Businesses aren’t competing, your supply chains are

Digitally altered image of container ship, freight plane, port terminal and trucks to portray supply chain logistics

It seems we live in an age where supply chains are no longer a cost centre, but the innovative edge to gain momentum on your competitors.

Before 2020 (and the unpredictable chaos it has brought with it), businesses usually assigned priority to areas such as smart sales and marketing, optimising processes and manufacturing.

As we near 2021, we see the world’s largest and most successful organisations scramble to stay afloat. What will save them is focusing wholly on the optimisation of their supply chain.

Take Amazon.
Even before this year, they have been so bold as to build themselves a giant moat by which the likes of businesses who AREN’T Amazon cannot cross. We can only watch as they continue to stride into the next decade and beyond with their technology, strategy and innovative models such as Amazon Flex and predictive shipping.

(This can steer me onto a whole new conversation about reactive vs proactive supply chain strategy but perhaps another time.)

On the blog: 5 global trends shaping the warehouse industry. Click this banner to read the article.

Supply chain excellence isn’t something that just happens. Organisations with exceptional supply chain operations are those who have made it integral to their overall business strategy. They understand that to lead the way in effective supply chain management means using their logistics strategy to differentiate themselves in the market and against competitors, and that this will organically increase sales, drive profits and improve market share.

Invest in a digital supply chain, improve your logistics and warehouse operations and build asymmetric advantages for your business.

This is how we are seeing businesses optimise their operations:

From IT to SC

Decision making for supply chain technologies moves from IT to the supply chain unit. Software companies are forced to demonstrate RoI via improvement in specific operational metrics.

Outsourcing warehouse operations

Whether you outsource to an external 3PL provider or not, always take into account the pros and cons. We have seen so many businesses thrive when outsourcing their warehousing, especially when their businesses are expanding quickly, and even more so when COVID throws in totally new circumstances into the mix that are simply undetectable using historical data. Keeping these flexible models can save you a lot of money.

Businesses are placing bets on intelligent supply chains

Technologies that drive decision making through Big Data, integrate data from IoT devices, manage last mile delivery more effectively, automate warehouse and predictive shipping, are gaining the competitive advantage over their competitors.

Lean, lean, lean!

Implement lean logistics/supply chain management to increase product flow and speed while reducing waste. Some ways you can do this is to implement performance metrics, better understand customer value and develop system thinking.

Supply Chain segmentation

Supply chain complexity is only increasing due to challenges in globalisation, demand volatility and varied SKU’s. Businesses who can segment their customer profiles and match their supply chain to the specific needs of each customer segment is the future.

As we navigate new normals, changing customer expectations and whatever else this decade would like to throw at us. Remember that the key to a successful competitive advantage originates from your supply chain function. THAT IS SO IMPORTANT.

Without a streamlined process and the right technologies that are capable of withstanding uncertainty and customer demands, you will find it difficult to keep up with a continuously innovating industry.

Published: 23 September 2020