Kateryna Goncharova is Head of Global Marketing at LEAFIO AI Retail Solutions, an Estonia-based company that also has an office in Ukraine, where Goncharova is based.
Goncharova contacted Supply Chain Digital because she wanted to share with the wider business community what is happening on the ground in Ukraine in terms of companies operating despite a war – specifically what is happening with supply chains.
“We are an international IT company and have part of our team in Ukraine,” says Goncharova. “We have colleagues here and also more than 40 customers from Ukraine. We are in constant contact with each other and support them. We know how their businesses have changed since the war began and how they continue to operate under the bombs.”
In the first of a five-part series, Goncharova’s colleague – Product Director explains, Helen Schepanyk – shares with us exactly how LEAFIO customers in Ukraine are adapting their operations in the face of war and what supply chain strategies they are employing to help both their operations and their fellow citizens survive.
PART ONE: Does a phased retail plan work in war?
In everyday conditions, people rarely work on nightmare scenarios in their business functions. Yes, almost all contracts for goods and services have a force majeure section, but these mostly contain disclaimers for breach of contract, nothing more.
So it’s hardly surprising that there are no detailed instructions for retail supply chain managers entitled “How to keep your business afloat during a war”. And even if there were, it’s hard to imagine what such instructions might contain. Can you imagine? I think it might look like this.
What to do if:
- On the first day of the war, a rocket lands in one of your supermarkets?
- A horde of military marauders are invading the city where your supply chain outlet is located to rob anything and everything.
- Half of your company’s employees are off work because they fled with their families from the incessant rocket fire?
- Suppliers cannot deliver goods because of horrendous traffic jams caused by the flow of refugees from shelled and occupied cities – or because your drivers refuse to go to shelled areas?
- All important distribution centers are occupied?
- Is your headquarters with all its servers and all business functions destroyed by a bomb?
Unfortunately, all of the above is a bitter reality for thousands of companies across Ukraine. The people of Ukraine are steadfast in their struggle to live and work in the inhumane conditions of war, and so are Ukrainian retailers.
As a company, we help our customers become more efficient by automating their business processes. We do this by optimizing their inventory, merchandising and promotions.
Currently we have projects in 16 countries and offices in USA, Estonia and Ukraine.
Because we have more than 40 customers from Ukraine and are in constant contact with them, we know how they feel now and how their business has changed since the beginning of the war.