Retailers and manufacturers are facing re-alignment strategy initiatives as their supply chains adjust to the ongoing evolution and disruption of major market disruptors such as Amazon and shifting consumer shopping habits. To meet the market’s demands, companies are continuously revisiting their network strategies to ensure their existing operation is up-to-par and if not, determine what investments in processes, equipment and infrastructure are needed.
So what can your operation do to improve or ensure your supply chain continues running smoothly? It’s never as simple as 1, 2, 3. And even the with an adept supply chain you will need time to rework strategies as markets mature. But we have identified 3 tips that you can incorporate into your operational strategy, a culmination of day-to-day actions to not only meet your customers’ demands but to advance your supply chain.
- Invest in information technology
It’s important to have the right software and IT infrastructure in place. These systems can help streamline your supply chain processes to ensure speed, flexibility, and efficient order fulfillment. Make sure you regularly assess these tools, which can increase efficiency in a measurable, impactful way.
- Continuous improvement
Applying lean principles into your logistics operation will help you identify wasteful components that do not add value to your customers. Incorporating a continuous improvement methodology can separate you from your competitors, not to be confused with only being a series of programs or processes, it’s a culture that encourages innovative, forward thinking that benefits the collective, removes redundancies and drives toward improved efficiency. Because let’s face it, logistics is fluid and highly competitive. Its dynamic landscape is challenging traditional linear models and “the way we’ve always done it” attitude may keep a supply chain running rich and wasteful instead of lean and efficient.
Frequent evaluations of how you stack up against your competitors is important. Utilizing this data from industry or private benchmarking databases can help you understand performance and identify areas of improvement. Take this data and allow it to serve as a framework that can guide you into making strategic investments in supply chain capabilities, and use it to ensure that your decisions and investments are in line with your overall supply chain goals.
The above tips serve only as a guide to help you identify areas for development within your supply chain through technology investments, continuous improvement strategies and benchmarking data. If you’re interested in additional recommendations, click here.