Lessons learned from my career as a supply chain manager
The world has been remarkably affected by the COVID-19 pandemic since 2019. It affected all industries positively and negatively, including supply chains. It tested the limits of supply chains while highlighting its weaknesses that caused massive disruption in operations. About 94% of fortune companies experienced supply chain disruptions during COVID-19. Though the situation is becoming normal slowly, this period left us with some vital supply chain lessons that will be applicable now and in the future:
Importance of Visibility:
Supply chain managers should have end-to-end visibility of the supply chain. It helps understand issues in the supply chain immediately. The vast and profound analysis of the supply chain can play a crucial role in different unexpected scenarios and determining the right response to minimize the impact on the supply chain. Thus, near-future plans contribute to corrective actions. Supply chain market research claims that most (around 69%) companies do not have end-to-end visibility, affecting their decision abilities. Visibility is the baseline to understanding the supply chain and optimizing operations; thus, never underestimate the visibility in supply chain management. It is time to opt for new technology to help manage and track the supply chain fr source to destination at each node for all companies to avoid disruption in operations.
Keep an Eye on New Suppliers:
Companies have always preferred low-cost suppliers, but the COVID-19 pandemic has given us some crucial lessons about suppliers. According to the Foley & Lardner LLP Global Supply Chain Disruption and Future Strategies Survey, about 70% of companies agreed that supplying from the lowest-cost suppliers will not be the sole criteria while making decisions on new or existing suppliers. Instead, companies should focus on more reliable and flexible supply chain procedures to ensure continuity in the supply chain.
Importance of Better Collaboration with Suppliers:
The pandemic revealed poor supply chain collaboration, negatively impacting businesses worldwide. To collaborate better with suppliers, companies had to eliminate traditional ways of keeping records and tracking, such as spreadsheets, email threads, and PDFs, and instead embrace collaboration platforms. These platforms make the supply chain transparent, optimized, and streamlined among stakeholders. About 100+ large companies across sectors agreed in the McKinsey survey that regular collaboration with suppliers results in higher growth, greater profitability, and lower operating costs.
Analysis and Forecasting:
Managing demand and supply in the company operations needs a supply chain manager to analyze the current and future demands accurately and forecast the smooth supply. There are various methods and techniques to anticipate and prepare for the future. Data-driven and systemized analysis and predictions help smoothly resolve issues in the supply chain. It also enables us to compare multiple predictions and renegotiate rebate agreements.
Configurability for Better Adaptation to Speed Disruption:
Though it is important to analyze and predict future needs, it's equally important to be able to reconfigure the needs of the supply chain. Thus, supply chain managers should have enough contacts with suppliers, good management skills, the right operational capabilities, and reconfigurability to adapt to changing business needs.
Companies having different technologies to manage supply chains through multiple platforms should share data and keep it accessible for connectedness and end-to-end visibility at any point in time. It provides information on how employees should manage operations and iterate production plans based on supply chain conditions. Connectedness improves efficiency, agility, growth, and production.
Ethics and Responsibility:
Consumers and people account for businesses for the safety and well-being of society. Nowadays, companies are conscious of making the right choices about ethics, sustainability, and social responsibility. Supply chain management plays a critical role in environment-friendly procurement and supply. Various technologies are used in modern businesses to obtain visibility of raw source materials.
Supply chain management is a challenging, simultaneously interesting domain if any of you are thinking of a career in supply chain management. As the modern world is based on digital technology, it will be beneficial to do a supply chain management certification course before you enter the industry. Also, if you are already a part of the supply chain, you can always upgrade and update your knowledge with such courses. Contact us or visit any of our training centers in