In the marketing and distribution of goods, overcoming challenges and building supply chains, by putting all players - from suppliers to customers - and all their processes together, having commercial and financial to logistical staff working effectively and efficiently, is a major and vital task, known as supply chain management.
This is so vital that many analysts consider it the next competitiveness frontier, that is, they foresee that in the future competition will be between supply chains, rather than between individual companies.
So that companies today need an effective supply chain management strategy both to better manage the goods and services flow and also to remain competitive.
According to supply chain expert Muddassir Ahmed, there are four basic foundations for a good supply chain management strategy:
Having specialized experts analyzing each task greatly improves decision-making, which comes to be well-supported and strategic, freeing up time for chain managers.
2. Technology, systems
Along with human expertise, companies must be at the forefront of supply chain innovation, and also find the ideal software to plan, forecast and manage inventory, as well as recording and computing supply chain financial information, making accurate forecasts.
In addition, intensive use of information technology and communication tools is required to exchange information along the chain and achieve full visibility and traceability. Even, for example, using the Internet of Things, managers can see what is happening on the factory floor in real time, using devices such as trackers connected via the Internet to an ERP or business management system.
Also, the operating and working ways must also be supported by expert analysis and technology in order to improve and optimize costs, duration, quality, etc.
A good supply chain management strategy can increase customer satisfaction, reduce supply chain costs, improve processes, and maximize overall profits.
OK, but how to put the implementation of a supply chain into practice?
A good first step could be for the dominant link in the chain, that is, the company around which the supply chain is organized, to take on the role of chain organizer and ensure that these key factors are in place:
- Managerial commitment to work agreements and solid relationships with other links in the chain.
- A new Business Plan, including teamwork with all actors in the chain.
- Effective communication of changes throughout the organization, making clear everyone's responsibilities and authority.
- Key business processes optimization, especially at interaction points with suppliers and customers.
- Establishment of performance indicators that reflect the success of the entire chain as a whole.
- Feedback on the results achieved from all chain members, increasing the capacity to respond to unexpected situations and to take corrective actions when required.
The implementation of continuous improvement should also be considered. The search for better solutions must be constant and must be carried out as a team among chain members, seeking mutual benefit and strengthening relationships among each other.
Finally, an effective supply chain management strategy enables companies to seize new growth opportunities and get through difficult periods.