Expecting the Unexpected in Your Supply Chain
Unexpected occurrences continue to affect the supply chain, making proper preparation crucial. While internal and external disruptions can often make reactive strategies ineffective, a proactive and technological approach can prepare your supply chain for sudden obstacles.
Learn more about how to respond to supply chain disruption and how ParkourSC can help.
Notable Supply Chain Challenges
Modern demands and obstacles can interfere with your supply chain approaches. The following challenges can harm efficiency, visibility and other essential success factors:
- Increasing costs: Inflation is a growing problem worldwide, increasing prices for transportation, raw materials and many other supply chain components. Periods of economic instability cause inflation by creating material shortages. As products become harder to find, demand and prices soar, and higher costs make it more challenging to stay within budgets or maintain resources. If the economic uncertainty persists, prices might continue rising and cause long-term harm to the supply chain.
- Congestion: Congestion at major ports can create significant challenges for supply chains. These backups are often due to factors outside of your control, like natural disasters, labor strikes or malfunctioning equipment. They impair efficiency no matter your stage of supply chain operation. For instance, congestion might prevent raw materials from arriving to manufacturers on time, stalling production. The delays can also occur abruptly, making reactive measures ineffective.
- Low visibility: Visibility is vital for supply chains. A lack of visibility leads to higher risks, as you make decisions with limited information. Shipments might arrive late, creating delays in distribution and displeasing customers. Visibility struggles often indicate you need a more robust tracking solution.
- Digital transformation: Digital approaches are rapidly transforming business and supply chain techniques. From improved communication to data analytics, digital tools enhance many aspects of supply chain operations. However, digital transformations require significant time and resources to complete. Your team might need more time to understand new software, making it harder to meet deadlines. Training efforts can set back production rates, especially if many companies transform at once.
Limitations of Reactive Strategies
Without a resilient and proactive approach, your supply chain has to address challenges reactively. Reactive techniques address problems as they occur, meaning you don't prepare for them. You try to patch the issue and minimize damage but might be unable to resolve the core problem.
For example, you might abruptly learn of a raw material shortage. You can alert partners of the issue and explain you'll likely have production delays. The delays could cause distribution challenges and customer dissatisfaction, and you manage these as best as you can. If you don't change your approach, you remain unprepared for the next material shortage.
By using proactive ways to handle supply chain disruption, you can become more prepared to address sudden changes. For example, you could choose a software solution that monitors trends and demands more closely. Data-based insights provide a clearer picture of material availability, allowing you to make more informed decisions. You can anticipate shortages and plan more effectively, avoiding negative consequences.
How to Prepare for Supply Chain Disruptions
Supply chain disruptions are unavoidable. However, flexible and automated approaches let you react more effectively. Building a proactive plan and adopting the right tools can help you minimize risk.
Here are a few tips for how to deal with supply chain issues:
- Prepare for the unexpected: Internal and external disruptions can occur at any moment, from delayed flights to missing materials. While you can't control these mishaps, you can control how your organization responds. Enhanced visibility lets you anticipate potential delays. You could monitor shipping or material limitations throughout the supply chain, predicting how these can affect your operations. Then, adapt timelines to account for possible delays. The more advanced notice you have, the more you can prepare. As an example, you could lengthen lead times after seeing increased raw material shortages.
- Identify challenge areas: If you notice a few areas have frequent disruptions, dedicate more resources to their resolution. For example, one supplier might have consistent delays. You could lengthen your typical timeline to prepare for their delays, or you could look for a different supplier with more reliable performance. Data-driven software helps you locate areas that need improvement — you can use these tools to adjust your approaches and work more efficiently.
- Emphasize flexibility: Your supply chain should remain flexible. Instead of rigidly relying on one plan, develop multiple strategies in case of sudden changes. Prepare for common issues like congestion, shortages and over- or under-stocking. That way, you can address the problem with data-backed insights instead of scrambling for your next step.
- Focus on end-to-end integration: Fragmented operations make communication and efficiency much more difficult. Integrating every component of your supply chain allows for more visibility and accurate data. If your operations are stretched across multiple systems or applications, consider switching to an integrated, end-to-end solution. Integrated software solutions provide insights across all operations, from partner communications to distribution statistics. You can easily identify areas that need improvement and adjust your approaches to meet current challenges.
- Use modern technology: Technology continues to advance, and supply chains can use it to resolve modern challenges. For example, digital twin and artificial intelligence technology can simulate different operational scenarios. You can input your organization's information and view how potential disruptions could play out. These advanced technologies also offer in-depth insights, recommending strategies for resolution. You can build multiple plans, preparing your organization for a variety of possible obstacles.
Request a Demo From ParkourSC Today
Your strategy for handling supply chain disruptions directly impacts your success. Proactive and informed decisions can prepare your organization to meet business demands. With the ParkourSC Platform, you can increase transparency and agility across all operations.
Our digital twin software creates a digital model of your supply chain. This tool provides in-depth insights into every stage — supplies, manufacturing, warehousing and distribution. It defines relationships between locations, partners, sensors and more, allowing you to monitor everything as closely as possible. You can use advanced insight data to adjust underperforming areas, keeping your operations at the highest quality.
Request a demo from ParkourSC today to learn how you can transform your supply chain.