You can produce a quality product, market it well, and have the best customer service in the business, but if your supply chain fails, your company suffers.
Building a nimble and resilient supply chain requires focused effort. The following strategies could help you optimize your supply chain to ensure it does not disappoint when you need it most.
Labor shortages are real, and most companies are having difficulty finding excellent workers. This is especially true in the warehousing and logistics side of a business. Companies can improve the quality of their supply chain workers by offering valuable training and a clear career path that emphasizes cross-functional mobility. Employers that do so are likely to have an easier time acquiring and retaining motivated workers.
Having too much inventory on hand means that you are paying to store goods that are not selling, and those goods are taking up space that could be used for items that buyers actually want. On the other extreme, consumers want their products now, and a back-ordered item usually means a lost sale.
Modern warehouse management systems (WMS) improve demand forecasting by analyzing past and current demand, seasonal shifts, and interpreting the impact of current trends. A smart warehouse management system could optimize your demand forecasting, ensuring that your warehouse is earning its keep.
Relationships with suppliers and other vendors are critical to any industry. Recent events have demonstrated that shortages of certain materials reverberate throughout the supply chain and the entire economy.
Although there may continue to be sporadic disruptions in the availability of specific goods due to ongoing world events, you could mitigate the risk by expanding your supplier network. Diversifying your suppliers and nurturing relationships with your partners could provide some protection when external events disrupt the normal flow of goods.
Tracking supply chain performance is not a matter of plugging numbers or dates into a grid. Supply chain professionals need a host of data to evaluate true performance. The metrics or KPIs that are most useful might change in response in external events or changes in company focus or operations.
An integrated system that tracks movement all along the supply chain offers a wealth of data that could greatly enhance supply chain performance, but professionals must be focused on using it to the best advantage. Too many companies rely on outdated metrics. Reevaluating what their KPIs should be might offer insights into why the supply chain is not performing as hoped.
Investing in sustainability is a critical step for all companies as consumers, government contractors, and many other businesses are making purchasing decisions based, at least in part, on a company’s efforts to be green.
Steps like switching to LED lighting and reducing packaging are meaningful to consumers, but a commitment to sustainability requires companies to go further. One way to enhance sustainability is to choose suppliers, vendors, and other partners that have committed to sustainable practices.
A third-party logistics provider could streamline and manage your entire supply chain. From WMS to delivery alternatives, or from developing strategic partnerships with suppliers to optimizing space usage, a 3PL provider could provide a customizable solution that addresses all your supply chain challenges. Call today to get started.