Supply chain management is truly a team sport, where the ultimate goal is getting product to customers where and how they want it. Winning this game involves a lot of agile footwork, but it also requires ditching the "I can win the game alone" mentality. Each player must work together -- especially to deal with the unexpected. Strategy is crucial. And the latest tools and technology can help gain a competitive edge.
Indeed, today's supply chain management best practices are about crafting a vision of both the whole picture and the supporting actions needed to realize it. That takes working together across departments within the company and across supplier networks. Goals such as a successful omnichannel strategy, supply chain visibility and sustainability are perfect examples of achievements that are impossible without a high degree of orchestration and collaboration.
A well-oiled supply chain also increasingly incorporates sophisticated technology. From the connectedness of digital manufacturing and a digital supply chain, to analytics and internet of things (IoT) technology that can enable greater insight and visibility -- not to mention the ability to deal with disruptions -- like it or not, technology has become a differentiator and, for some, a way to catch up.
This guide to supply chain management best practices is meant to give you greater insight into all of these areas. It contains practical advice on tools, tips and other essentials you need to achieve business goals -- and to achieve big wins.
How to approach omnichannel, inventory and demand challenges
One of the top forces affecting supply chain management today is the need to find an omnichannel strategy that works. The goal of giving customers a seamless in-store and online shopping experience affects every part of the supply chain, from sourcing to product delivery, and especially impacts processes like inventory and demand management.
2Internal supply chain-
Supply chain best practices from the inside out
Creating a holistic approach to supply chain management and enabling a collaborative mindset starts inside the company. From procurement to sales, each department is critical to success. But that success rests on the entire internal supply chain working together. One factor that inadvertently sabotages collaboration is the wrong reward system. Incentive systems must recognize the need to work together, or people will not feel they can do so.
3Getting the macro view-
External supply chain functionality
In a very real sense, the competition among companies is a competition of supply chains. Efficient movement of goods and materials depends on complex interdependencies working well together, and that requires information. IoT, analytics and even traditional technology, such as ERP all play a role in surfacing and using information to gain real insight.
Supply chain visibility provides a number of benefits, including helping you predict and deal with disruptions, but getting it is not easy. To help, experts weigh in on the bumps along the road and the supply chain visibility tools you might need. Continue Reading
Supply chain traceability gives you the power to pinpoint problem sourcing and enables sustainability efforts, and those are just two benefits. Here are seven essentials you'll need in your strategy. Continue Reading
4The house of cards factor-
Suppliers, collaboration and risk
The supply chain is an intricate web of interdependencies, and supply chain management best practices recognize the threat of a disruption -- one against which companies must have a well-developed strategy. At the center of this is a collaborative relationship with suppliers and other partners.
Instead of taking a lone-wolf, piecemeal approach to IoT adoption, supply chain partners can instead work together in a coordinated fashion to improve the supply chain more efficiently. Continue Reading
Today's supply chains are highly complex, which makes doing a risk assessment even more difficult. To help, here are seven areas you'll need to factor into your strategy. Continue Reading
5Supply chain glossary-
Important terms related to supply chain management
Demonstrating excellence in supply chain management best practices requires a firm grasp of the terms, particularly newer ones. Here are some that you should know.