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The past few turbulent years have thrust supply chains into the spotlight and as a result, efficiency, resiliency, and scalability of the supply chain is a requirement. Attempting to improve your supply chain on all of these fronts can be a tricky and daunting proposal.
Supply chain optimization generally encompasses everything from sourcing raw materials to delivering finished goods to customers. The climate of the modern supply chain industry makes it more important than ever for companies to continually improve their supply chain operations in order to stay competitive.
However, changes and improvements don't have to happen overnight. Over time, though, changes can be made to improve your supply chain in various small yet highly impactful ways, one step at a time.
Below are the five key areas that you should be paying extra attention to.
One of the most effective ways to improve your supply chain is to leverage all available supply chain technology. With all of the recent and rapid advancements in technology, there are a plethora of tools and systems available to help streamline your supply chain operations. Automation, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and IoT devices are just a few examples of technology that can be implemented to optimize supply chain processes, reduce manual errors, and increase overall efficiencies.
Leveraging the resources available can be the solution to providing clearer insights to customers, stakeholders, and internal employees. When technology provides the data, the best solution is to take that data and turn it into actionable plans and goals.
Relationships are everything when it comes to the supply chain. Strong supplier relationships lead to better communication, increased trust, and ultimately better outcomes. Collaboration with suppliers can help identify opportunities for improvement, such as reducing costs, optimizing delivery times, or streamlining supply chain processes.
Business has fundamentally changed. All vendors and suppliers have to work together to keep the supply chain moving. A good customer experience leads to increased spending and opportunities for growth. Eighty-eight percent of companies now prioritize customer experience in their contact centers.
Sustainability strategies have risen to the top of the of almost every supply chain priority list. Shippers and consumers alike are increasingly looking for partners that prioritize sustainability. Therefore, implementing sustainable practices within the supply chain can be a differentiator for a business. Sustainability initiatives are perceived to be an expensive undertaking but in reality, something as simple as cutting down on empty miles is something that reduces costs.
Knowing where to start with sustainability is overwhelming, especially in regard to Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions, but it doesn’t have to be. Starting with measuring current operations is half the battle through tools like Redwood Hyperion. Using data to develop a clear picture of current supply chain operations is the key to unlocking more opportunities.
Increasing transparency in the supply chain can lead to greater trust and better decision-making. Supply chain transparency refers to the ability to track products and materials from origin to final delivery. Consumers today are more aware of the environmental and social impact of their purchases and want to know the origin of the products they buy. Not only are consumers looking for transparency in their purchases, but those in the B2B space also are craving transparency.
Knowing that there isn’t a curtain to peek behind and all partners are being open and honest with each other builds an immense amount of trust that leads to a stronger future. Keeping a customer engaged and aware throughout the process is immeasurable in relationships and will reduce the chances of a customer being swayed by a competitor.
Post-pandemic major shippers are struggling with loads of excess inventory. Efficient inventory management is critical to reducing costs and improving customer satisfaction. Excess inventory can increase storage costs and major problems for warehouse operations. On the flip side, insufficient inventory can result in stockouts and lost sales.
Just-in-time (JIT) inventory systems were the number one way of managing inventory for quite some time. However, due to supply chain constraints during the pandemic shippers have been forced to make some changes.
If you are looking for a way to improve your supply chain, reach out to Redwood today. Redwood is a modern 4PL provider with a team capable of handling almost any supply chain hurdle. Having a well-rounded partner in the logistics industry can be a game changer for any supply chain. Especially those looking to foster better resiliency and enact strong sustainability efforts.