Nowadays, the competitive and always-changing market brings about a crucial need for improvements in the supply chain and its management. Supply chain managers have widely recognized outsourcing as one of the most valid ways to gain a competitive advantage within the market.
Competitiveness in our time means specializing and performing at the highest level. Consumers have acquired not just a taste for quality but even a sort of habit of it. More and more, they are willing to invest in the quality of products as well as in services, and often in both at the same time. What the average consumer expects today is the best product at the best price and delivered with the best possible service.
It goes without saying that most of the pressure for a successful flow of production and delivery befalls those who manage the entire supply chain. Supply Chain Manager must be one of the most challenging jobs within an organization.
Just to give an idea of what it means to perform at such a ‘best’ level, let’s have a quick look, though in an extremely down-to-heart fashion, at what a supply chain looks like.
A very simple supply chain
It all starts with raw materials. They must be procured from a supplier and delivered to the manufacturer. These raw materials are assembled in the factory through an internal production chain that might also involve a variable number of operations.
Once assembled, products need to go through a quality check. Then, they need to be packaged. If this is done within the same company, packaging material must be purchased and delivered.
The finished goods must be distributed. Many times, they are delivered to a warehouse and stocked. The final passage is to deliver the products from the warehouse to the retailer or directly to the final consumer.
Are you thinking that it doesn’t look too bad? Think again!
Every single passage of the supply chain implies careful planning and management. Warehouses must be managed, and every single delivery must be organized and supervised in terms of costs, routes, regulations, etc. To all this, we must add the challenge of cutting costs and enhancing efficiency, coping with the scarcity of people availability, without mentioning the necessity of reducing waste and, above all, improving the carbon footprint of the company.
Of course, other managing figures like, for example, Logistics, Transport, and Production Managers, come to the aid of the Supply Chain Manager. However, he or she is the head of the entire flow of the production and distribution processes.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I honestly think that a Supply Chain Manager should be some sort of superhero to manage it all!
The relief of outsourcing
A major asset in a Supply Chain Manager job is undoubtedly outsourcing. As you can read in this academic study, ‘outsourcing is a strategy by which an organization contracts out major functions to specialized and efficient service providers, who become valued business partners.’
This doesn’t mean, of course, that by outsourcing part of the supply chain operations a Supply Chain Manager can just put his or her feet up and watch Netflix. Outsourcing might bring some kind of relief, but the job remains quite demanding.
Rather, the important aspect of outsourcing lies in the possibility for the company of focusing on its core competencies and activities. In other words, a company that outsources some of its operations can more effectively concentrate on what it is really good at and improve the quality of its production and its competitiveness within the market.
The challenge is to find trustworthy suppliers with whom a transparent, fruitful, and long-standing partnership can be established.
Transport: insourcing or outsourcing?
Among the most outsourced activity within the supply chain, is transport. Even though some companies decide to manage the shipments of their products by themselves, this is not always possible, not to mention convenient.
National, and especially international, shipments require a great deal of planning and organization. Next to owning proper vehicles and space enough to park them, there are things like hiring and training drivers, coordinating teams dedicated to route planning and to dealing with ever-changing regulations, customer service, going through periodic vehicle maintenance and documents, and other such niceties!
Let’s just say that transport is a world of its own. Fortunately, there are many companies specializing in shipments that can be trustworthy and reliable partners.
An ace up your sleeve
According to another academic study, outsourcing operations can save costs, improve a company’s competitive pressure and reduce internal administrative issues, next to many other advantages. (Read a study of supply chain management and outsourcing here)
As with everything else, however, each transport company is different. To be sure, every single one of them can ship goods from one place to another. Nevertheless, the question you should ask yourself is: “Is this company also an added value to my supply chain?”
If the answer is “no”, or even “maybe”, just forget it! What you need to really make a change in your supply chain is an ace up your sleeve. At Emons Cargo, we just happen to have one. You just need to be able to see it.
There’s no superhero without superpowers
The added value of Emons Cargo 2WIN freight solution might not be immediately recognizable. We offer a non-standard solution in a standardized market. As such, advantages and added value are often shadowed by habit or doubt of change.
What we offer is a niche product. The 2WIN trailer is an alternative double deck that can load more volume than standard trailers. Naturally, a niche product comes with particular conditions that might seem difficult to comply with. There are parameters to be respected. But, when there is, or one is willing to create, what we like to call a 2WIN fit, advantages for the supply chain and its management, are endless. Once again: you just need to be able to see it.
It is common knowledge that superheroes have superpowers. Can you see beyond the standards? Then, dear Supply Chain Manager, you truly are a superhero!
Check Emons Cargo 2WIN solution for Supply Chain Managers.