How to manage today's big supply chain challenges

Sanjay Sharma is CEO of Roambee, a supply chain visibility & intelligence provider. He offers insights into managing today's big value chain challenges

Sanjay Sharma is CEO of Roambee, a supply chain visibility & intelligence provider enabling delivery of shipments and assets anywhere in the world.

What are today’s biggest supply chain challenges?

One of the biggest challenges is the lack of visibility and transparency. In today's globalised economy, most supply chains involve multiple stakeholders from different geographic locations, which can make it difficult to monitor the entire process.

Another common challenge is the optimisation of supply chain processes. Many companies struggle to strike a balance between keeping inventory costs low and meeting customer demands in a timely manner. This can result in excess inventory or stock-outs, which can significantly impact the bottom line.

Additionally, the increasing pressure to meet sustainability goals presents another challenge. Many companies are now looking to adopt more sustainable practices, such as reducing carbon emissions, using eco-friendly packaging, and implementing circular supply chain models. However, achieving these goals can be complex and requires significant investments in technology, infrastructure, and partnerships.

How to make C-suiters aware of supply chain importance?

To demonstrate the value of supply chain to stakeholders, leaders can use data-driven insights and metrics to showcase the impact of supply chain on business outcomes. This can involve tracking key performance indicators such as on-time delivery, inventory turnover, cost per order, and sharing these metrics with stakeholders on a regular basis.

Leaders can also foster a culture of collaboration and communication among supply chain stakeholders, both internal and external, to promote transparency and alignment. This can help stakeholders understand the supply chain’s role in delivering value to customers and the organisation as a whole.

Finally, invest in talent development and training programs to build a skilled and competent supply chain workforce. This can help demonstrate the value of supply chain as a strategic function and drive a culture of continuous improvement and innovation.

What’s the best way to work with suppliers?

Prioritise quality, reliability, cost, sustainability, and innovation. To get the most value for money, set clear expectations and performance metrics, build strong relationships, invest in technology and automation, and continuously monitor supplier performance.

How can companies effectively manage supply chain risk

First, identify potential risks in their supply chain by conducting a thorough risk assessment and mapping out the supply chain to identify vulnerabilities.

Companies should then assess the impact of each risk to understand its potential effect on the business. This involves evaluating the likelihood of the risk occurring and the severity of its impact.

Then develop risk mitigation strategies, These can include contingency plans, diversifying suppliers, implementing safety stock, or investing in technology solutions to monitor and manage risks.

How do firms stay ahead of the supply chain curve?

Organisations should foster a culture of innovation and continuous improvement to identify new opportunities and stay ahead of the competition.

You also need to embrace sustainability. Adopt sustainable practices and prioritise sustainability in supply chain operations, to meet consumer demand and regulatory requirements.

Building strong partnerships is vital too – with suppliers, customers, and technology providers, and use data analytics to gain insights into supply chain operations, and to identify opportunities for improvement.

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