The Top Questions To Ask When Planning Your Supply Chain

Are you wondering how you can put your business in a position to succeed? You need to pay close attention to your supply chain. Right now, digital supply chain planning is more important than it has ever been in the past. That is because supply chains are facing a tremendous number of challenges right now. There are lots of regulatory changes, some factories are still closed, and it can be difficult for supply chains to stay afloat. What do you need to do when you are planning your supply chain, and how can you ensure you meet the needs of your customers and clients?

1. Forecast Your Demand Ahead of Time

When you are first starting out, you probably wait for an order to come in. Then, you fulfill it, get it to your customer, and make sure that he or she is happy. But, what happens when you run out of inventory? You will need to order more, which can lead to delays in orders, which ultimately results in clients who are not happy. You want to prevent this from happening to you, and that is why you should forecast your demand ahead of time. What this means is that you need to take a look at your historical order frequency, anticipate when the demand is going to go up, and make sure you have the inventory available to address that demand.

2. Have More Than One Supplier

Next, you should try to have more than one supplier. There are a lot of companies that have historically tried to get away with a single supplier. The reason why this is preferred is that it is easier for you to manage one relationship instead of a lot of them. Unfortunately, that is like putting all of your eggs in one basket, particularly in the current environment. Because there are so many challenges facing supply chains, having one supplier is not a good idea. Instead, you need to have multiple suppliers available who can help you. That way, if something goes wrong with one supplier, you can always fall back on the others.

3. Shorten Your Supply Chains

When you go through the process of planning your supply chain, you should also take steps to shorten your supply chain. What that means is that you do not want your deliveries to have to travel a long way. For example, if you have a lot of words that have to go across the ocean, there is a greater chance that something could go wrong. If you have a lot of orders that have to cross multiple borders, there is a chance that legislative changes could have an impact on your delivery times. Instead, you should try to keep your supply chains closer to home, and that might mean having multiple warehouses in different locations.

4. Ensure You Do Market Research

When you are planning your supply chain, you must make sure you do market research. You need to figure out what the current conditions are light, and you must understand how certain changes are going to impact your business. In particular, you need to pay close attention to your competitors. Who are the main suppliers that your competitors use? Do you think you can work with the same suppliers? Do you think you can convince them to work with you instead of your competition? Try to identify what your competitors do well, and see if you can emulate them.

5. Audit Your Supply Chain Regularly

Finally, you need to audit your supply chain regularly as well. This means you need to take a close look at your supply chain, figure out what is working well, and identify problems. Then, you need to figure out how you can fix those problems before they lead to noticeable issues in your supply chain. If you wait until your supply chain starts to have issues, it will be too late. It will take you a long time to fix them, your orders are going to get delayed, and your customers are going to be unhappy. You can prevent this from happening if you audit your supply chain regularly.

Set Up a Resilient Supply Chain

Ultimately, it is critical for you to pay close attention to your supply chain. You never know when mistakes are going to arise, and you need to make sure you increase the frequency with which your orders are delivered on time. Even though many companies are facing unprecedented challenges right now, customers still have very high expectations. If you want to put your business in a position to succeed, you must make sure you take good care of your supply chain. If you can anticipate issues ahead of time, you will be able to deal with them more quickly, allowing you to keep your company on advantageous footing.