Five Steps To Building Supply Chain Resilience
An essential part in the running of a company, managing and operating a supply chain can be a complicated task.
A complex system, a supply chain will consist of many different elements that need to be lined up to ensure that materials, products and services can be sourced effectively from suppliers around the world.
With unprecedented times upon us and with the world’s economy almost grinding to a halt, making sure that your supply chain is optimised and resilient as it can be is essential.
This can ensure that you and your business can continue running as smoothly as possible throughout the tough times ahead.
But how do you build a resilient supply chain I hear you ask? Our aim within this blog to explain what an agile supply chain is, but also how you as a business can go about creating one for yourself.
What is a supply chain?
For a clearer, more precise understanding of what a supply chain is, a supply chain is the task and the rolling chain where you as a company can source products and materials from suppliers. These suppliers that you purchase from, in turn, will purchase and source their materials from another supplier.
As often exposed during natural disasters such as COVID-19, any small disruption in the supply chain can create a knock on effect, disrupting the entire chain.
By creating a resilient and agile supply chain, you can ensure that your supply chain is at a minimal risk of disruption, ensuring that you can continue to source and locate vital components.
With steps that can be followed to create a resilient supply chain, we have put together 5 top tips to help you create an agile supply chain that can withstand any future hurdles that may come its way.
How to build an agile and resilient supply chain?
To create a resilient and agile supply chain that is able to withstand any challenges that you throw its way, we have put together some steps that can lead you and help you navigate through any uncertain times that may arise.
By taking the time to review your supply chain, whether independently or through the use of an external procurement company, you can reduce the amount of minimal risk and make sure that you are running as fault free and efficiently as possible.
1- Review and understand the data
We are living in a time of an abundance of data. Known as big data, the way that we choose to use this available resource is vital. With companies collecting and storing data on their suppliers, processes, now is the time to review such information before evaluating your supply chain.
By looking at your collected data from a strategic approach, you can review all operations and make sure that there are no critical gaps. Also, by reviewing your data, you could discover a potential flaw or highlight risen costs that could add up and prove valuable when reevaluated.
Through reviewing and beginning to understand the importance of your data, you can evaluate locations, contracts and discover your largest clients before putting a plan in place in case an event was to occur that would halt activities. This in turn along with creating a resilient supply chain, can also reduce costs and create a greater and more agile chain.
The larger supply chains get, the more complicated they consequently become. This complexity will require the review of many different rules and regulations, ones that as a company you will be unaware of and will require the involvement of an external company to help assist.
To help ensure that your supply chain is as resistant as possible and to ensure that it is flexible and available to change, review your compliance and get a third party if required to review all the terms and conditions. Reviewing these vital details is essential and can highlight areas where improvement is needed. You can also discover through the reviewing of contracts, which part of your side of the agreement is yet to be completed, helping to protect you and your business.
3- Monitor Risk
A crucial part of running a business and one that needs to be completed when reviewing your supply chain and that is to mitigate and monitor the risk. A strategic component in the running of the business, use risk to an advantage and incorporate it into the running of the company for added value.
To truly run to a full capacity and to have a successful supply chain, review what your risks are before rethinking or editing any contracts that you might have. Without conducting the task of mitigation and risk monitoring, you will be unaware of those loopholes and potential disruptions which with the use of your data you can help fix and repair. This is particularly important and should be conducted regularly to ensure that if the worst was to happen, you as a company have a back up plan in place, whether it is logistics or the sourcing of vital materials.
4- Be flexible
A key to success within business, but also when organising and creating a supply chain and that is the need to remain flexible. By being flexible, alert and receptive towards change, you can stay ahead of the game for when a curve ball comes flying and damages your chain.
By reviewing your supply chain, predicting disruptions and quickly adjusting, you can stay flexible and divert from any potential problems.
Having a backup and alternative plans in place is particularly important when it comes to transport and logistics. If organising an alternative logistics plan falls outside of your skills, there are many procurement companies who can work with you and offer their experience and understanding of strategic logistics optimisation, so that your company is continuously prepared.
5- Review suppliers consistently
From where you source your products to the software that you use for minimal warehouse risks, it is crucial for a resilient supply chain to review your suppliers consistently. Before you can review your suppliers and to ensure that you are getting the best value and price possible, first you must have collated all the required information.
It is recommended and best practice to review riskier suppliers frequently and if you as a company are finding yourself conducting more business with one particular supplier, again it is recommended that you conduct another risk assessment.
With your supply chain a valuable and crucial part of your business, making sure that it is as resilient as it can be is crucial.
From conducting frequent risk assessments to be flexible with the running of your business, continuously monitoring risk is crucial in ensuring that it is as agile as it can be.
With industries changing and with cracks occurring over time, making sure that you can quickly update your business and the way you run your supply chain is crucial and the difference between surviving and not.
What can appear to be a difficult challenge and may be daunting for some, if you are lacking the in-house ability to conduct these vital checks and tasks yourself, you can always consider hiring the services of a procurement team.
Able to review your supply chain, conduct a risk assessment and even offer logistical support, a procurement team is on hand and can help advise and educate you, helping you to create that vital resilient supply chain that you seek.
We would love to hear from you and discover what risks you have discovered within your supply chain or areas that have collapsed and proven detrimental. Comment below and share your experience today.