October 14, 2021 | Supply Chain Software
The events since the outbreak of the coronavirus have left a near-permanent mark on businesses, with their supply chains bearing the maximum brunt.
Supply disruptions, raw material shortages, plant shutdowns, transportation hiccups — few companies could have anticipated these disruptions.
How should you prepare for such events? Can you afford to let things stay the way they are or should you act now and take steps to safeguard supply chain operations?
While businesses look to normalize operations, they still fear when the next disruption may hit them and catch them off guard. Here is something you can do to keep such fears at bay.
Efficient supply chain planning will differentiate a business that can thrive amid disruption from a business most likely to face the heat. Here are five benefits of supply chain planning.
A key objective of supply chain planning is to accurately estimate demand. This was traditionally done by looking at historical data. However, with multiple dynamics at play, predicting demand in today’s business environment is not that easy. This is where supply chain planning can help. Advanced supply chain planning software can precisely determine demand by looking at real-time data, market conditions and other external events.
By aligning supply with demand, supply chain planning simplifies inventory management. It helps prevent both extremes — stockouts or too much inventory. Access to real-time data promotes lean production, thereby reducing warehouse and maintenance costs.
Supply chain planning ensures that products are delivered to customers at the right time and place. Again, it helps maintain adequate stock to meet sudden, unforeseen spikes in demand. This enhances customer satisfaction and helps build brand loyalty, which gives the business a competitive edge.
A vital objective of planning is to cover risks and mitigate their impact. For most businesses, risk management has today become more important than cutting costs or enhancing operational efficiency. A foolproof supply chain plan evaluates all potential risks and formulates strategies to deal with them.
For example, as part of the broader plan, many businesses have diversified their supplier base to ensure that there are no unforeseen surprises and supplies are not impacted. They keep this additional pool of suppliers on standby so they can avail their services, whenever required. Advanced supply chain planning technology also enhances the ability to respond quickly. It leverages analytics and real-time insights to enable a business to react quickly and avert a crisis.
Improved communication with suppliers is another key objective of supply chain planning. With a modern supply chain software, you can access advanced tools to better communicate and collaborate with suppliers. Collaboration in real time enhances efficiency and eliminates the chances of delay in shipments from suppliers and product delivery to customers. It also helps strengthen supplier relationships in the long term.
Growing uncertainty has necessitated the need to efficiently plan processes and prepare beforehand for any deviation. Businesses that act and plan now will reap the benefits in the long term.