If there is one thing the COVID-19 pandemic brought to the attention of businesses it is the need for reliable and robust supply chain management (SCM) processes. Whether it’s production, distribution, inventory, or logistics, a small break in the link can derail an entire process resulting in substantial time and money losses for a business.
A smooth and seamless connection between all processes is essential for ensuring all goods and services are made, supplied and delivered to their end customer on time and for avoiding unwanted complaints, product recalls and costly litigation. In this article, we will look at three ways your business can improve its SCM.
Find Reliable Suppliers
Sourcing reliable and dependable suppliers is essential for good SCM and for ensuring your business can fulfill its promises and deliver on its customers’ expectations. Before partnering with a prospective third-party it’s important to do your due diligence by checking matters such as their business track record, the quality of their products, their delivery times, financial stability and reputation.
It is also recommendable to have connections with multiple suppliers in case of unexpected events such as a warehouse flood or fire which could lead to your main supplier being unable to supply your business on time. This will enable you to make alternative arrangements with a backup supplier rather than being left in the lurch. An open line of communication with your supplier will also reduce the likelihood of being caught off guard if there are any potential disruptions in the supply chain and allows you to work together to come to a solution, where needed.
Leverage New Technology and Innovations
Enhance your SCM by taking advantage of new technologies and innovations which can help to streamline your business processes. From robotics and cloud computing to artificial intelligence and 3D printing, there have been significant advances within technology that have enabled businesses to supercharge their SCM.
These technologies can help organizations in numerous ways and can help cut down their costs, improve their delivery times, and manage their inventory more efficiently. For example, transport management systems can help businesses to track and correctly document the transportation of their goods whilst in transit thereby optimizing the process of physically delivering goods. Technology can help businesses eliminate many of their labor-intensive and time-consuming processes enabling them to operate with greater efficiency and become more competitive in their market.
Non-technological Innovations can also benefit businesses, for example, collapsible ULDs which can help with fleet efficiency via haulage, shipping or air cargo by saving time, freeing up storage space, and reducing costs as well as emissions.
According to a survey by the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) almost 40% of companies were severely impacted in their business operations during the COVID-19 pandemic due to supply chain disruptions.
To avoid these issues arising, a risk management plan can help businesses to identify any potential risks to their supply chain and how these could impact their operations. This is essential for helping businesses take a proactive stance when dealing with possible incidents which could disrupt their supply chain helping them to minimize any losses which could otherwise ensue.
By implementing the strategies mentioned above, your business can ensure it has optimized its SCM processes helping to improve its overall business efficiency and profit.