9 Tips For Developing A Supply Chain Strategy

What is Supply Chain Management? Put simply, it’s the management of all activities that get your product from cradle to grave—from the way that it’s created in your factory to how it’s transported and distributed to stores before it reaches the hands of your customers. It encompasses both physical items and services, but no matter what you’re selling, you can streamline your supply chain using these nine tips!


1) Business Model for Supply Chain Management

In order to develop a supply chain strategy, it is essential that you first establish a business model. There are two models currently being used in SCM: consumer-driven and market-driven. The former is focused on creating demand, while the latter focuses on creating competitive advantages.


2) Dealing With Unpredictable Demand

Supply chain managers often face a problem: maintaining efficient supply chain operations while at times dealing with unexpected spikes in demand. Unpredictable demand not only causes problems for supply chain management, but also costs companies large amounts of money due to over-ordering and expediting costs. Supply chain managers can address these issues by working with others who are involved in sales forecasting, as well as developing relationships with suppliers that give them a heads up about production schedule changes.


3) Improving Inventory Management

When it comes to improving inventory management, you must ask yourself a very important question: Do I have an accurate method of measuring my goods? If your answer is no then it’s time to make a change. The days of counting products by hand are long gone; there are far better solutions out there. Here, you can also take help from reputed procurement companies in the USA for better inventory management consulting.


4) Cross-Functional Teams

Cross-functional teams are important in supply chain management for a number of reasons. One is that they provide a framework for collaboration. Every person on a cross-functional team should have input into every part of it, from design to shipping. This makes each member an expert in their own field and ensures that there is buy-in for every step of the process.


5) Speed Control Inventory

One of the most important steps to developing a supply chain strategy is controlling speed. Don’t buy more inventory than you can sell; keeping excess materials on hand can drive up costs for your company and make it more difficult to generate a profit. It may take some time to ensure your supply chain stays healthy, but in doing so, you’ll be able to reap larger profits over time.


6) Customer Experience

No matter how great your products or services are, they’re nothing without customer loyalty. Before you develop your supply chain strategy, make sure you know exactly what it is your customers want and need from you. This will help guide every aspect of your business—from distribution channels to inventory management to order fulfillment and customer service.


7) Data Analysis

In order to develop a robust supply chain strategy, you need to take your company’s goals and vision into account. But not all obstacles are easily overcome! In order to create a strategy that works for your organization, it’s important to take a realistic look at how you can overcome these obstacles. Luckily, there are plenty of strategies and tactics that can help. Here are 10 tips for developing a supply chain strategy in any industry.


8) Communicating Updates During Natural Disasters

Communication During Natural Disasters: If a natural disaster strikes, make sure your supply chain and customers are well informed. People rely on news in order to plan and prepare for coming disasters. Ensure they get it quickly and easily. The best way to handle communication during a disaster is to have a clear plan that everyone knows about before it happens. If there are multiple contacts or points of contact for different groups of people (customers, suppliers, etc.), make sure everyone knows who they’re supposed to be speaking with in case of an emergency situation. Also, make sure you know how each person will communicate when something happens so that you don’t end up with redundant messages or resources being wasted on duplicated efforts.


9) Overcoming Obstacles

Obstacles are inevitable and every supply chain strategy will encounter a few of them. It’s best to treat them as opportunities for you to develop flexibility in your overall plan. To that end, you should look for ways to overcome obstacles by creating new partnerships, implementing changes to existing supply chains, and paying attention to industry trends that could play out into future obstacles. After all, overcoming an obstacle is a surefire way of helping your business reach its maximum potential! Be flexible and on top of problems as they arise — you’ll be glad you did later.


Final Thoughts


If you work in supply chain management, you’re probably familiar with a few of these tips already. But even if you have years of experience under your belt, it never hurts to have some reminders. After all, supply chain strategies are constantly changing to meet customer demand and rising costs. It’s always important to stay up-to-date on new techniques and approaches to effectively manage a growing enterprise nad take help from procurement consulting firms—and maintain strong relationships with suppliers at every level.