Key Elements of a Successful Supply Chain

A supply chain, in the simplest terms, is the series of steps involved in getting a product to the customer. This process often includes manufacturers, vendors, warehouses, carriers, distribution centers, and retailers.

Thriving supply chains often have a lot of moving parts… literally.

Synchronously managing all of the people, places, and things involved can be daunting, even to an experienced businessperson. Luckily, the experts at Radius have compiled some key elements that are sure to set your systems up for success.

1. Planning

Your supply chain strategy should be considered from the earliest stages of planning and product development. When it comes to designing the packaging, for instance, be mindful how it will be shipped and consider how you can optimize space to stay cost effective. As famous time management expert, Alan Lakein, said, “Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” Taking the time to plan ahead clears your mind to help you make better decisions under less pressure.

2. Flexibility

The ability to accommodate fluctuations is a sign of a robust supply chain. Instead of using a “one size fits all” mentality, it’s necessary to be flexible from a strategic standpoint. In order to combat uncertainty in the marketplace and possible changes in the demand, agility is your best ally. And if you can navigate these changes better than your competitors, you’ll easily gain the upper hand.

3. Alignment

Your overall business goals should be strategically aligned with your supply chain goals. A good place to start is making sure the upper management team is aware of this correlation. Ensuring your supply chain needs are top of mind for your company’s top decision-makers will help you in the long run. For example, if you’re faced with a “tough decision” down the road, perhaps additional costs to ship expedited at the last minute, the decision will be easy to make because your company sees your supply chain needs as a high priority.

4. Technology

Technology amid the transportation industry is becoming a need-to-have, not just a nice-to-have anymore. The most successful supply chains incorporate the latest technology such as transport management systems (TMS), and warehouse management systems (WMS). Make sure you’re taking full advantage of the latest logistics technology and daily proactive tracing. Companies that have fully embraced and utilize this technology are well ahead of those still catching up.

5. Performance Measurement

To effectively measure performance, you must have an idea of your most optimal procedures. If you could dream up your perfect supply chain solution, what would it look like? Once you’ve established this, you can build out performance measurements based on these processes. You’ll want to measure cost effectiveness of course, but don’t forget about efficiency and quality as well.

There are a multitude of supply chain solutions out there, but they may not all adapt to your specialized needs. When you partner with a trusted and experienced 3PL like Radius Logistics, we care about your business and your freight, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing a dedicated Customer Service Representative will be with you every step of the way.

Contact Radius today to see how our team of experts can help set your supply chain up for success!