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Supply Chain Stabilization Solutions

Global supply chain destabilization has become a business-critical issue for many companies, particularly in the wake of COVID-19, threatening the path to economic recovery. Financial stress, environmental catastrophes, skilled/qualified labour shortages, government-ordered shutdowns and safety protocols and border restrictions, among other things, continue to impact the flow of goods and services across regions and industries, including, in particular, retail and consumer markets, infrastructure, construction, manufacturing, chemicals, financial services, oil and gas, technology and more. Stabilizing your supply chains quickly is critical in sustaining business operations now and going forward.

McCarthy Tétrault is here to help with a holistic assessment and stabilization plan for your supply chain providing insights based on our industry and cross-sectoral experience, including:

Rapid Review of Contracts

We are able to quickly review all of your relevant supply contracts and key provisions to assess impacts to your business, including by using artificial intelligence (AI) technology. We provide advice and assistance across a diverse range of supply chain issues, including:

Contractual Rights and Obligations 

  • Force Majeure clauses, including interpretation where there is no clause or a legislated Force Majeure provision
  • Contract review to identify frustration risk and termination provisions
  • Risk allocation, indemnification and insurance obligations
  • Rights and obligations when there is no contract or only a purchase order and/or invoice standard terms and conditions
  • Regulatory compliance obligations

Issues Management

  • Government issues such as wage top ups, emergency supplies, bail outs and loan funds
  • Supplier interruptions, new supplier qualification, termination of suppliers
  • Loans and payment obligations, including deferral agreements from lenders and landlords
  • Responses to government requests for goods and services including emergency seizures of goods
  • Overseas manufacturing, trade agreements, transportation issues
  • Inventory management including rationing and warehousing

Trade Supply Chain Management

  • Supply chain-specific contract review to confirm obligations, options, and notification compliance
  • Insurance product review to consider application to supply chain risk
  • Transportation and logistics management
  • Trade agreement impact on supply chains, including location of new supply source jurisdictions and strategic cost-savings options
  • Application of new CBSA customs programs to temporarily suspend or relieve the applications of customs duties
  • Impact of export controls on supply chain and associated risk mitigation
  • Development support for an effective internal supply chain management review strategy

Transportation and Logistics

All aspects of Federal and Provincial regulatory issues relating to transportation and logistics;

  • Review and negotiation of contracts with railway companies, motor carriers, warehousemen, and 3PL/4PL providers
  • Strategic advice in respect of logistics, brokering, freight forwarding and transportation management services
  • Customs Bonded Warehouses, PIP/C-TPAT and other cross-border transportation and logistics concerns
  • Warehousing and railcar storage agreements
  • Purchase, lease and financing of rail equipment
  • Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (drones)
  • Government procurement and defence applications for manned and unmanned vehicles
  • Cargo claims, insurance and other issues involving risk of loss/damage to freight
  • Regulatory compliance with international registration and fuel tax agreements
  • Cross-border transactional and sales tax issues involving freight and passenger transportation and associated vehicles
  • Fleet safety performance management support

Regulatory Impact of Supply Chain Management

  • Product mix review to determine if there are regulated products that could be produced elsewhere
  • “Fast-track” programs for certain emergency goods where applicable

Insolvency/Bankruptcy of Vendors/Customers

  • Creative solutions to keep supply chains going, including deferred payment agreements and financing arrangements
  • Asset protection in the supply chain

Other Financial Considerations

  • Coverage review under existing insurance policies and damages calculations
  • Cash or debt obligations for equity investments or buy outs of other companies in the supply chain, risk allocation, indemnification and insurance
  • Tax implications of financial arrangements

 Workforce Management

  • Workplace health and safety considerations, including mandatory vaccination policies and related COVID-19 safety plan requirements, and the corresponding impacts on personnel mobility and access to premises
  • Workforce engagement and strategies for addressing labour shortages, including hiring and recruitment best practices, compensation and working condition changes, amendments to employment agreements, employee surveying, policy development and training, and redesign of the workplace (i.e. hybrid and remote work models)
  • Workforce measures to deal with business slowdown and/or non-essential business closures, including hiring freezes and cancellation of future employment agreements; hours or pay reduction, status changes and work-sharing arrangements; leaves of absence; vacation, sick leave and accrued paid time off; temporary layoffs and recall; employment Insurance Supplementary Unemployment Benefits Plans; and terminations
  • Employee communications, contract revisions and other documents
  • Full service Canadian and United States corporate immigration assistance including support navigating the ongoing travel restrictions, the design and preparation of global mobility policies to achieve workforce goals under the current restrictions, the preparation of the necessary immigration applications(i.e. work permits, study permits, Canadian temporary resident visas, etc.), to the preparation of responses to Immigration Canada and Public Health Agency of Canada’s compliance inquiries and audits.

Rapid Dispute Resolution

  • Resolution of log jams created by disputes with your suppliers or customers so that you can continue to operate
  • Interim, non-binding arbitration to enable expedited negotiated settlements to support business continuity