The greatest asset your company can have in terms of logistics is efficient supply chain management.
Supply chain management ensures that the ordering, storing, and delivery of your products are done seamlessly and quickly. Proper management of your supply chain will prevent any lost or damaged items and significantly improve customer satisfaction. In fact, 70% of all industry professionals believe that a well-maintained supply chain is the key to better customer service (Source).
Regardless of the size of your business, supply chain management should be high priority. While small businesses will require much less tending, it is still essential to have each moving part function properly to promote higher customer satisfaction.
This article will touch on improving a supply chain, the challenges of maintaining it and more.
What is Supply Chain Management?
Supply chain management is handling the entire production flow of a product - this starts from creating the product to when it is delivered to the end-user. A network of logistics, storage, manufacturers, and distributors will have links that will move the product along to ensure that it is produced, stored, shipped and delivered in the most efficient way possible.
Supply Chain Management Challenges
Supply chains often have many moving parts that operate independently, so challenges are sure to arise. It is essential to acknowledge these challenges so you can tackle them if your business ever encounters issues. Here are some of the more common problems that will arise within supply chain management,
With the rise of e-commerce, supply chains need to run as fast and efficiently as possible to meet the needs of their customers. For a supply chain to run smoothly, each section must work well together and understand its respective role. If any issues arise or demand increases, the supply chain must have clear communication to act accordingly, so it is crucial to have a good relationship with each part of the supply chain to facilitate timely and accurate delivery.
Lack of Optimization
Streamlining each part of the supply chain is the best way to increase the product’s movement, processing, and delivery. If you are not correctly tracking, authenticating, and receiving the product, you will create many problems. Without the proper optimization, many products will be lost, delayed, damaged, or held up, negatively affecting the supply chain in the process.
Lack of Planning
As mentioned previously, a lack of optimization can severely impact your supply chain. Any part of the supply chain that isn’t thoroughly thought out can significantly impact productivity and profitability. If you are not using proper status updates and reporting, you will waste resources and have a much less consistent supply chain, making planning and managing expectations difficult.
Lack of Transparency in the Supply Chain
Larger supply chains can be challenging to manage and understand as there are so many moving parts and different sectors of the process. When your supply chain becomes complex and lacks transparency, it will become harder to track and plan the movement of your products. Also, a lack of clarity will make optimizing the supply chain near impossible as the process isn’t defined or clear.
How to Improve Your Supply Chain
Supply chains management is the best tool in your arsenal when it comes to logistics, so finding ways to optimize and improve the overall process will significantly improve your business as a whole. Here are some steps you can take to improve the supply chain of your business:
Constantly Monitor the Process
Dedicate a section of your team to monitor your supply chain continuously, looking for any discrepancies or possible improvements that can be identified and implemented. Having constant monitoring can also prevent theft and fraud, find any risk elements, and estimate the financial impact of the process.
Seek out sections of your supply chain that aren’t functioning as well as others and find ways to implement technology to help to improve the supply chain. There are countless forms of logistics and storage-related technologies that will vastly improve the flow of your supply chain.
When looking to improve your supply chain, finding areas where you can be more cost-effective is the most effective way. One of the relatively high expenses of the supply chain process is storing your products, so only store what is needed within your facilities. Do this by planning and optimizing the usage of the storage available to you, which will cut costs and ensure that products are moving faster.
Build Good Relationships with Suppliers
As mentioned in the challenges supply chains face section, having a good relationship with each part of the supply chain will improve the overall process. Acquiring and maintaining a relationship with distributors or manufacturers even after you have solidified a deal with them ensure that you are on the same page, can plan accordingly when issues arise, and are more familiar with their end of the process.
A solid supply chain is the best way to ensure that your products make it from the warehouse shelf to your customer as quickly and efficiently as possible. There are many ways your can optimize your supply chain management, but in the end, it comes down to what works best for your business and the products you are handling.
At FlexSpace Logistics, we have worked with numerous businesses to help optimize and improve their supply chain management. We have the experience and knowledge needed to make your supply chain as efficient and possible, so when you partner with us, you can rest assured that you are in good hands.
If you’d like to get started, get a quote today, or contact one of our FlexSpace Logistics advisors to find the right solution for your business at 1-844-985-3539.