Top Five Supply Chain Management Best Practices

Supply Chain Digital delves into five of the best practices that businesses should be implementing in 2021

As business drives demand for the development of digital supply chain tools. We take a look at some of the best practices in supply chain management and discuss how this ties in with the use of supply chain technology. 

For more latest insights into supply chain, check the latest issue of Supply Chain Digital magazine.

05: Collaboration

Collaboration happens throughout every stage of the supply chain process,  from sourcing and negotiations to product or service delivery. Providing the tools for personnel to collaborate will streamline each process. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is an excellent example of how a digital ecosystem can be used to monitor and collaborate in manufacturing and can even be used to manage robotics.

04: Competition and Financial Management

Competition in the supply chain involves maintaining supplier relationships, understanding the need for fast operations and providing personnel with the equipment and skills to carry out their jobs. 

A particularly attractive financial strategy for supply chain companies in 2021 is cost reduction. As the use of big data widens, businesses can focus their attention on reducing production costs and tackling much-needed price negotiations.


03: Using Big Data

Data analytics and business intelligence is a big trend in 2021. Many supply chains are moving towards big data usage, which is definitely important for keeping up with the industry. But only around half of supply chains are using technology to their advantage, despite them understanding its long-term benefits.

02: Acquiring Skills

As digital transformation becomes a critical focus for supply chains, companies aim to acquire more skills to manage sophisticated supply chain systems. Predictive operations systems are becoming more popular as the development of AI and machine learning manages menial tasks, which allows personnel to focus on the wider operations and procurement tasks. However, managing these systems requires new skills like any new system.


01: Identify Risk

It is very beneficial for project managers or risk managers to carry out assessments of risk regularly. The events of Covid-19 have highlighted some key issues that supply chain leaders should become aware of as they plan for the future. There are various risks along the supply chain, especially for large logistics companies. Some of these include: 

  • Health and safety risks
  • Crime incidents involving transport vehicles 
  • Regulation changes 
  • Cybersecurity threats

Featured Lists

Sustainability tools head 2022 supply chain trends - Gartner

Gartner identifies top supply chain trends in 2022 - including hyperautomation - that are helping CSCOs deliver automation, intelligence and resilience

An IoT timeline - from Kevin Ashton & MIT to digital twins

The supply chain industry is extremely reliant on data, at the heart of which is the Internet of Things (IoT), first used in an 80s Coke vending machine

Top 10: Extreme weather & supply chain resilience strategies

Supplier collaboration, a strong tech ecosystem, supply chain mapping, scenario planning and reshoring can protect supply chains against extreme weather

Top benefits of supplier performance-management solutions

Digital Supply Chain

Ten benefits blockchain brings to supply chains

Digital Supply Chain

Visibility, tracking & planning among 10 boons of supply IoT

Digital Supply Chain