Mitigating unavoidable problems in the supply chain

One would be hard-pressed to find an organization in the public or private sector that does not rely on supply chain management efficiency to succeed every day of the year, although certain industries such as manufacturing, retail and food service will inherently be more rooted in these matters than others. Despite all of the modern technologies available to achieve optimal strategic sourcing performance, many companies have yet to perfect their supply chain management plans, which can quickly lead to poor financial prospects. 

There really are not all that many excuses not to have a strong procurement plan in place, nor to be incapable of executing the various components of the strategy in a smooth and progressive fashion. It is worth noting here that there are plenty of unforeseen issues that will sprout up at times and cannot be avoided, but having a tight ebb and flow of supply chain management in place can even help to reduce the damages incurred when something unexpected does surface. 

By leveraging the support and solutions available in the modern market, firms can avoid major headaches that stem from issues in the supply chain, such as poor brand recognition and a lack of fluid operations. As is the case with any corporate strategy, the success or failure of the program will be inherently and decisively entrenched within the management of people, processes and technology, along with another new addition explained in a recent report. 

Challenges in focus

Fleet Owner recently argued that technology, personnel and infrastructure will be the fundamental drivers of supply chain success around every corner, and that the challenges companies face might be most attached to the last piece of that particular puzzle. Remember, studies from a wealth of third-party researchers have asserted that America's infrastructure is in need of massive overhauls, and the country's failing framework is already causing disruptions in supply chains, not to mention general traffic. 

Still, it is not like a company can simply invest billions of dollars into public infrastructure to ensure that its transportation needs are adequately met - this is something that the government will need to take care of, and business leaders can only hope that it does so sooner rather than later. According to the news provider, Congress recently heard from members of the Retail Industry Leaders Association, including VP of Government Affairs Kelly Kolb, regarding the problems supply chain managers are facing due to poor infrastructure. 

"We believe that the next surface transportation authorization bill must include a cohesive national freight policy that focuses on improving all services in a collective manner," Kolb asserted in her testimony, the source cited. "Access to efficient and reliable transportation systems is a vital component to the success of America's retailers," she added. "Our freight arrives by using a combination of planes, trains, ships, and trucks. When a disturbance occurs in the system, it has a ripple effect on retailers' supply chain operations."

Steps to take now

A decision-maker in a manufacturing or retail business might believe that there is nothing he or she can do to really avoid major infrastructure-related problems, but hopelessness is not, and should not be, an option. Rather, taking proactive and intelligent steps toward more progressive strategic sourcing practices through the use of proven solutions and support can make all the difference in the world throughout the supply chain, even when infrastructure is not properly functioning. 

By becoming clear that the business will be the one to take the fall should issues arise in the supply chain, and that ownership is needed to sustain a positive brand image, managers and leaders will have taken the first step toward stronger procurement practices. 

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