Introduction – The Marvels Of Supply Chains
The mobility of goods and services is heavily reliant on an efficient supply chain throughout the world and this dependence is what drives the logistical solutions of companies. When seamlessly driven, they fulfill demand well. However, with increasing pressure of quick TAT, cumulative and substantive errors are inevitable. Therefore, let’s explore just some of the current global supply chain challenges and their respective solutions.
5 Challenges Faced By Contemporary Supply Chains
1) Minimizing logistical costs: with transportation and fuel charges ever surging, this is bound to be an unwanted yet undeniably uncontrolled upward trend. Although there’s a greater emphasis on greener renewable eco-friendly fuel source alternatives, this still poses a great challenge for affordable transport. Currently, many brands and nations are investing in electric vehicles (or hybrids), however they haven’t quite reached the equilibrium point to offset initial overheads.
2) Keeping abreast with customer trends, demands and industry culture: Imagine this – it’s now considered customary (if not a given essential) for live tracking updates throughout the journey till delivery. Such GPS checkpoint monitoring has been around for over a decade, yet now with the advent of smartphone devices to keep a tab on the move…well anything less would be frowned upon. The point here is supply chains can’t afford to offer even sub-par services any longer and expect to be forgiven. Such gaps simply will not be overlooked but rather scrutinized.
3) Procuring dependable vendors to maintain apt carrying capacity: This especially becomes a nightmare when such delivery operations are outsourced to third party agents. Suddenly, there’s now a discontinuity with their services rendered, as different systems and a lack of calibration can go haywire. Be it missed touchpoints, exceeded deadlines or even that dreaded tracking number which doesn’t seem to be recognized across various systems – incompatibility is repulsive for any stakeholder. The global supply chain desperately craves for greater stability.
4) The constant need to maintain pace with ever evolving technology, namely AI, ML, NLP & computer vision has only added to supply chain burden. Not only is an updated interface required to serve all parameters (whether ordering, processing, or tracking) but also to ensure timely information for customers. App based support and ergonomic user experience expectations mean that supply chains must ensure the very best experience for customers every time.
5) Punctuality – again, related to the third point regarding vendor management (in case of outsourcing) and the mere fact that when someone orders something, they actually expect it to arrive on (or before) time. Given the sheer volume of orders that brands need to handle nowadays, it’s no wonder that supply chains are stretched to serve everyone. Considering how much a frustrated customer can lament publicly about poor services over social media, this is a significant reputational metric to maintain at all costs (no pun intended)!
….And The Respective A Global Supply Chain Solutions To These Issues Include:
1) Adopting an in-situ system wherein all (or at least most) transportation facilities are directly controlled or managed by the main supply chain itself is a good start. Focusing on sustainable renewable energy source technology, such as EVs is another good step, as is investing in development programmer. By doing so, economic fluctuation induced price surges almost become a thing of the past (hopefully). Come what may (geopolitically), consistency will ensue.
2) Conducting regular customer surveys to discover what exactly customers desire is always a good start. Receiving constructive feedback from the primary consumers augments focusing on what really matters to people when interacting with supply chains. It may purely be the accessibility and navigation functionality of the interface for some, whilst the overall customer experience for others. Ultimately, knowing how the customer feels is imperative to succeed in such competitive industrial environments nowadays.
3) It’s simple – avoid outsourcing anything and keep all delivery related operations within your own jurisdiction. This way, you’ll be able to exert better control over the transportation process and also the essential connecting points, especially for last mile connectivity. No more missed delivery deadlines, erroneous deliveries, or even missing articles! What a relief and how reassuring for both the supply chain owners and their respective customers too! All we must focus on now is receiving the order more than anything else.
4) Being cognizant of what technology is being deployed by competitors, how it works, where, when and why is pivotal to being future minded. Linking to the second point, knowing, and realizing why something is effective and then applying it accordingly, in tandem with other factors will create new benchmarks to drive success. Customers always want a good deal and for the item, product, or service to be promptly delivered. This firm association with efficiency is what drives productive sales within a supply chain setup.
5) As aforementioned, taking ownership of delivery operations, their associated tracking and system implementation can all assist with punctual outcomes. Everyone prefers things to be delivered on time, or perhaps even earlier. Additionally, appropriate usage of technology and its maintenance via regular updates is what promotes punctuality. Quicker dispatch times, coupled with true real time information feeds both create a synergized and synchronized level playing field for both customers and suppliers in the chain.
The Future Of Supply Chains – What To Expect?
The global semiconductor supply shortage highlighted the need for better demand sensing – and other fields are no exception. Brands and providers will need to be more resilient and adaptable to fulfill the unpredictable needs of modern savvy customers. Responsive networking with minimal latency eradicates any unnecessary lag which only induces further unwanted delays within supply chains. Customer relations management, service quality and risk management will all need to be addressed to ensure a comprehensively seamless output for all parties involved.
Concluding Remarks – Main Takeaways
We should always remember that supply chains are essential for our global economy to run smoothly. When unprecedented events arise or system insufficiency emerges, ultimately consumers are hit hard. This has a domino effect across all sectors, including retail and even banking. Hence, it’s in every party’s best interest to ensure that the starting point from which supply chains begin working is both robust and efficient. It is then only that supply chains will be able to tackle any untoward event in an efficient and resolved manner.
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