There are many problems that are inherent to certain businesses, and companies in the supply chain are no different. There are unique challenges in this industry that just don't exist for others, or that exist in different ways, requiring different approaches to solving them.
The following are some of the most common hurdles that arise in the course of supply chain operations, and following this advice could help you address them on an ongoing basis:
1) Safety of both facilities and products
In any industrial setting, keeping workers safe is a must, but if you're a manufacturer, in particular, you also have to think about the safety of customers or supply chain partners, according to Bossard. There are many ways people could be put at risk if all reasonable precautions are not taken, and you need to be prepared to address them.
This is the kind of issue where you need a top-down solution. Safety doesn't happen by itself and the more eyes on the situation at every level of your organization, the better off you will be when it comes to eliminating risk before it arises, or spotting it if something does happen to slip through the cracks. A committee or team dedicated to upholding your predetermined safety standards is always a good idea.
2) Relationships with other companies
When you work in a supply chain, the industry name says it all: You're just one link, and that means you need to do all in your power to uphold effective, efficient operations, according to supply chain expert David Lans, writing for MyStory. Your partners at either end of the chain are relying on you, just as you are them.
For that reason, you need to make sure your company is digitizing as much information about your operations as possible and, when it's advisable, share that data with partners. You should expect them to do the same. With that kind of added insight that could potentially come from every link in the supply chain, you'll all be able to get ahead together.
3) Workforce management
Depending upon what specific part of the supply chain your business operates in, you may see more employee churn than companies in other industries, according to Chainalytics. If that has historically been the case for your company, you may do well to look into why, rather than accepting that churn as a fact of life, or the cost of doing business.
This kind of examination could start at any step of workforce management, from your hiring strategies to how you keep your current staffers engaged and motivated to holding exit interviews for employees who are leaving amicably. Every individual new hire, tenured worker, and departing worker may have their own stories, but if you can catalog them to see what people like or don't like about their jobs, why they came aboard, and why they left, you may be able to identify some trends that you may not have expected.