Nobody said supply chain management would be easy. Something as complicated as a typical supply chain in a large organization has immense potential to go wrong, but it doesn’t have to.
Granted, every business is different, and there are rarely one-size-fits-all solutions to problems, but there are some universal dos and don’ts that can help most companies—and their supply chain managers—thrive.
Do: Collect and Analyse Data From Across Your Whole Supply Chain
Technological advances within the business world have allowed for a more comprehensive grasp of your company’s many data points than ever before. Not only can you collect more information about the day-to-day running of your business, but that data collection can be done in an automated way, ensuring a faster and more accurate model.
Take advantage of new SCM software with advanced data analytics and reporting tools to ensure you know your operation’s exact state and use that data to improve processes. Whether it is identifying problem areas, predicting demands and delays, or any other number of ways, you can make informed efforts to improve your business.
Don’t: Get Sidetracked by Minor Problems
A business can only take so much disruption at one time, which can be a limiting factor in how effective steps to improve efficiency can be. You should always be looking for ways to remove unnecessary baggage from your operation, but don’t get caught up trying to fix minor problems that cause bottlenecks across the value chain.
This is not to say ignore those problems, but try to tackle issues on an impact-rating basis. Start with the things that will have the most significant impact on your operation, with the smallest disruption to get there.
Do: Improve Supply Chain Visibility and Transparency
One of the benefits of a good SCM system is the ability to expose every aspect of your supply chain. This visibility has many advantages, such as preventing issues that arise from a lack of communication, catching and preparing for potential delays before becoming a problem, predicting demand, and much more.
By increasing your supply chain’s transparency, you ensure supply chain participants are fully aware of the entire situation at any given time. With everyone on a single platform, there is reduced friction in your operation since there is no need for intermediaries to share information.
Don’t: Treat SCM Like a One Time Deal
Supply chain management is an ongoing thing that requires constant monitoring to prevent things from creeping into the costly and inefficient territory. Of course, keeping track of such a large part of your business is no small feat and one that could take up a lot of resources if done the old-fashioned way.
Fortunately, SCM software takes most of the work out of this process through automated methods and centralized data. The best way to fix a problem is to prevent it from happening in the first place, and by adequately monitoring your supply chain, you can catch issues as they emerge.
Do: Trim Inefficient Links and Seek Alternative Partners Where Necessary
Of course, monitoring your supply chain is only part of the battle. It’s good to identify problems as they emerge, but you also have to deal with those problems, and in some cases, that can mean trimming the fat.
If a partner is no longer a good fit, or a method or policy is outdated, don’t hang on to them any longer than you have to. This is not to say you should cut ties with a partner after a single bad quarter, but businesses grow and evolve much like people. You may find partners that no longer align with your goals or previously effective methods that cause more problems than they solve.
Don’t: Let Fear of Progress Hamper Your Business
It is natural to get stuck in a certain way of doing things, especially with a large organization. Unfortunately, refusing to move with the times is a surefire way of ensuring you will get left behind by your competition.
Embracing new technologies like SCM software will put you in a great position to keep up with the competition, as well as make your own business’s day-to-day running much more manageable.
Use the best tools available to you to improve your supply chain operations. Learn about how our SCM software, the Suuchi GRID, incorporates solutions to all of these tips and supports a streamlined and transparent supply chain.