7 characteristics that next generation supply chains must possess


Supply chain characteristics

Supply chain characteristicsOptimizing supply chain management is a crucial element of every manufacturing industry. Strategies and traits that worked for your supply chain in yesteryear might not be relevant now or the near future. Let’s look at 7 characteristics that must be a part of the next generation of supply chains.

1. Flexibility

Agility has always been important in supply chains. This trait has to trickle down to next generation supply chains, as they should be able to react to sudden changing circumstances in the operating environment. Any kind of unpredictable and devastating incident, such as a natural disaster, medical epidemic, political or economic instability, has the potential to overthrow supply chains.

However, when they are flexible, have a strong risk assessment program, intelligent decision support systems and are demand driven, next gen supply chains can thrive in even the most challenging and competitive environments.

2. Speed of Delivery

Speed is of the essence of the next generation of supply chains. It will be more and more critical for supply chains to be able to respond to demands as quickly as they can, in order to ensure quick delivery for retailers and other key members of the supply chain.

Companies will want to have a stock of products as soon as they are needed and they will also want to move more stock in a shorter period of time.

3. Global Reach

Long gone are the days when companies could locally limit the delivery of their products. Thanks to the Internet, you can expand supply chains on a global scale. At the same time, it is possible for global supply chains to react at a local level.

Next gen supply chains must know how to create global hubs that are not only effective, but can also supply products locally without needing to transport them across the world for just a few orders.

4. Optimized Inventory

The trick with efficient inventory management is that you should have just the right amount of stock in the warehouse. Having too much will result in expired and unsold stock, while too little will almost always assure that you don’t have enough stock when it is urgently needed.

This calls for optimizing inventory so that your supply can always meet the demand. The quantity of stock must be dictated by the current consumer behavior, buying trends, and local demand for the product.

One way you can optimize inventory in any supply chain is by incorporating various tools, such as industrial weighing scales and truck scales. Innovative shipping techniques must also be employed to speed up the delivery process.

5. Go Green and Sustainable

Try to have a green supply chain which does not impact the environment negatively. Ensure that you don’t put any kind of pressure on the environment during any stage of the supply chain.

At the same time, make sure that the supply chain is sustainable as well. Practices like utilizing raw materials in a sustainable manner, making eco-friendly packaging and using alternative energy sources to run the manufacturing plant and supply chain will go a long way in ensuring that next gen supply chains are sustainable.

6. Proactive Strategy

Supply chains should be proactive in case of disruption, sudden changes or potential disasters. Utilizing data modeling and research, you can gain insights and knowledge into how you should be prepared for such events.

By being proactive, you can ensure that you offer great services at all times. This also helps to ensure you don’t get tangled with excuses that hinder your ability to deliver when needed.

7. Innovativeness

Every supply chain should embrace innovation and technology. By incorporating the latest technology in your supply chains, you can ensure that you stay competitive and offer excellent services at all stages. Modifications can be small or large, but you must constantly try to incorporate innovative approaches across various functions and supply chain processes.

Supply chains must not remain stagnant. When you don’t employ strategies to transform the supply chains of the next generation, it is equivalent to losing revenue and business.

There must be an urgency to give your supply chain management a facelift so that it can unequivocally strive in the competitive business world.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the contributing author, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forum for International Trade Training.

About the author

Author: Kevin Hill

Kevin Hill heads up the marketing efforts and provides technical expertise to the sales and service teams at Quality Scales Unlimited in Byron, California. He enjoys everything mechanical and electronic, computers, the internet and spending time with family.

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