By Maria Marchesi
After two years of supply chain disruption, does your supply chain strategy feel caught between a rock and a hard place? It’s clear that history is no longer the best predictor of future demand, and supply shortages are introducing new challenges in providing excellent customer service. It’s time to revisit your supply chain strategy.
Have you ever tried to translate supply chain strategy into tactics to ensure the attainment of financial and strategic goals? If so, you’ll know that it’s difficult because supply chains are under immense pressure to counteract a multitude of near-continuous disruptions that happen globally and add costs, test abilities to adapt, and challenge the ability to deliver desired customer experience efficiently. So, what do you do? Embrace variability and build a global supply chain with strategic sourcing, ready to quickly adapt new supply chain strategies and with room to maneuver around uncertainty and disruptions. You should take a few things into account to accomplish this objective.
To ensure you are building a flexible, resilient, and (as much as possible) disruption-proof supply chain strategy is moving by including these key capabilities in your network:
- Recalibrate at digital speed to achieve flexibility by having an automated process that continually evaluates and optimizes supply chain management fundamentals such as inventory management policies, order minimums, splits between different sources available, multiple supplier prioritization.
- Become more proactive. Don’t simply rely on matching forecast and capacity plans. Leverage the latest machine learning (ML) driven processes to act sooner based on customer demand and supply sensing. This will help you expand the range of possibilities in the decision-making process.
- Harness additional data to drive new insights. It’s time to dump the spreadsheets and empower your supply chain management team with insights that will drive action to serve customers most efficiently. New data streams such as the expected arrival date of the product updated according to shipping tracking data, macroeconomic factors, and POS data will help your team keep pace with the speed of change to combat uncertainty with greater confidence.
- Collaborate to increase supplier liquidity. Ensure your supply chain planning process has an easy, secure, and quick way to add alternative suppliers to your network without worrying about decreasing efficiency. A great example is how Stuller uses best practices to manage an accordion supply and production planning model and inventory levels.
- Make sure your planning solution lets you run multiple network configuration scenarios. If it doesn’t, you’ll have trouble adopting new product flows, lead time, supplier service levels and changes, and onboarding new customers. Check out how Qubica AMF succeeded not only in handling build to order and configure to order but also long-term spare parts and service planning.
- Your supply chain strategy is a living, breathing part of your business. As a supply chain leader, you need new capabilities to optimize performance and logistics quickly. Don’t embrace a process that requires years to implement, move forward faster.
Now that you know how to convert your supply chain strategy to tactics to ensure the attainment of financial and strategic goals and mitigate supply chain risk, you’re ready to compete on velocity without worrying about dynamic market changes impacting your business goals.