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How can supply chain network cater to over-growing customer demands?


    How can supply chain network respond to demand signal quickly?


    The supply chain is one of the most important aspects of inventory management and business strategy. With the demand for the faster delivery of the product and service rising, businesses are also beginning to implement an efficient supply chain network to cater to the growing needs.

    supply chain network

    An efficient supply chain helps logistics, retailers and other large-scale businesses need to save money and improve customer satisfaction by reducing waiting period for in-demand products. Businesses need to carefully review and optimize their supply chain network which can help businesses to reduce the cost and improve customer satisfaction by giving better visibility across the network, fast-tracking the product movement from procurement to delivery. 

    What is a Supply Chain Network?

    Supply chain network helps large scale businesses in handling the end-to-end production flow of a good or service. It generally consists of multiple stakeholders who take care of all the components of product procurement, fulfilment, delivery, and other areas of the operation. A company creates and constantly optimises this network to ensure the product is delivered on time and the entire supply chain network remains hassle-free. Of late, we have seen the emergence of multiple supply chain network optimisation software which are helping businesses to quickly find out the loopholes in the network and optimise it for better performance. 

    What are the key features of a Supply Chain Network?

    An efficient, optimised supply chain network holds the reputation of the business and ensures long term sustainability. 

    What are the key features of a supply chain network and what needs to be optimized to make a strong supply chain network? 

    Hence, here are the answers to below five questions-

    Is your supply chain network connected?

    An efficient supply chain network should be able to access, assess and analyse unorganised data from all the business touchpoints and tools, process them and broadcast actionable insights.

    Is your supply chain network collaborative?

    Collaboration across the line is the key for supply chain networks. An efficient supply chain network will help businesses to collaborate with all the suppliers across the network to make key decisions faster and move products on time. It also opens up the door for better opportunities and more engagement.

    Is your supply chain network holistic?

    A comprehensive software is the need of the hour across businesses and industries. Modern supply chain network optimization software provides an array of solutions, from the traditional supply chain activities to analytics capabilities and insights to help businesses deliver excellent services.

    Is your supply chain network futuristic?

    One easy way to optimise your supply chain network is to prepare it for modern technology and AI integration. With the introduction of AI, businesses can leverage the faster data processing and better forecasting capabilities which can help businesses to expand their operation across the continents.

    5 ways in which Supply Chain Network can respond to demand signals quickly

    An ineffective supply chain can paralyse any large-scale businesses. It’s important for the businesses to track their operation, understand the areas of improvements, adapt to the new technologies and optimise carefully. Without the precautions and timely actions, the supply chain network can be a mammoth chaos to manage and maintain the cost.

    Here are some tips which will help your supply chain network to respond to demand signals quickly and improve the customer experience. 

    ✔️ Improve demand planning

    A smart, data driven demand planning is one of the best and most conventional ways in which you can meet the ever-increasing demand signals. Study, and assess the historical demand data to forecast customer demand for the products. Improvement of your supply chain network is directly proportionate to the clarity and rationality of your demand planning.

    Efficient supply chain management uses demand planning to review every touchpoint and all the stakeholders of the network for end-to-end optimisation. Here we are talking about every tiny area of your location, from suppliers, vendors to the location. Ensure your demand planning covers all the areas for an excellent plan.

    This will help you in better forecasting, timely delivery and reducing the supply chain cost.

    ✔️ Get rid of data noise and understand the right signals

    Most of the retailers and logistics businesses have started to implement supply chain network optimization software to optimise their network. Most of these incompetent software churn out a large volume of non-significant data which fails to provide actionable insights.

    To make your supply chain network an efficient one, you have to ensure you have the right data with you and every stakeholder too has access to it. Businesses have to beware of data silos where only a handful possess the business-critical data and others act out of their gut getting trapped into rookie slip-ups. 

    While optimising your supply chain network, your first and foremost focus should be on achieving a heightened visibility across the network which will help you minimise the mistakes and smooth out every possible loophole.

    ✔️ Focus on developing effective internal communication

    Getting trapped into miscommunication or wrong information is a big bottleneck for any supply chain network. Developing an effective internal communication system between departments within the supply chain network should be non-negotiable.  Businesses also need to focus on delivering the messages faster across the stakeholders for quick actions.

    ✔️ Constantly review and analyse your supply chain strategy

    How to identify a successful supply chain network? They are lean, cost-effective, and reliable. And this can only be achieved by rigorously reviewing your supply chain strategy and arriving at the best system for your business. 

    If you are keen on optimising your supply chain strategy, here is a quick checklist for you-

    -Understand your business type and find out the ideal supply chain system for it. There is no one-stop-solution for the supply chain network. Successful supply chain networks are the best fit for their businesses. 

    -Find out the best suppliers for your supply chain network and retain them. An efficient supply chain network is as good as their suppliers. Evaluate your options and make sure you’re working with the best suppliers in the market. 

    -Make your supply chain network resilient to withstand diverse challenges. Post COVID-19, the global supply chain management is undergoing uncertainties and various changes. Your supply chain network needs to be strong to protect your business and reputation.

    Along with your suppliers, you need to focus on your transport and logistics methods too. Optimise the delivery time of a product to the customers by using appropriate transport and logistics methods.

    ✔️ Adapt to the new technologies

    Supply chain network is one of the oldest businesses which involves a wide range of traditional methods and components. The sudden inclusion of new technologies, data-driven approaches and supply chain network optimization software have disrupted the industry.

    A right balance of proven methodologies and new technologies can help businesses to optimise their end-to-end supply chain network. With the optimum use of the new technologies, businesses can Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the supply chain network. 

    Final thoughts 

    Supply chain network is going through rapid changes. If the old decade focused on availability, and better management of the assets, the modern supply chain management systems are all about taking data driven decisions and improving customer experience. Optimising the supply chain system is a key step in ensuring that. With the right steps, new technology and guidance, a supply chain network can become more efficient, faster, and profitable. 

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