A supply chain is just like any other chain. Kinks can screw it up for everybody, so you want your supply chain to be as resilient as possible. A global pandemic, inclement weather, you name it – just about anything can disrupt your chain and throw your whole system into disarray. And a system in disarray equates to nothing more than wasted time. It will also cost you big bucks and probably a few customers.
No matter where you are with your channel management system, there is always room to bring efficiencies to make your supply chain more resilient. And now that we are off and running into a new year, there is no better time than the present to reflect on all you have learned in 2020 and scout ways to optimize your supply chain. This is also the time to be proactive and not reactive. Think about it. How would your business be operating today if in 2018 you had the foresight and planned for a global pandemic coming in 2020?
The goal here is to bring your supply chain to titanium levels – resilience and bounce back are where you want your supply chain to go. Don’t know where to start? Thankfully, you have friends like us to show you the way!
In this blog, we’re going to review several methods and strategies you can implement to bring efficiency – and resilience like the immortal Deadpool – to your supply chain.
The success of your program is only as good as the strategy you create, so let’s start there.
Here are some tips when developing your strategy:
Have a Plan A, B, and C
In a channel system, you must be ready for anything. Even a small hiccup can cause a great disruption to your supply chain. You never know when you will need to flex your strategy, so it is best to be prepared. You need to always be ready to “lift and shift” to meet customer demand, no matter the circumstances. Take a page from the book of luxury designers Gucci, Prada, and Burberry, who shifted from producing luxury goods to producing supplies such as masks and personal protective equipment when they came into short supply at the onset of the pandemic.
Spread the Love
The production love, that is. Try as much as you can to diversify your supply and/or production portfolio. That way, you can quickly shift gears in the event of an emergency. There are great risks to limiting your production to one location or your supplies to one manufacturer.
Plug the Leaks
In any supply chain, security is a factor. After all, you have considerable amounts of inventory traveling from across the globe. You must put measures in place to keep that inventory secure. In addition, you must consider how you will prevent unauthorized sellers and MAP pricing violators.
Forecast Inventory Demands
Inventory forecasting plays an important factor in a manufacturer’s financial stability. The goal for inventory forecasting is for a business to increase orders while at the same time decreasing the number of goods in their inventory. Inventory management systems use past sales data for every item in the manufacturer’s warehouse to predict future inventory levels.
Optimize your Frontline
You may not have to deal directly with customers, but someone in your supply chain does. And your frontline team has more insight into inventory needs and fluctuations than they get credit for. Utilize this to your advantage and appoint your frontline as quality control ambassadors to find any gaps.
Now, Moving on to Technology…
In addition to a partner portal, which is super useful to keep your channel partners connected 24/7, there are a bunch of modules on the market to help you create a resilient supply chain. Supply chain modules can bring visibility and insight to any potential disruptions to your inventory, supplies, or production.
Computer Market Research’s (CMR) channel inventory management system provides manufacturers with peace of mind that their products are in the right place at the right time. The digital module gathers information and provides decision-makers with sales by product, current warehouse inventory balance, pending returns, and the impact of price reduction. The easy-to-use, web-based tool consolidates and reports channel inventory by partner and SKU, and allows you to grow revenues and reduce costs by having accurate information at your fingertips 24/7.