Are There Breaks in the Supply Chain That Can Hurt your Business?

Things are moving pretty fast now, aren’t they? Consumer demand has risen, as have costs and the amount of competition out there. That means your business is likely losing out somewhere – but where? Today, we’ll get an overview about the challenges surrounding managing a supply chain.

Is the Beginning the End?

Breaks in supply chains are slightly more common than you’d think; one study in the UK found that three out of ten companies are vulnerable. Some analysts think that this is owed to the fact that many companies stop investigating their supply chain at the first level – their direct supplier, or Tier 1.

Depending on the industry, Tier 1 suppliers can see themselves as ‘trapped’ within the supply chain – they’re just essentially moving things along in one regard without any real control. Along the way, they must acquiesce to demands and deal with an overall lack of effective communication.

And for companies – what do they really know about subcontractors and other suppliers further down the line? There are many possible vulnerabilities lurking in the unknown.

This can lead to a lot of confusion, and more devastatingly, lost money. Supply chain management is critical for spotting who in the chain is a risk, and discovering new ways to improve that all-important bottom line.

Effective Supply Chain Management

Utilizing supply chain analytics is a major solution for getting truly acquainted with your chain. This can go a long way in determining if any fundamental changes need to occur straight out of the gate. Furthermore, it can help delineate more complex areas where the fat can be trimmed, if not cut away completely.

But how to keep a good thing going? The answer is enhanced communication and transparency. Foster an environment where suppliers feel as though they can come straight to your company with any concerns or suggestions.

From there, companies need to consider how secure everything is. Sure, they’ve swept around their own back door, but the safety and security of their suppliers needs to be examined as well, since suppliers can be a gateway into the company.

Market research has broken wide open with the advent of big data. When is the last time you got an update on your audience? Analytics can give you a head start on what consumers are doing with your product, what they want next, and when exactly they want it. The break in the chain may be owed to a break in your understanding of the consumer.

In the end, maybe it would be helpful to flip your attitude concerning supply chain management on its head. Instead of thinking about scaling back and saving money, keep the focus on how you can grow through supply chain optimization. With a great management strategy, you can find new ways to move more of what people want. Security, communication, and insightful data are just three tools you can use to get you there faster.