Common supply chain mistakes (and how to avoid them)
The supply chain of a manufacturer or business has to be kept open and smooth, or else they may run into shortages and other problems that may cause customer dissatisfaction. This problem impacts large numbers of businesses even in the best of times, let alone during shortages and pandemics.
Thankfully, proper supply chain planning can help to overcome these issues in a variety of ways. The following problems below all have solutions that you and your supply chain team can utilize to produce the smoothest transportation of goods and services necessary for your overall business success.
A Lack of Transparency
Problem: Too many companies don’t create a transparent and easy-to-understand supply chain process, an issue that can cause poor communication and much more. It is critical to utilize proper planning to avoid this mistake and keep communication channels as open as possible.
Solution: Open up various communication channels with all of your businesses, such as giving out cellphone numbers and email addresses that they can use to work through these problems. Make sure that every step of the process is adequately outlined, as well, to avoid any confusion here.
Poor Emergency Planning
Problem: Most businesses assume that their supply chain will always be open and smooth because they aren’t experiencing any current issues. However, emergencies can happen at the drop of a hat and cause real supply chain problems that have to be managed appropriately.
Solution: Sit down and brainstorm a few possible emergencies that may impact your goods’ transportation (such as the breakdown of vehicles) and come up with solutions that help to minimize their risk of severely affecting your company if and when they do occur.
No Long-Term Planning
Problem: Companies that focus on short-term gains and problem-solving usually run into long-term issues that may affect them for years. Short-sighted and reactive planning of this type will almost always cause supply chain problems and impact your bottom line as a business.
Solution: Expand your vision and discuss what you want to achieve as a business with your employees, managers, and any stockholders you may possess. Create a long-term plan for your supply chain management that utilizes emergency planning and much more to avoid serious concerns.
Consistent Lack of Accountability
Problem: Supply chain management is a complex process that requires a lot of interaction between many people. Unfortunately, this complexity can make it hard to make employees’ mistakes into account and ensure that those who cost your business money are reprimanded, punished, or even fired from your business.
Solution: Set up an excellent interior public relations team that takes customer complaints and creates a list of punishments and consequences for mistakes. Try to ferret out any employees who continually cause these problems and either fire them or train them to perform their duties more skillfully for your needs.
Focusing on Too Few Sources
Problem: In the past, businesses usually chose a manufacturer or provider based on cost, i.e., finding someone who could handle all their needs at a reasonable price. However, using just one or only a handful of potential sources for your goods puts you at a disadvantage if anything happens to your primary provider.
Solution: Expand where you purchase your goods from and create a purchasing and shipping plan that alternates them in meaningful ways. Often, you can set up emergency sources for when your primary providers are either unable to ship to you or are out of business after a severe financial failure.