When you come up with a new range of products, say, a winter clothing range, then the final realized product that reaches your customer’s doorstep is the result of a long sequence of processes. This entire network between a company and its suppliers that enables the production and distribution of a product to the final buyer is called a ‘supply chain’.
A supply chain, therefore, is a series – or rather – a chain of steps. It involves a very large number of people who specialize in separate parts of the process – producers, vendors, warehouse operators and managers, transportation companies, distribution centers and finally, retailers.
The Role of Supply Chains in Business
In today’s world, it is impossible to ignore the role that supply chains play in business. Let’s explore the various ways in which they help businesses.
- Higher Efficiency
Adequate focus on the supply chain helps to elevate overall efficiency. Not only is it possible to meet the rising demand as mass production gets more streamlined, but a higher accuracy naturally reduces the rejection rate significantly. Companies can initiate backup plans as real-time data about raw material, transportation delays etc. becomes available. Technologies such as IoT devices and sensors can help boost productivity. Human efficiency also is increased
A well-managed supply chain can greatly optimize the entire process. Take Bar Code India’s mobiVUE Warehouse Management System, which assists with storage space optimization with uniquely identifiable storage locations throughout the warehouse. Powered by RFID and barcode technologies, it delivers 12% faster order fulfillment.
- Risk Management
Supply chain managers can use data to manage a variety of risks. For example, use of machine learning and AI helps extrapolate key trends and establish baselines to reduce risks. For example, aggregating safety performance data across industries and applying predictive analytics to this can help identify which types of approaches can reduce or eliminate accidents.
- Increased Visibility
For any business, it is important that the product is ethically sourced and that such information is shared with the business as is relevant. Such visibility of a supply chain (that is incredibly complex) can be achieved using blockchain technology which allows storage of large-scale amounts of information across different places securely and in sync.
The use of predictive analytics in supply chain management has helped to greatly improve forecasts. A lot of new businesses are data-driven from the start and this proves to be advantageous when it comes to data-based forecasting.
- Better Quality Control
Not only is quality control a compliance requirement, the cascading impact of its absence on the bottom line is well known to entrepreneurs and experienced leadership. In precarious market times post-Covid 19, enforcing criteria to maintain minimum standards, such as verification of products, conducting audits and supplier quality assessments are low hanging fruits for those looking to improve product quality.
- Cost Savings
One of the net results of an effective supply chain is that it lowers the cost of the products. Businesses save due to better optimization, lower rejections etc., and are also able to make smarter decisions. This is what enables an entrepreneur to give to its customers a competitive pricing
Choosing the Right Supply Chain Partner
Keeping everything above in mind, this decision is very important and can be instrumental in sustainable growth for an entrepreneur.A few important factors worth considering:
Supply chain visibility is ensured by sharing of real-time data to see issues and resolve them in a transparent manner.
The use of intelligence is an important factor for supply chain management and uses data, real-time recording, cloud-based technologies, and analysis to achieve results.
- User friendly interface
This includes easy-to-operate dashboards, devices, sensors etc. that can be easily operated by the staff without requiring extensive or specialized training.
- Range of solutions
A wider range of solutions helps to use these services in every part of the supply chain, ranging from verification of raw materials to vehicle tracking.
Adaptability ensures easier integration into the supply chain. Moreover, solutions need to keep evolving to incorporate newer technologies and challenges.
- Versatility of Services
You might also want to see if their range of services align with the specific needs of your business. BCI, for instance, delivers a wide variety of services from management systems for warehouses, assets, vendors, and dealers, to enterprise tech like RFID, IoT, and machine vision enabled solutions critical to all industries
A service provider that is quick to recognize the needs of the present is one to keep close. Take BCI’s novel solution, InteliPage, that is assisting enterprises plan a safe return to physical environments. An IoT-powered solution, it helps enable hygiene and safety compliance by enforcing social distancing via alerts and audit trails.
In 2020, perhaps more than any other time in the past, supply chain management is being seen as the most important tool for both enterprise success and even macroeconomic impact, impacting everything from inflation to shareholder value. Not only is competent supply chain management immensely valuable, but its positive effects are now magnified and frankly, hard to ignore. For businesses looking to get started on their supply chain, either afresh or to iterate and evolve, now is the time.