone selling on websites like Amazon.
There May Be Supply Shortages
In the short term, there may also be shortages of products sourced internationally. When things start to open up again, demand will likely shoot up again as people splurge on products and services they couldn’t consume during the lockdown.
Getting hold of those items, however, may become increasingly challenging. Sellers and wholesalers will find it challenging to meet demand, especially if their factory partners have been out of business for several months.
The good news is that you still have options. The best 10 China wholesale websites include some of the biggest brands in the world, such as Alibaba, as well as smaller players. It is a good idea, therefore, to investigate all your options as things begin to re-open.
More Firms Will Work With Agents
There will also be a dramatic shift in the way that companies in the supply chain fulfill orders. Old-fashioned paper bills of lading will almost certainly disappear. In their place, we’re going to find digital copies shared via the cloud.
Digitization will make supply chains more efficient and also lower supply chain risk. Agents in the supply chain can avoid interacting with other people. We will see demand increase for systems that prevent all kinds of physical contact between suppliers and their clients.
Finally, we’re likely to see a lot more firms working with agents to help them source goods from overseas. As parts of the supply chain fail, getting the products that companies need will become increasingly challenging. For many small companies, the task will become too complicated. They will need specialist help.
Sourcing products in the post-COVID-19 world, therefore, will become more challenging. Companies should prepare now for this inevitable future.