As a business owner, you have infinite things to keep on top of and to ensure are being properly run and managed. You need to make sure you have the right staff and that they are performing well. You also need to make sure you have the right products of good quality and that your service is excellent and nothing is left to chance. It’s no surprise then, given all these constantly moving parts of business, that your supply chain would certainly earn a place on any list of most important aspects of business, and for good reason.
What Is a Supply Chain?
In the simplest terms, the supply chain is the process of getting your company’s products from their raw materials all the way into the hands of your customers to purchase them from you. As part of your supply chain management, you would consider many aspects of your business and customers like the demand, sales and operations, costs, timeframes, and supplier or vendor relationships. Knowing what factors will influence and impact your supply chain positively and negatively is a nuanced skill that supply chain professionals become experts at.
Catering for Demand
Perhaps the most well thought of part of supply chain management and the component that most people will think of is demand management. This is where supply chain managers will plan and forecast the demand for your business products constantly, at various times of the year, ensuring that you’ll always have enough – and not too much – of your product. It involves a complex system of forecasts and a good understanding of demand. Your supply chain manager would also usually be heavily involved in your promotions planning too, as they will have a good understanding of techniques to boost sales through promotions.
What About Outsourcing Supply Chain?
Many small businesses, and businesses in growth phases, don’t put enough thought and weight into their supply chain management. Having a full complement of supply chain professionals on your staff might be out of the scope of your business size, and that’s where outsourcing will make a huge difference to your success. Partnering with a company that can assist with this aspect of your business can be extremely beneficial. A company like Team Technologies who, amongst a strong manufacturing presence in the medical field, has a service focused on assisting companies with Supply Chain Management can be a very useful ally. They might assist you with vendor selection and planning and even with your inventory management systems.
Supply chain management and all the many aspects behind it are constantly evolving and changing. New technologies like artificial intelligence and blockchain are finding their way into the supply chain. Big data and the ability to correctly interpret it is also becoming more and more important to supply chain professionals. It’s a big part of business and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly at all. Outsourcing your supply chain might be something you should consider in your growth phase where you might not have supply chain professionals on your staff.