How to Build a Strong Supply Chain

How to Build a Strong Supply Chain

A lot of small to medium businesses struggle with supply chain management. Some of these company owners don’t even know what supply chain management really is. Supply chain issues have also affected a lot of major chains over the last few years because they weren’t ready for disruption and the global epidemic exposed a lot of inefficiencies. If you want to improve your supply chain or build it correctly, here are some of the things you can do.

Diversify It

This one is rather simple. If you source your materials or products from a specific country, you should have relationships with at least three different suppliers. If you can, you should also try to find suppliers closer to home or from other countries. Maintain small orders with the secondary suppliers on your supply chain so you can get favorable pricing if you decide to switch to them as a main supplier later on. You should also see if you can build relationships with local wholesalers who could bail you out if you have issues at the last minute.

Have a Genuine Relationship with Your Suppliers

When we say that you should have a relationship with suppliers, we mean that they should actually know who you are, and that they have seen you face to face a few times. You should speak with their reps regularly and they should know you on a first-name basis if you buy a lot of stock from them.

Speaking with suppliers, especially the smaller ones, will allow you to build a trusting relationship with them. And it will affect pricing too.

Audit and Optimize Your Supply Chain

If you don’t have a supply chain management expert in-house, don’t assume that you have to move in the dark. There are people out there whose job is to look at inefficiencies in your supply chain and fix them. Some companies can perform a thorough supply chain assessment and analysis in days. Services like these will present you with different options and supply chain configurations and help you find one that works the best based on things like transportation costs, proximity, and inventory investment, among other things.

Getting an assessment is also a great option if you’re just getting started and are building your supply chain. They will allow you to build the best supply chain possible and reduce your costs while making sure that you get favorable pricing and terms. This alone could make your business much more competitive and allow you to outperform bigger competitors in your niche.

Have a Clear View of Your Supply Chain

Visibility is extremely important when it comes to supply chain management. Knowing where and how your products are moving in any direction will not only help you avoid delivery issues but constantly improve your service. Working with a tech-oriented 3PL could be very helpful there.

Supply chain management can get complex, but it can be deciphered if you have the proper foundation and work with the right people. Learn as much as you can about the subject, and work with top professionals who know supply chain management inside and out if you want the best results.