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Embedded Systems & Future

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Embedded Systems & Future


 In today’s digital world, our life is surrounded by Embedded Systems. From brewing your morning coffee to microwaving your breakfast to driving your car (with its smart digital features), getting to the office where you take an elevator to get to your smart (auto adjustable) desk.

Systems, Embedded in Our Life

From the auto adjustable desk, you use your laptop for work until you tell Alexa to turn off your smart lamps and head to bed — all the while using your smartphones.

Welcome to the world of Embedded Systems.

                            

 

The devices you use are getting smaller, faster, and smarter every day. It’s all happening due to their tiniest component, a semiconductor “Chip,” embedded inside the device. These microchips are smaller than our fingernails. Moreover, almost all the modern-day embedded devices use these Microchips. It’s hard even to imagine a world without them.

The “Brain” in the System 

The components of embedded systems consist of Sensors to capture the input signals, a Processor (Microcontroller or “Logic”) to manage the sensors, a memory to store the data, and an actuator or the output device to trigger or capture the results seamlessly. It’s quite the same as our human body. We have sensors (like ears, nose, eyes, etc.), a “Brain” to Process and Memorize, and the rest of our bodies that react.

The semiconductor “Chip” (Microcontroller, Processor & Memory) is the “Brain” of the embedded systems. These semiconductor chips are classified as the “Logic” (also known as Processors) and the “Memory.”

The “Need for Speed”

The newer technologies (such as IoT, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, and cloud computing) use complex algorithms and need a high-speed processor and faster memory.

The computation speed and memory requirements are increasing rapidly from supercomputers to smartphones. The first supercomputer, CDC (Control Data Corporation-6600), had a top speed of 40 MHz, which is painfully slow in today’s world.

The first version of a Raspberry Pi (the most straightforward microcontroller, costing less than $50) has a 700-MHz processor. MHz is the ‘clock’ speed of a processor. One million decisions made in a second is one MH. The latest supercomputer can compute 200,000 trillion calculations per second. The iPhone-13 uses an A15 Bionic processor chip having 15 billion transistors.

 

This also applies to personal computers and laptops. On October 27, 2021, Intel announced its 12th generation processor family, “Core i9-12900K,” the best gaming processor (5.2 GHz), having as many as 16 cores and 24 threads. The new desktop processors reach new heights of multi-threaded performance for enthusiast gamers and professional creators.

Evolution of the next-generation computing

The evolution of advanced semiconductor chips helps devices achieve high-end algorithms. These complex algorithms have been in existence for decades. However, they could not be implemented to their fullest extent in the real world due to the lack of specialized computational tools.

One of the most revolutionary signal processing concepts, the “Fourier Transform” (included in the Top 10 Algorithms of 20th Century by the IEEE) and one of the most critical algorithms used in image processing and telecommunication, has existed for a long time.

Fourier Transform was first discussed in 1805. It’s a mathematical function that transforms a signal from the time domain to the frequency domain. It is a very powerful transformation that gives you the ability to understand the frequencies inside a signal.

However, due to the lack of in-depth computational tools, scientists could not explore it further (until ~1970) or use it in any commercial systems. But now, it’s widely used in image processing and signal processing in many commercial and critical systems (including RADAR & SONAR).

It’s all Happening here, Moore’s law

Gordon Earle Moore is an American engineer and the co-founder and chairman emeritus of Intel Corporation. In 1965, he authored Moore’s law and, using existing data, extrapolated that the number of transistors in integrated circuits (IC) would double about every two years with the reducing costs.

Advancements in the semiconductor manufacturing process (especially the lithography machines) keep Moore’s law alive. In the last few decades, these chips are getting more condensed, efficient, and economical with an increasing number of transistors fabricated in a single monolithic Chip, and the trend continues.

 

                                                   

source: https://www.singularitysymposium.com/moores-law.html

 

The latest technologies evolve in parallel with the semiconductor “Chip” evolutions. As a result, the embedded systems world is getting advanced, smart, and more affordable.

The semiconductor technology revolution produces high-computational, high-speed processors and faster-access memory semiconductor chips. These revolutions are the reason behind the success of the latest technologies, including smartphones.

The success is because the need for critical and optimized signal processing algorithms evolved the concept of “System on Chip” (SoC), where the entire digital and analog signal processing algorithms are done inside the hardware (semiconductor chip) itself.

SoC has managed to make embedded systems more efficient. In addition, these SoC have helped tremendously in overcoming network incompatibility, integration, and reliability issues in IoT, especially in wireless connectivity and 5G capabilities.

These advancements in semiconductor chips have significantly impacted our human life. Their contribution to medical science, from the most straightforward contactless thermometer to the sophisticated life-saving devices, is vast. These advancements have made a tremendous impact in the medical world.

The Chip Shortage, A Current Problem

In recent years, the world has witnessed high-speed digitization and, further boosted by the pandemic, a massive surge in demand for laptops, smartphones, automobiles, and servers. Unfortunately, this has led to a significant problem: a shortage in the chips that control everything.

In addition, the evolving technologies are more demanding, creating the need for smaller, faster processors and more available memory. It’s almost a chicken and egg problem that works to meet production needs.

The current pandemic impacted semiconductor manufacturing in an unprecedented way. However, smart embedded devices have helped keep life going. Our kids continued their education remotely using chrome books, cameras, and headphones, and many workers continued to work remotely without hiccups.

The role of contactless temperature scanners, smart contact tracing using mobile data, and other technologies played an instrumental role in confining the spread of COVID-19. Without these smart embedded systems devices, our life could have been much worse in the past few years.

The Journey and Evolution of the Semiconductor Chip

The semiconductor chip journey started with the “vacuum tubes.” Ancient computers used vacuum tubes. A vacuum tube is a glass tube with electrodes for controlling electron flow, acting as a switch or an amplifier.

In 1947, the University of Pennsylvania made a computer using vacuum tubes almost the size of a building. In the following years, scientists William Shockley, John Bardeen, and Walter Brattain collaborated to invent transistors, to replace the vacuum tube, offering a more effective way for the computer to process information.

Source: https://www.hitachi-hightech.com/global/products/device/semiconductor/history.html

The invention of “Transistors” was a huge milestone and revolutionized semiconductor technology. In addition, it helped in making the integrated circuits smaller, faster, and more affordable. The great researchers “Shockley,” “Bardeen,” and “Brattain” made a considerable contribution to semiconductor research and the development of the transistor and were awarded Nobel Prize in Physics in 1956.

These transistors started getting used in the Integrated Circuits, which are also called “microelectronic circuits,” “microchips,” or “chips.”

The chips are an assembly of electronic components, fabricated as a single unit, in which miniaturized active devices (e.g., transistors and diodes) and passive devices (e.g., capacitors and resistors) along with their interconnections are built upon a thin substrate of semiconductor material (typically silicon).

The resulting circuit is thus a small monolithic “Chip” that we know today.

Chip Manufacturing, Impossible is Past

A chip is a set of electronic circuits where the transistors turn a current on or off. Microchips are made by building up layers of these interconnected patterns of transistors on a silicon wafer. The latest monolithic chips can support more than 100 layers containing a billion transistors each, each aligning at atomic (nanometer), which needs to align with nanometer precision (called ‘overlay’).

The manufacturing process of these semiconductor chips has several steps. Using various automation processes, it can take months from design to mass production in the cleanrooms of the chipmakers’ fabs (fabrication facilities). There are four unique phases in production.

Design Phase: Circuit Design

Development Phase:  Printing circuit to a Silicon wafer

Pilot Phase:  Critical Production criteria (based on the overlay, critical dimensions, etc.) matching

Mass production Phase: The primary focus is to maximize the yield and minimize the loss (failures) for commercial viability

The Game Changer, EUV Lithography

Lithography is when a light source is used to print tiny patterns of devices, including transistors on silicon. It is a fundamental step in a mass-producing microchip. Lithography machines where the hardware meets software provide a holistic approach to mass-producing patterns on silicon. This machine is one of the most complex machines globally, which has evolved tremendously in the past few decades.

ASML (ASML Holding NV) is the market leader in the DUV (Deep Ultraviolet) lithography machines and the only maker of the next generation EUV (Extreme Ultraviolet) lithography machines in the world.

These machines are so complex (almost the size of a bus), with over 100,000 components and around a mile’s length of cable, all assembled to make a giant lithography machine costing more than $150 million per machine.

The precision of these machines is in the nanometer range. For example, ASML uses DUV machines with a precision of around 200 nanometers wavelength. There are only a few DUV manufacturers (Nikon & Canon) other than ASML.

In addition, ASML has been playing an instrumental role in meeting the challenging demand for the latest technologies and keeping Moore’s law alive. For example, ASML’s EUV lithography machine is the next-generation high-resolution lithography machine that made a revolutionary change in achieving a 10-nanometer (almost X-ray range) precision wavelength, something unprecedented in most cases.

ASML invested more than 17 years and approximately 6 billion euros in research and development in making the EUV lithography machines. These EUV machines manufacture sophisticated microchips. The EUV machine is directly benefitting all human beings.

These microchips are used in all the latest smartphones, gaming consoles, smartwatches, and other high-end embedded devices.

 

 

 The Future is here, EXE Lithography Machines

ASML is working on its next generation of EUV lithography (EXE) machine, which will open the door for a smarter digital world in future decades. Intel and ASML are working together to make it a reality as soon as 2025, and they’ve managed to offer EUV production with numbers that were not possible before.

Above all, the EXE EUV machine would reduce the costs and energy needed to manufacture this chip. This machine also offers to scale at an affordable pace, well into the oncoming decade. This machine has a higher resolution that will enable 1.7x smaller chip features and 2.9x increased chip density.

The number of process steps will reduce significantly with this platform, which is a solid motivation to adopt the technology. In addition, it will significantly reduce defects, costs, and cycle time.

 

Source: innovationorigins.com/app/uploads/2018/01/ASML-transistor-per-mm2-Wet-van-Moore.png

Epilogue, Techno-Logical

The entire world of technology is evolving in a feedback loop. For example, the need for faster and more efficient hardware (logic & memory chips) used in the latest technology drives the “Chip” fabrication industry.

And the advancement in semiconductor chip manufacturing further pushes the latest technologies forward. For example, the latest (EXE) lithography machines use the most sophisticated semiconductor “chips,” fabricated using the earlier generation Lithography (DUV/EUV) Machines.

The semiconductor “Chip” (logic & memory) advancements are shaping future technologies. While most of this will depend on how efferently we continue to advance the chip manufacturing industry. These challenges could bring about future technology up to this point unprecedented.

We see a significant evolution happening faster than ever before, creating an “industrial revolution” in Embedded Systems.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed are the author’s own and not the views of his employer.

Inner Article Image Credit: Provided by the Author; Thank you!

Top Image Credit: Jeremy Waterhouse; Pexels; Thank you!

Kishore Ranjan

Kishore Ranjan is a Senior Design Engineer at ASML (Wilton-CT, USA), having 20+ years of experience working in Embedded Systems in leading technology companies (Aricent, Nokia, NSN, Samsung, Intel & ASML) across the globe (USA, South Korea, China, Finland, Germany & India).

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How to Nail the Art of Visual Email Marketing

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How to Nail the Art of Visual Email Marketing


Interesting subject line ✅
Engaging and relevant copy ✅
Actionable CTA ✅

All these make up a high-converting email. But there’s one more thing that helps in getting maximum ROI from your emails. That’s attractive visuals. Vennage has revealed that 49% of marketers rate visual marketing as “very important” for their marketing strategy. Three days later, people will probably remember only 10% of the information they hear but 65% of the information if it is presented with a suitable image.

So, if you want your emails to make a difference and prompt the subscribers to take action, using visuals is a must.

That said, let’s take a look at all the different types of visuals and rich media you can use to enhance the email’s aesthetic appeal.

1. Images

Static images come first, as they are a basic yet compelling part of visual email marketing. Whether you want to display your product with a pretty picture or break down the content with vectors, images come in handy. If you want to pull the plug on lengthy text, use relevant images along with a crisp copy.

Take a look at this email by Touch of Modern. They have nailed the art of product photography and included the perfect image that would attract shoppers.

Source

2. Illustrations

Illustrations can be used as a powerful storytelling tool in emails. According to a survey, illustrations and infographics are performing better than many other visual elements when it comes to yielding engagement. Rather than using stock images, you can use meaningful illustrations that add more value to the emails.
Here’s an email by Harry’s that uses an illustration to depict the awesomeness of their face wash packs.

Source

3. 3D Images

3D images originated in the 1970s. They established their identity in web designing and gradually made their way to emails. These images add depth to the flat email design and bring freshness to the subscriber’s inbox.
Burberry has incorporated a nice 3D image to promote their open spaces in the email.

4. GIFs

Let me take you back to the earliest usage of GIFs in emails.
In the year 2007, Lake Champlain Chocolates incorporated GIFs in their emails, and to their sheer surprise, it brought 49% higher conversions.

Then, in 2014, Dell drove 109% revenue (marketingsherpa) with the help of an animated laptop image in email.

Animated GIFs prove to be extremely beneficial in various use cases, as discussed below:

  • Displaying the huge range of products available in your eCommerce store
  • Inspiring wanderlust in the readers with enticing images of the destinations
  • Demonstrating the usage of your products
  • Promoting a new show released on your OTT platform
  • Executing occasion-based email marketing
  • Animating the typography to draw attention to an important message

Anthropologie has used action-packed animation to show its products. It portrays comfort and aesthetics and lures the readers to buy.

5. 3D Animations

3D animations are a step above GIFs. If you want to further enhance the user experience, use 3D GIFs as Lyft has done.

Source

6. Animated Illustrations

Illustrations with animations are a visual treat. They help in telling a story to the subscribers. If you go by the “Show, don’t tell” adage, try using animated illustrations in your emails.
Grammarly sets the perfect example of using animated illustrations in their email promoting the midnight sale. The animated owl and clock form a great combination to convey the message.

7. Cinemagraphs

GIFs are snippets taken from a video or an animation played on a loop. On the other hand, cinemagraphs are sophisticated animations with a seamlessly endless loop that take the subscriber back to a past moment.
Here’s an email example by Detour Coffee Roasters showing the use of cinematography in their welcome email.

Like GIFs, you can use cinemagraphs in the telecommunications industry and add visual oomph to your emails. It will pique the subscriber’s curiosity and make them buy an OTT subscription to watch the show.

8. Videos

You can add videos in emails in two ways.

  1. Place a video thumbnail with the play button and take the reader to the landing page.
  2. Embed the video in the email itself and let it play therein.

The first option is pretty straightforward in that you just have to embed a static image in the email that emulates a video thumbnail.
Here’s an example.

The second option requires some coding expertise. You have to consider email client support too, if you want to use embedded videos in email.
Take a look at this email template to experience an embedded video in it.

Some Additional Ideas to Make Emails Stand Out

  1. You can use a monochrome design layout with a single color in the emails.
  2. Add gradients to reinforce visual hierarchy and get the emails read till the end. You can even experiment with innovative CTA buttons with gradients.
  3. The key to using visuals effectively is to follow the principles of visual hierarchy. Arrange the email components in a Z or F-shaped pattern to guide the readers. Also, adhere to the accessibility best practices.

Pro-tips for Adding Visuals in Emails

  1. The text-to-image ratio should be maintained at 80:20.
  2. As email clients block images by default, add a suitable alt-text with every image. This will also be useful if the subscriber views the email with images turned off. It is an important accessibility best practice and aids the screen readers in conveying the message to subscribers with visual impairment.
  3. Don’t add important information and CTA in the images.
  4. An all-image email will trigger spam filters and hamper your email deliverability rate.
  5. Avoid stock photos at all costs. Real photographs work better if you want to leave a lasting impact on the subscriber’s mind.
  6. Animations should not flash between 2 to 55 Hz; otherwise, it will aggravate the condition of photosensitive epilepsy.
  7. Keep close tabs on the email file size to ensure fast loading. It will prevent cutting into the user’s Internet bandwidth.
  8. While adding GIFs and embedded videos, include a suitable fallback to curb rendering issues.
  9. Use images judiciously without getting over the board.
  10. Test the emails so that they render well across all the major email clients and devices.

Wrapping Up

Remember those times when it seemed impossible to format emails with anything more than an image? And now, we have so many different options to explore and make our emails more fun and entertaining. Besides visuals, you can even use interactivity to add to the visual appeal. Test and see what works best for you.

Put your creative hats on to create email designs that resonate with your email subscribers. It will, in turn, bring you unmatched results in terms of open rate, click-through rate, conversion rate, and ROI.

Featured Image Credit: Provided by the Author; Thank you!

Disha Bhatt (Dave)

Disha Bhatt (Dave)

Disha Bhatt (Dave) works as a Content Strategist at Email Uplers. She is a dentist, who has found her calling in words & technical subjects. She loves to pen down travelogues and romantic short stories in her free time.

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6 Ways to Prepare Your Business for the Upcoming Holidays

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Calendar


The holiday season can be incredibly disruptive, especially for small businesses and their customers. You could either be in a very slow season looking for things to accomplish or so overwhelmed by business that you feel like you got run over by a reindeer. If you haven’t started making preparations yet, you need to start today.

Simple adjustments can help you gain more business or handle a heavy influx of holiday patrons. Here are several ideas you can consider implementing to end the year on a high note:

1. Decorate With Holiday Spirit

Any customer that enters your business will feel the holiday spirit if you’ve got the right decorations in place. You don’t have to go overboard with inflatable pumpkins or flashing Christmas tree lights, but some well-placed decorative touches can really bring the place together. Plus, this makes the workspace festive for your employees as well.

You can choose to highlight the general themes of the seasons or focus on specific holidays. For example, autumn leaves and fall colors can get you well into November. You could also mix things up by putting up ghosts and jack-o’-lanterns for Halloween and switching them out for turkeys and pilgrims for Thanksgiving.

The same can be done for winter. Snowflakes and snowmen will work for the entire season. If you want to get specific, you have Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year’s decorations to consider.

2. Work Out Employee Vacation Times

Everyone wants to take time off during the holidays, and for good reason. This is one of the best times of year to gather with family and enjoy life together. Unfortunately, some businesses can’t afford to have all of their employees taking time off simultaneously. Your job is to make sure everyone is getting fair time off while still staffing important dates around the holiday season.

How you approach this task is up to you and how you think your team will respond best. You might think it’s fair to let the most tenured employees select their days off first. You could also develop a rotation so that the same people don’t hog the same days off every year. Even a first-come, first-served approach could be considered if you think your team will be OK with it.

Remember that you deserve to take some time off as well. Being an entrepreneur is incredibly demanding and time-consuming. Taking even a couple of days off to enjoy the holidays with family can help you recover mentally and physically.

3. Encourage Calendar Collaboration Among Team Members

To ensure everyone on your team is on the same page with project deadlines, essential meetings and events, and client needs, it’s essential to collaborate on a team calendar. Most calendar software today offers team calendars.

Make sure everyone on your team has access to one another’s calendar so they are aware of when they are available. Then, team members can collaborate to help each other take on things that could otherwise be missed.

Thankfully, there are many collaborative calendar integrations available for teams to utilize in order to maximize their time. By utilizing these tools, teams can work more efficiently together. Therefore, they can minimize the chances of missing deadlines, missing meetings, or making clients unhappy.

4. Make Holiday Business Hours Known

Your customers also deserve to know how your business will operate throughout the upcoming holidays. You should communicate in advance the days you plan on being closed. This way, customers and clients won’t be disappointed when they try to visit, and nobody is there to receive them.

This is extremely important for schedule-based businesses. The sooner you block off certain days, the less likely you will have to reschedule a meeting or appointment that was booked in advance. Clients who have their end-of-year scheduled meetings rearranged or moved at the last minute will not be happy.

Consider sending out an email that details your holiday hours to any customers who have provided contact information to you. Additionally, you could also consider adding a note on your email signature that states when your business will be closed. You could implement this early on, especially for the winter holidays. At the very least, put up a notice on your front door and website that makes the revised schedule known and accessible.

5. Plan Marketing and Promotions

The holiday season is for family and friends, of course, but it’s also a commercial opportunity for businesses. (There’s a reason they call the day after Thanksgiving “Black Friday.”) While you shouldn’t lose sight of what’s most important, your business should be thinking about some promotions to run. The right marketing campaign at the right time can dramatically boost your revenue.

Marketing plans practically write themselves this time of year. Black Friday and Christmas sales are common and desirable. A salon could run cut-price haircut specials on Black Friday for those who want to escape the shopping fray. A mani-pedi promotion could capture the attention of those primping for holiday parties. Put your business’s personal twist on the season, and you’re likely to see sales increase.

What’s most important to prepare for is the increase in business during a holiday promotion. Make sure you are appropriately staffed for busy days with numerous consumers cashing in on holiday deals. If you’re not prepared to handle the business you’ve attracted, you’ll have a blue Christmas.

6. Consider Getting Extra Help

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all of the business coming your way over the holidays, consider contracting some extra help. Plenty of businesses hire seasonal workers to lend them a hand for a couple of months. Your business doesn’t have to be an exception.

The great thing about seasonal workers is that there’s no long-term commitment. You can get an extra receptionist, hair stylist, or stockroom organizer for just as long as you need. These workers are looking for some extra holiday cash and simply want the additional hours before life returns to normal.

You may even consider contracting some digital help. A webmaster can help you keep your website up and running even with double the online traffic. Your clever marketing strategy could be implemented by a third party so you can focus more fully on your customers.

Closing Thoughts

Of all the above steps, the most important common denominator is to be sure your clients and customers are aware of when your business will be out, so they can plan ahead as well. This will help your business avoid the inconvenience and disappointment the unavailability may cause. Be sure to encourage in-house collaboration on important dates, in addition to collaborating externally with your clients and customers.

Keep your business on the nice list by being prepared for every upcoming holiday, whether it’s the longer holiday breaks in the winter or the shorter holidays throughout the year. With the above holiday preparation planning tips, your business can plan well ahead for this holiday season so nothing slips through the cracks.

Though it’s an extremely busy time for everyone, the holiday season doesn’t have to get stressful. There are so many ways to avoid all of the stress by planning well. The better you work together to prepare, the jollier the holiday season can be for your business and your customers as we head into the 2023 new year.

You might not feel entirely ready for 2023 just yet, and that’s fine. But by taking steps to prepare for the new year now, you’ll position your business to succeed beyond your expectations.

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Featured Image Credit: Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh; Pexels; Thank you!

Calendar

We are Calendar, trying to make the world a much more productive place. Check us out online at https://www.calendar.com.

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Face Supply Chain Disruptions : Work Smarter, Not Harder

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How To Start a Business While Living With Your Parents


Supply chain disruptions are nothing new. However, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain disruptions have become more common. At first, these issues caused major shortages throughout the country. Now, shortages are still occurring along with inefficient shipping processes.

These issues have forced business owners to struggle with ways to stay afloat. Delays, interruptions, and cancellations have made it nearly impossible to keep up with demand while avoiding wasteful spending.

However, some things simply aren’t within your grasp when it comes to supply chain disruptions. On the other hand, you can work smarter to address them. You’re responsible for how your business responds to these disruptions, and with better approaches, things will run more smoothly.

With that in mind, let’s look at how your business can deal with supply chain disruptions. You can create a sense of hope in this digital world as things slowly start to return to normal and the supply chain issues start to balance out.

Use Data Analytics to Survive Supply Chain Disruptions

Collecting clean data and putting it to use can improve everything from customer service to your marketing endeavors. It can also be used to mitigate the effects of a supply chain crisis. Developing innovative data solutions can keep your business afloat and even help it grow during uncertain conditions.

Different Data Methods for Supply Chain Disruptions

To start using data to your advantage during supply chain disruptions, consider these methods:

  • Take a look at demand trends. You can look at customer orders and purchasing trends over the last year. This will give you a better idea of how much to order and how often to counteract supply chain disruptions.
  • Organize your data. This also makes it easy to look at your current inventory and open order allocations. You can compare your inventory and orders with data provided by production teams or vendors to create a realistic timeline of when things will arrive or when they can be shipped out to customers.
  • Pay attention to demand volatility. People aren’t necessarily hoarding items as they did at the beginning of the pandemic. However, there are still some things consumers are regularly purchasing to prepare themselves for the future. As you look at data relating to the current supply of popular products, as well as data from the manufacturers, it will be easier to keep a steady flow of those products in stock.

While looking at data might not sound like an immediate plan of action during turbulent times, it’s easier to make positive changes and work smarter in the face of supply chain disruptions when you have the right information.

Build Your Brand to Withstand Supply Chain Disruptions

It’s difficult to focus on anything but the supply chain issues affecting so many businesses right now. However, retting over those issues isn’t going to get you anywhere. By shifting your focus and putting your energy into supply chain disruptions, your business can move forward.

Building a brand isn’t easy, which is why it requires a lot of time, attention, and focus. Taking this time to hone in on your marketing is a great way to make your business more of a household name. That kind of brand recognition is exactly what companies need right now to stay afloat when supply chain disruptions occur. You can build your brand awareness and identity (stickeryou dot com), in a variety of ways, including:

  • Defining your company values
  • Understanding your audience
  • Determining what sets your business apart
  • Creating brand guidelines

Once you have a strategy in place to grow your brand, utilize things like logo creation, social media, and special events to grow your name and help your customers understand who you are.

Build Consumer Relationships Despite Supply Chain Disruptions

Even if you’re facing supply chain issues, you can build relationships and establish trust with consumers. Today’s consumers desire relationships with businesses more than ever before, so it’s okay to show the “human” side of your brand as often as possible. That can make it easier to provide positive customer service experiences when you’re facing product shortages and delays.

Communication with your customers is one of the best ways to deal with frustrations over delays and supply chain issues, so be transparent. Make it a part of your identity. When you make sure your audience knows about the issues you’re facing and keep them updated about shipping information (including delays), they’re more likely to be understanding and patient.

Prepare to Handle Disruptions to Your Supply Chain

Supply chain disruptions are all but inevitable. Make sure your business has a backup plan and is prepared to deal with them when they arise.

If you don’t have one already, consider establishing an emergency management center within your business. Once you have a team in place, you can offer them previously collected supply chain data and create a plan of action. This will make it easier for them to create an effective strategy while reducing the risk of miscommunication that’s often associated with supply chain disruptions.

You should also create a backup plan that incorporates the existing suppliers that can adapt with you when disruptions happen. It should also include technology exploration. Tech, such as AI, can make a big difference in the future of your business – even if it forces you to change some of your existing supply chain processes.

Be Patient During Supply Chain Disruptions

Additionally, try to be patient when disruptions occur. This isn’t the first time the world has seen supply chain issues, but they’re more unsettling now since there’s no end in sight. As someone involved in business, take heart in knowing these delays and disruptions won’t last forever.

In the meantime, focus on working smarter, not harder — to navigate supply chain disruptions. By mitigating some of the issues, being smart with data collection, and focusing on boosting the strength of other areas of your business, you’ll be able to get through these disruptions more comfortably. You may even come out on the other side with more resiliency and knowledge.

Featured Image Credit: Provided by the Author; Mika Baumeister; Unsplash; Thank you!

Amanda Winstead

Amanda Winstead is a writer from the Portland area with a background in communications and a passion for telling stories. Along with writing she enjoys traveling, reading, working out, and going to concerts. If you want to follow her writing journey, or even just say hi you can find her on Twitter.

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