Supply Chain Solution Tips

Supply Chain

The supply chain is any company’s vital link to success.  Checking the availability of supplies is the first winning strategy to improve the supply chain. It sounds simple, but failing to get what you need before offering products to customers can be a company’s downfall.

You should also find multiple suppliers for each part, product, or ingredient you need if at all possible. We’ve witnessed the enormous headaches caused by supply chain delays or disruptions during and post-pandemic.

Currently, the global supply chain is choked by full or overflowing ports, record freight rates, and shipping containers that seem to go AWOL regularly.  This is a substantial barrier for companies offering standard seven to ten-day shipping windows in a world where next-day deliveries are often the norm.

Stay in touch with your suppliers and customers. Communication and supply chain solutions  are key. Share current needs and anticipated needs both in the short and long-term. Keep everyone on the same page.

Sales and operations planning (S&OP) is a process of managing any business. The executive and leadership team synchronizes all organization functions to optimize the supply chain.

10 S&OP principles help business leaders balance supply chain process improvements with investment.

Businesses able to be flexible are rising to the top thanks to flexibility resulting in resiliency.

S&OP improvements include:

  • Supply chain planning
  • Digitized planning
  • Launching an S&OP planning process
  • A plan to improve leader and manager’s business decisions

As a result, company leaders can expect supply chain solutions to return higher revenue and profitability with less waste of employee time or product.

A recurring theme in applying supply chain solutions that deliver results is communication. Suppliers and buyers along the chain will earn a higher success rate by sharing information and collaborating on solutions.

“He who hesitates is lost” is an apt phrase to illustrate how inaction can lead to failure or, at the very least, breakdowns in the supply chain. Creating a plan that leads to taking quick and decisive action is vital in this day and age. Managers cannot wait around for supply lines to clear or for products to be delivered. Businesses that are seeing increased profits are those that find work-around solutions beyond traditional supply chains.

The solution could come from identifying alternate carriers such as chartering ships or considering air freight possibilities. Some companies now build their own storage or shipping containers or buy an existing warehouse.

Supply chain solutions must come from leaders at a company’s executive level. In addition, long-term planning, collaboration to reach agreed-upon goals, and willingness to own actions and decisions are necessary.

Beyond shoring up your supply chain, remember the value of employee development: source and offer training where employees can improve skills. That strategy has a measurable reward for both of you, including increased job satisfaction and longevity.

Research and utilize the latest technology and train current employees to use it.

If you’re stuck, source some outside expertise to help you spark new ideas and better strategies.

Amy Rey
the authorAmy Rey

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