Supply chains have long remained the lifeblood of companies operating worldwide, and have exponentially grown in complexity over the past years. Also, with the increasing dependence on supply chains as the primary means of production, it has become all the more relevant for companies across the world to reassess the potential disruptions to their individual supply chains that can risk business operations.
In this regard, Supply Chain Analysts are responsible for exploring possible risks, financial implications and other causative factors behind supply chain disruptions, and ideating ways to improve supply chain resilience against shocks and exposure to risks.
Ways to Mitigate Supply Chain Disruptions
Supply chain resilience has emerged as a viable solution to mitigate disruptions in the supply chain, and eliminate the company’s exposure to risks. Supply chain management courses frequently highlight the following ways of mitigating shocks and disruptions as viable ways of establishing supply chain resilience.
Companies that tend to rely on supply chains originating from singular sources are often at a higher risk of supply chain disruptions. This is because, other than the lack of flexibility, companies can incur unavoidable losses in case of any inconvenience on the part of the supplier.
So, in order to avoid disruptions that could result in unwanted expenses, multisourcing is an effective solution to keep the supply chain uninterrupted. Not only do multiple suppliers offer additional security in times of need, but can result in greater flexibility and diversity. Having multiple suppliers over sole suppliers can also benefit companies operating from several locations.
Inventory and capacity buffers
Inventory and capacity buffers are some of the most prominent precautionary measures for any operating company, and have been recognised as one of the most effective means of establishing Supply Chain Resilience. At a glance, inventory and capacity buffers might appear expensive, but is completely worth their value provided their effectiveness as surge capacity expansions.
Inventory and capacity buffers are also beneficial as a cache for underutilized means of production and excess safety stock requirements, and allow companies to strategically utilise them in times of surge needs, such as product launches or new operating sites.
Diversification of manufacturing networks
Diversifying manufacturing networks is an excellent way of ensuring Supply Chain Resilience and avoiding disruptions, as it essentially allows companies to widen their accessibilities, while ensuring seamless operation.
Other than being beneficial to supply flexibility, diversification in manufacturing networks allows companies to improve their image and profitability, stay ahead of competitors, and operate profitably in times of economic crisis. Diversification of the manufacturing networks also means lowered order liability and lead times. Diversifying manufacturing networks has been on the rise in recent years due to its effectiveness in mitigating supply chain disruptions, and the cost of maintaining multiple suppliers has been recognised as the cost of doing business by major companies across the world.
Geographic dependence on manufacturing networks is a major causative factor contributing to supply chain disruptions. Ranging from differences in timezones and natural disasters to political and strategic unrest, geographic dependence can often cause hindrances to the supply chain, and can also end in additional expenditures and liabilities.
So, most companies around the globe prefer nearshoring, or sourcing their materials locally or regionally. Nearshoring can help companies overcome their geographic dependence, which benefits companies by improving supply chain resilience, and can simultaneously help shorten the cycle time of production. While nearshoring can be expensive in certain instances such as complications in the ecosystem or involvement of local factors, it offers companies more flexibility and security over inventory, and can significantly reduce supply chain disruptions.
Ecological crises and the need for environmental sustainability have made it crucial for companies to look into means of production that can be carried out effectively without any damage to nature and its values. So, companies have considered new ventures that promote environmental security without compromising their operation. In this regard, adopting ecosystem partnerships have emerged as a promising solution that allows corporations to uphold their environmental integrity, while making sure the supply chain is uninterrupted.
Adopting eco-friendly measures for inventory acquisition, such as liaisons with global 3PLs and contract manufacturers can help companies achieve their desired goals, and mitigate supply chain disruptions without compromising environmental stability. Collaborating with external service providers also helps in boosting the resilience of future ventures.
Product, platform and plant harmonisation
Streamlining is an effective way of ensuring supply chain resilience. In this regard, companies are often encouraged to standardise the components of the means of production, including the platform and plant that allows companies to seamlessly move products across networks and efficiently process supply chains. In addition to minimising the risks of supply chain disruptions, harmonising products, platforms and plants is also reflected in end-to-end transparency, improved opportunities and sourcing policies between manufacturing networks, and supply chain resilience.
With supply chains serving as one of the most crucial aspects of business operations in present times, it is vital for companies worldwide to adopt measures that contribute toward strengthening supply chain resilience, while simultaneously optimising production capacities for companies. Improved supply chain management by mitigating disruptions has allowed companies to avoid business risks, respond quickly to potential disruptions and secure assets, as well as improve end-to-end transparency.
Sign up for the Advanced Certification Program from Imarticus to unlock your potential in Supply Chain Management. You might also want to look into other supply chain management courses from Imarticus Learning and begin your journey as a Supply Chain Analyst.