A supply chain is the network among your company, its suppliers, retailers and customers. The efficiency of your supply chain will define the efficiency of your company and its profitability. This is because the optimized supply chain will result in a faster production and lower costs. In a way, the supply chain also includes every business that may come in contact with the product being considered. It will include those companies which may assemble or deliver the components to your company for assembly. Because of the criticality of managing a supply chain, supply chain management solutions need to be specific to the problem at hand and will need to be applied quickly. There have been several improvements in the field of supply chain management over the years. These important trends need to be addressed by companies.
The Volatility in Today’s Business Scene
Today the customer wants everything in advance. Little do they know the effort that goes in background to stock just one extra item in a shop.However, for the company executive the customer’s desire is all and he will exert himself in order that the demand is met.Supply chain management is very exacting in today’s times and confusing too since meeting impossible demands is the only way to go in order that you stay ahead of the race.
Market leaders agree that there is tremendous stress everywhere and this includes not only the commodities market but also the trade policies andthe regulations besides the changing models of conducting business among many others. Since the supply chain has to be responsive, companies need to address these issues. The need of the hour is adaptability. Companies have to quickly respond to the change in the scene. Today’s products have very small lifecycles and consequently there is a huge demand that is placed on the supply chain. What is necessary is to compress the time to market in order to survive. An infrastructure that is both agile and can evolve is the only answer.
On Being Paperless
Going digital is one of the major trends pertaining to the modern supply chain that does not involve any paper documentation.All necessary transactions are transmitted through the electronic media and in real time. However, it is also understood that human involvement will be necessary to keep the supply chain going. But it is worth imagining that if you go digital you are safe from the burden of having to deal with piles of documents. A supply chain that is digital also smoothens the relationship and communication among trading partners. This can be appreciated better by just imagining the contractual documents among partners and how much simpler it would be if these are on the electronic media.
3D Printing and IoT
3D printing or additive manufacturing is another area that will definitely speed up the supply chain process. For this reason this could be a part of the supply chain services and solutions. However, it may not be a simple effort to opt for additive manufacturing because of the complexities that exist in the form of designing the product and the use of tools that are necessary. There is no doubt that 3D printing is extremely powerful but it is also true that the company needs to strategize how it can get the best out of this option. On the other hand IoT technology is going full steam ahead. It is expected that there will soon be billions of connected ‘things’ being used by diverse industries. IoT helps in giving you improved visibility. You will also have a completely transparent supply chain once you use the IoT infrastructure.