The challenges SMEs face are momentous and are here to stay. When it comes to forces beyond their control, like container prices and chip shortages, SMEs must roll with the punches. And the economic recovery, while strong, is still tenuous. However, based on the research and conversations with executives, the whitepaper recommends the following calls to action:
Remain Flexible and Vigilant
With no relief in sight from container cost increases and chip shortages, SMEs need to constantly scan the horizon for upcoming disruptions. Executives must be able to switch their freight from ocean to air in a pinch, and work with whatever chipsets they can obtain.
Continue to expand relationships with suppliers, retailers, workers and other SMEs. The SMEs that already had deep connections with their production and sales networks reaped the benefits over the past year, helping them to weather the darkest days of the pandemic.
Integrate Systems Wherever Possible
Integrating key components of the supply chain, like shipping systems and fulfillment centers could lead to greater gains in efficiency and additional benefits. More advanced solutions — like optimization and automation — can increase the accuracy of order fulfillment while increasing volume, reducing accidents and boosting agility.
Focus on Innovation
By fostering a culture of innovation — whether by tweaking operations to overcome a component shortage, changing a go-to-market strategy quickly, or working with manufacturers and designers to address a problem — SMEs must be prepared for whatever disruptions the future may bring.
I3, the flagship magazine from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®, focuses on innovation in technology, policy and business as well as the entrepreneurs, industry leaders and startups that grow the consumer technology industry. Subscriptions to i3 are available free to qualified participants in the consumer electronics industry.