A Brief History of Supply Chain Management and Best Practices

History of Supply ChainIn the modern world, a company’s supply chain is the backbone that holds up everything else and is the most crucial part if they want to grow and prosper. Your supply chain could be defective, costing you a ton of money and can waste resources unnecessarily. Knowing who to buy from, how, when, and where to ship your products, how to receive them, and how to network with other companies and adding links to the supply chain will give your company the best chance at success. To fully understand why your company’s supply chain needs to be strong, it is a good idea to read up on the history of how supply chain management has evolved in every industry.

Before the Industrial Age

Business has come quite a long way since the days where shops and markets acquired goods, food, trinkets, medicine, and other things to sell. Back then, there weren’t chain stores, or big business, which made it easy for everyone. But, the logistics of it all still had to be carefully planned. These supply chains were the simplest form but were effective. The principles and basic foundation of supply chains are bred from the distant past.

These supply chains were done by networking. Fisherman who’d sell their catch at the markets had to invent new and innovative ways to maximize their supply without sacrificing time or money. Over time, experts were borne from the need to exercise the ideas in supply chains and growth.

The Industrial Age

When the formation of enormous companies that were taking footholds in multiple cities in the United States and all over the world, the need for a more complex supply chain was huge. Business and logistics experts were needed to figure out how to create the most logical and cheapest way to ship and receive products. The technology at the time wasn’t quite sufficient enough to really maximize how logistics ran, but still, the idea of business logistics became much more complex with the innovative ideas the experts came up with at the time.

The Information Age

The industrial age hasn’t ceased, but has instead evolved into something incredible, and unprecedented. The information age has given us millions of new products, ideas, concepts, and of course, information. The invention of the internet has been the main factor in how supply chain logistics has evolved so rapidly in the last 20 years. People shared their knowledge and information online, resulting in the creation of a place where all the world’s knowledge on supply logistics was kept. Needless to say, after people caught on to this, a countless number of new ideas and inventions were created.

During this time, professions in supply chain management soared. The job was always there, but the need for experts who solely worked in supply logistics were limited because of the demand. As the years went on, the need for modern supply logistics has risen right with the creation of huge multi-national corporations which act as a hub for millions of products to go in and out of per day.

Where Supply Chain Logistics is Now

We stand now well into the information age, where new discoveries are being made every minute. Over the years, many things have changed within the supply chain, and most importantly, the standards are higher than they’ve ever been. The possibilities are endless with the technology we have today. Trucks run more efficiently, recyclable products and green solutions are making it cheaper and far more efficient to ship and receive products than ever before, and machine technology has risen to a level that makes the entire process seamless.

Digital technology has an enormous role to play in any supply chain, and as our understanding of this technology and the needs of the industry advance, so will the capabilities of what a supply chain can become.

How to Catch Up with the Industries

If you find yourself lost in the complexities of supply chain management and logistics, which is very easy to do, finding the right information to start with is crucial. This information and other publications will allow you access to every insight you need to start a business or to fix your current supply chain.

The very best way to catch up with what companies are doing with their supply chains is to research exactly what they do, how they do it, and with whom they work with to accomplish their goals. Naming exact businesses to research won’t help everyone, so instead, look for the largest and most successful companies in your industry first.

Begin looking at how they use modern technologies and ideas to manage a supply chain effectively. If you are part of an incredible business that stands near the top of your industry niche, try and look at other companies that have been recognized for achievements specifically in the logistics category. Companies that are going fully green are getting a huge amount of recognition and other benefits. Plus, going green will modernize your supply chain.

After the History of Supply Chain Management

Knowing the past helps one decide the future. So, now the future is coming one second at a time, and choices need to be made. Knowledge and understanding will guide you right to where you need to be when the time comes to decide whether or not to change something within your company’s logistics. See that you work closely with other experts within your company and within the supply chain industry to help you along the way.

Further research must be done frequently to maintain a modern understanding of the ever-changing technology that creates more efficient ways for a company to manage their supply chains. Use these publications and future ones to give yourself the best knowledge and information on how to achieve your goals and create the best supply chain for your company possible.