4 Common Challenges in any Supply Chain
In today's world, people have much higher expectations of supply chains handling thousands of orders. However, they often fail to realize that these supply chains can run into different challenges that can easily cause a significant disruption in workflow. Understanding these difficulties and knowing to handle them is the best way to overcome any situations that arise at random.
Balancing Supply and Demand
Finding that perfect equilibrium between supply and demand is essential. However, some businesses struggle with this because of the buyers' expectations. In a world where Amazon can have some orders delivered to your door in as little as a few hours, it's no surprise that others are held to the same standards, even if it's nearly impossible to achieve those faster delivery speeds.
One way to balance supply and demand is to monitor orders to get a feel for how much people are buying in a month. Buying in advance has its benefits, but no one wants to get stuck with extra inventory that doesn't sell. Instead, use a collaborative and cross-functional planning process that uses information visibility across the platform chain. Continue to rely on leveraging partnerships to provide real-time information and analytics to offer insights into changing dynamics and trends.
A shipment delay is the last thing anyone wants to experience, but it happens at some of the most unexpected moments. When working with partners, get the visibility required as quickly as possible and have a strategic playbook to address any delays. Having a strategic playbook in place will allow you to sense and respond to issues with options that you understand trade-offs. While it may not happen that often, being prepared for what could go wrong provides a safety net for the business and resilience to the operations.
Providing quality products isn't an option; it's a must. When different types of quality issues arise, they need to get handled without delay. If the problems don't get addressed immediately, quality can go downhill, causing a drastic decrease in demand for the product. People will take their business elsewhere because they've noticed a change in quality.
Having an internal process to catch quality issues before the product leaves the doorsteps is critical. When such a situation arises, switching distributors or working with different partners may be necessary. If not, it's vital to speak with those partners and suppliers about quality issues, go over expectations, and make sure these problems get resolved as quickly as possible. Always set the standard of quality for your customer based on their expectations.
There are always unpredictable risks involved. These risks can include natural disasters, including global pandemics that no one ever expected to experience in their lifetime. Focus on creating resilience in the supply chain to utilize the strategic playbook, creating numerous backup options to use in case of black swan events. The right strategy would prevent profit loss and get things back on track.
Several challenges can arise within the supply chain, and these are just a few of them but most common to all supply chains. However, if you are prepared to handle the obstacles, you can prevent disruption, save money, and continue to make a profit.