The supply chain is one of the most important and complex parts of any business that ships physical goods or requires regular deliveries in order to run efficiently. Any weak or missing link in that chain could cause issues that create a ripple effect throughout the company. Here are just a few of the basic evaluations you can run during the setup process to make sure your supply plan flows smoothly.
Determine Your Customers’ Needs
There’s not much point in designing any sort of supply chain that doesn’t keep the needs or wants of your customer base in mind. Anything that is out of alignment with the expectations of a customer could cost you sales or lead to failures on the product delivery end of things. Either of these issues can create unhappy customers. Do you have a supply chain that evaluates the needs of a customer on a regular basis? Does the supply chain understand and meet different customer service levels? If problems occur, is your supply chain managing department prepared to fix these issues quickly?
Consolidate the Links
It is helpful to view each link in your supply chain separately when it comes to identifying potential problems in each one. However, there are ways to combine the services some of those links represent and help you serve your customer base with greater speed or efficiency. You can take a look at something like supply chain 3PL solutions to see how many parts of your chain can be handled by one entity that will take care of multiple processes for you. Many of these services will conduct regular studies to find and rectify problems as well.
Use Actions to Drive Processes
Setting up the processes in your chain is a major part of the deal when you get your business up and running. If you are not sure which processes you should implement or how, think about what actions you want to take. Any process in your chain should allow you to take the proper steps to make sure inventory is safe, intact, and moving effectively. The supply chain should provide you with data and tips for acting on that info.
Make Sourcing Decisions Carefully
When it comes to sourcing your suppliers, the total unit cost might be the first thing that you consider. While this is a fine starting point, it is a good idea to take into account how the suppliers might impact overall profits and the quality of your customer service. If you are sourcing for a global market, consider comprehensive models that look at risks such as intellectual property protection, physical loss, or monetary inflation.
A supply chain is a bit like a lifeline that keeps your business moving. If it works correctly and issues are repaired quickly, it also keeps customers happy and coming back for more.