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Ways to Develop a Solid Supply Chain Strategy


A warehouse full of inventory.

Supply chain management aims to get raw materials from manufacturers and retailers to end users. However, to successfully manage your supply chain, you need to create a strategy. Customization, quality assurance, cost reduction, and time to market are all areas that may greatly benefit from a strategy for your supply chain. In fact, it's more crucial than ever to have a well-thought-out supply chain management plan in place and adhere to it. Since the pandemic's beginning in 2020, the Global Supply Chain Pressure Index (GSCPI) has risen dramatically. As we move forward into 2023, the pressure index's aftereffects are far from over. In other words, having a strategy in place is extremely important. For this reason, today, we will discuss six ways to develop a solid supply chain strategy.


1.) Find the Right People

If a new supply chain strategy is to be effective, it may be necessary to reorganize the supply chain department. This may include adding new members to the team, removing others, splitting up the team, or bringing together groups from separate departments. It can also mean hiring a premier business solutions provider with an intense focus on customer service!

A prospective employee is being interviewed.
To develop a solid strategy, you must have the right people on your team.

Building and maintaining a supply chain often necessitates learning new skills over time. The strategy group has to compile a comprehensive list of all the qualifications for each role. After this, they need to assess whether or not the current staff possesses the necessary skills. Otherwise organize training so they can learn new skills required for the job. Furthermore, it would be best if you created individualized strategies for competence development for each person involved. This will guarantee that you can properly implement and manage the new skills. Additionally, it will help with employee retention, which is becoming increasingly difficult these days.


2.) Identify the Best Measures of Performance

If you wish for your supply chain to be effective, you need to figure out what metrics are most important to you. The supply chain strategy and key performance indicators (KPIs) should work together to move the company in the right direction. They must also assist in negotiating compromises, competing objectives, and enforcing the new behavior necessary to keep the changes in place.


For this union to work, you need to clearly define the KPIs. This means they need to be measurable, attainable and aligned with the company's strategic objectives. Some of the most common KPIs in the supply chain are:

  • On-time Delivery

  • Inventory Accuracy

  • Unit Costs

  • Asset Utilization

  • Compliance Levels

  • Customer Satisfaction

  • Labor Productivity

It is crucial to remember that you cannot measure the success of a strategy only in terms of financial returns. Your organization must adopt a balanced scorecard approach. With this approach, you will also look at non-financial measures such as compliance rates, environmental impact, and employee satisfaction as well.


3.) Facilitate Seamless Communication

One of the main objectives of supply chain management is to have the correct product at the right location as quickly as feasible. In order to do this, many supply chains stock too many items at once. This is not a good approach as it increases costs and decreases efficiency at the same time. However, you can mitigate this issue if you prioritize clear communication. Talk to your supplier as soon as possible and try to reduce your stock to a minimum. After that, you will be able to adjust production accordingly. Furthermore, communication will also make it possible to keep the stock moving constantly.


4.) Analyze the Competition

A company must know what its rivals are doing and planning to do to make sound strategic decisions. It is common practice for businesses to compare fundamental performance metrics. Still, learning about the processes, technologies, and networks at the core of the competition is more beneficial. Examining publicly available performance data is a fantastic way to learn about the strengths and weaknesses of your competition. According to experts at Spyder Moving, keeping a close eye on your competition will help you identify market trends and innovations currently shaping the industry landscape.

Two people analyzing competition on a whiteboard.
Keeping track of your competitors will help you navigate the supply chain industry landscape.

5.) Start Utilizing Supply Chain Technology

You can't implement a new supply chain strategy without the latest procedures and capabilities that technology enables and maintains. Insights on linking emerging technological capabilities with established customer needs may inspire meeting customers' demands. Rather than focusing on what is technically feasible, you should focus on your customers' needs as you design new supply chain strategies. A company's ability to hire and keep employees who are proficient in these technologies will determine how much of an impact they have on the company's supply chain.


6.) Think About Sustainability

A company cannot ignore its supply chain's social and environmental impact. All of the challenges associated with sustainability remain, from transportation network carbon emissions and industrial waste from manufacturers to supplier ethics. When certain resources become scarcer, sustainable supply chain strategies will become even more relevant in the future. The optimum approach is to integrate sustainability concepts throughout the supply chain, from product development and plant layout to material procurement and distribution. For example, a few food processing companies in the United States began using cloud-planning technologies to reduce food waste by 50 percent and track ingredients from the farm to the can. This is something you can do for your company as well.


Conclusion

Now that we have discussed the ways to develop a solid supply chain strategy, it is time for you to start implementing them within your company. Not only will this allow you to improve your existing operations, but it will also pave the way for future growth. We hope that you have learned a lot from this article and that it provides valuable insights that you can use to your advantage in the future.


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