Capacity crunches, labour and inventory shortages have been disrupting supply chain management recently. On top of that, the pandemic has exposed hidden vulnerabilities in supply chains across industries. While markets are still recuperating, leaders are now looking to build resilience to withstand demand fluctuations and add flexibility to prepare for the future. However, scaling up a business doesn’t come without its challenges. Especially not with the current market of prices climbing higher with no stop sign on the horizon. Some decisions now can contribute to a positive change for the future. From choosing the right freight provider to building relationship ecosystems, here’s how to improve your supply chains.
The obstacles to scale up the operations
If you work in supply chains and transportation, the past two years might have felt like a chain of “black swan” events with no chance to recover. The lack of visibility and significant resources, and technology limitations can obstruct the recovery. Investing in data-driven, digital models to scale up operations could mature supply chain and operations, creating an extra layer of resilience.
While scaling up might seem straightforward, a recent Accenture report suggests that one of the biggest obstacles to mature operations is getting supply chain functions out of siloes and integrated into the strategy.
Another obstacle cited in the report is constraints created by legacy technology and the under-funding of digital solutions. Investing in the technology can support scaling the business through data-driven insights to monitor the supply chain and implement changes from sourcing to distribution.
What can supply chain leaders do to transform operations?
Bridging the silos between the supply chain and other business areas can be an essential step to integrate the supply chain in the strategy. As the report suggests, supply chain leaders can shift even more from cost savings to providing value to all stakeholders involved in the business. In this sense, investing in automation and technology to support demand planning and logistics can allow employees to focus on customer-centred activities, increasing the business’ added value.
Building an ecosystem of relationships based on trust and transparency can help organizations to drive efficiency. To illustrate, let’s look at an example. The Emons Group has collaborated on the Dutch Logistics Data Space (DLDS). The DLDS aims to enable data-sharing effortlessly and securely between organizations, increasing real-time visibility in supply chains. Through a relationship ecosystem, leaders can access different technologies and support innovations. The key is to choose partners that maintain similar corporate social responsibility practices as your business.
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