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Guide to Future-Proofing Your Supply Chain

A container ship and a smaller boat next to it representing a guide to future-proofing your supply chain

If you are in the logistics business, future-proofing your supply chain is crucial if you want to stay on top of your game. You have to ensure that everything can run smoothly for years to come. It will involve figuring out ways to cut costs, enhance risk predictions, improve risk management, and ensure solid strategic foresight. The better solution you come up with, the better all your supply chain operations will be. However, you will have to rely on new technologies and some good practices to achieve all that. Those will ensure you future-proof your supply chain, and this article will present you with some of the best solutions. 

Keep an Eye on the Market

Although it’s not realistic to predict all the future trends and developments in the market, either local or global, data collection and analysis can help mitigate this problem. While they can’t predict how things will develop in the long run, data collection and careful analysis can allow you to predict short-term developments reliably. 

The past two years have demonstrated how critical this is. It is incredibly frustrating to lack goods when demand is exceptionally high. When you analyze gathered data, you can prepare better and ensure at least a portion of supplies in advance. That will allow you to stay ahead of your competitors. The best way to collect data is to rely on a CRM solution. You can ensure a solid basis for your predictions by monitoring specific CRM metrics. 

Always Ensure Access to Suppliers

There is no supply chain without suppliers. Thus, it is crucial always to have access to them. Even if you implement all the latest technological solutions, learn how to predict market trends reliably, and improve most of your supply chain aspects, it will mean nothing if you can’t secure the supplies. 

The best way to go about it is to resort to old-fashion ways of establishing contend and making deals with suppliers. Having multiple suppliers by your side will lower the chances of running out of goods in demand. Relying only on one is a recipe for disaster. If something goes wrong on your supplier’s end and you have no backup, you won’t be able to acquire the product you need. And without products, there is no supply chain. 

Establish Cooperation With Local Suppliers

Besides cooperating with multiple suppliers, finding local suppliers is also wise. There is a reason you have collaborated with major suppliers, who could even be international suppliers. It could be the cost or the availability of goods. Moreover, local suppliers often can’t rival these major ones in terms of output. However, since you want to focus on having multiple suppliers, it is a good idea to include local ones as well. Even if they have lower output, you have a backup. Plus, you can shorten the transportation time, which minimizes the chance of accidents and reduce costs. 

Employ a Multi-Modal Transportation System

A good way to avoid supply chain disruptions is to invest in an efficient multi-modal transport system. This system will help you determine the best mode and route to transport your products, depending on factors such as:

  • Cost
  • Time
  • Conditions
  • Ethical considerations

To ensure this multi-modal system functions well, you need to have a real-time data exchange. You can do it by optimizing and automating your supply chain management. And this is true for any industry that has anything to do with transport. According to Best Long Distance Movers, moving companies that offer multiple options for transporting their client’s belongings can offer the most reliable and cost-effective service. That is reflected in their reviews and the number of clients who recommend them. 

Rely on Technology

New technology is the best way of future-proofing your supply chain. In fact, implementing the latest technology is the only way to stay on top of your game, whichever industry you are in. We have already mentioned how CRM can help you make reliable market predictions, at least in the short term. We have also mentioned automation, which is crucial for any supply chain as it can save time on bookkeeping procedures. 

In addition, you should invest in prediction and driving assistance software. It will help reduce travel time and render your fleet more efficient. Also, warehouse management software will prevent human errors such as:

  • Double booking
  • Misplaced items
  • Wasted space
  • Over-purchase

Focus on Risk Management

Risk management is an essential aspect of future-proofing your supply chain. For example, many companies only contact their suppliers once they have received orders for particular goods or when their own supplies are running dangerously low. This puts a considerable strain on the time available to deliver the goods to the customer. It means that any problem that could occur along the way would cause delays. Depending on the type of contract you have with the client, it could incur additional fees. 

Therefore, it’s wise to be prudent and have some quantities of specific products in stock, especially if you expect someone to make an order. It allows enough wiggle room to handle problems in case they occur. 

Future-Proofing Your Supply Chain Involves Adopting Ethical Practices

The Internet has brought more transparency and helped spread information and awareness on various issues. This has made customers care more about which brands they choose. The brand name has become much less important than the values these names stand for. Therefore, customers now pay attention to responsible sourcing and fair labor. 

You can expect that future generations will care even more about sustainability and fair trade. Thus, you will also need to adopt the social commitments your customers expect. 

Final Advice

Future-proofing your supply chain is a never-ending game, so you can never stop improving it. You always need to keep an eye on new technological advancements and developments in the industry to keep up with the industry leaders and stay ahead of the competition. 

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