In the logistics business, you need to make sure your efforts to connect with supply chain partners go off without a hitch as frequently as possible — but that's not always easy.
However, when it comes to procurement in particular, there may be some changes you can make to insulate yourself from supply chain risk and keep things flowing smoothly:
1) Don't believe hype
Often, supply chain partners — and especially those dealing with their own problems — may try to assure you that everything is copacetic and going according to plan, according to Business.com. However, that may not always be the case, and you shouldn't just take their word for it. Doing more to verify that things are progressing as well as your partners claim on an ongoing basis (such as data-sharing) will help you avoid hiccups.
2) Incentivize great work from your partners
To help promote a healthier supply chain and get more buy-in, it's important to make sure all involved have the incentive to follow through on promises as best they can, Business.com added. Financial bonuses and other rewards for a job well done can be built into your agreements to ensure a stronger relationship.
3) Find data everywhere you can
The more you can do to digitize your operations — and ensure your partners do the same — the better off you will all be to identify issues in the supply chain before they arise, according to Material Handling & Logistics. With more data tracking at every step of the chain, you'll be in a better position to effectively strategize for any eventuality.
4) Don't get stuck in your old ways
In the supply chain, as in life, you can never simply "set it and forget it" with your day-to-day operations, Material Handling & Logistics said. The things that worked last year, last month or even last week might not be appropriate for today's conditions, and being willing to shift your efforts or focus as needed is critical to successful procurement.
5) Empower your employees
As a manager, you may not have a full grasp of the ups and downs of daily business, and your employees on the warehouse floor are more likely to be intimately familiar with these comings and goings, Material Handling & Logistics further advised. As such, you should empower them to make their own decisions about what's best for procurement, and certainly seek their counsel.
6) Plan for problems
Another aspect of real life that applies to the supply chain business is your best-laid plans don't always work out, according to Mercuri International. Having a Plan B, or even Plans C and D, will help you stay agile no matter what curve balls get thrown your way.
7) Review your processes regularly
There's no way you can know what may need to be improved, or which part of your operations need to be emphasized, without a frequent review, Mercuri International. Looking at every level of your procurement operations can uncover areas of need, and give you the chance to truly succeed in your efforts.