How raw materials get to you, are processed in your facility and are then shipped as final products to your warehouses, transportation hubs or shipping companies and on to end users is a critical part of any business.
One error or weak link in the supply chain causes a bottleneck in the system. Planning a supply chain takes time, data and industry experience, but it also takes creativity, an ability to complete complex analysis and an ability to see both the overall picture and the minute details.
The biggest problem in supply chain planning is that many chains have areas where there are blind spots. This can be a partner that is not using the software program or a lack of a consistent vendor or customer. Looking for ways to be able to track and trace throughout the system will be critical to address these issues and prevent these common problems.
Going With Your Gut
Sometimes, despite the accessibility of highly accurate supply chain planning software, managers choose to go with their own intuition. Often decision makers ignore the data because it doesn’t support their choice or perhaps their understanding of how things have always been done.
Too Many Partners
Ideally, in supply chain planning, start with the key partners in the chain and then add on additional partners as needed. By limiting the complexity of the chain, it is easier to make evaluations and to pinpoint areas where efficiency is a problem.
Ignoring the Business Strategy
The model of the business and the future strategy for growth and development cannot be ignored when planning a supply chain. There is no benefit in developing a supply chain that will not accommodate changes in the business that are already planned or that have already been implemented.
Supply chain management and planning is an increasingly important and complex part of the success of business. Utilizing data, running models and scenarios and understanding the possible options will be critical to creating the best supply chain possible.
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