In today’s supply chain, the most important thing you have to do is keep up with customer demand. Customers want product and they want them quickly, meaning that the supply chain has to be agile and ready to make a change at the drop of a hat. Two day shipping, high value shipping, and single item fulfillment are all normal for consumers, and the supply chain must be able to keep up with that demand. We have compiled a small list of actions to help your supply chain keep up with customer demand:
Focus on core competencies
Focusing on core competencies is one of the most beneficial things a company can do to keep up with demand. While it seems like trying to do more would be a great way to cut costs and increase efficiency, most times it does the opposite. By trying to complete tasks that your company is not built for, it can open the business up for more errors, accidents and less efficiency. By spreading employees too thin, companies usually feel the effects within weeks.
Working with third party providers is a great way to stick to what you do best, whether it’s manufacturing, wholesaling or providing a large or small retail experience for your customers. You can focus on your core competencies while the third party focuses on theirs: warehousing, fulfillment and shipping.
Have scalable resources
While it is important to have many resources at your disposal, it is equally important to have the type of resources that will help you succeed in today’s demand driven supply chain. Scalable resources are designed so that you can have plenty of support to help you meet demand during the busy times of business, as well as helping to lower costs when demand is not so high.
Some examples are: Temp agencies that can bring in experienced and quality workers when they are needed. Transportation options that allow for increased shipping capacity during busy periods, and 3PLs with flexible storage options that can grow and shrink with your inventory.
Get ahead during slow periods
Inventory demand usually fluctuates between months, seasons or holidays. When demand is high, companies spend much of their time trying to keep up with their customers. But what should you do when demand is not so high? Simply, get ahead. Getting out in front of customer demand is a great way to be sure that you have the right amount of inventory when it is needed.
Technology is the biggest advantage in any industry right now. Companies that are embracing the power of technology not only find themselves keeping up with demand, but flourishing at all times. Utilizing technology like big data and RFID can help to track and follow trends. 3D Printing and robotics can help to create better products as well as distribute them effectively. Finally, wearable technology (mobile devices, smart watches and smart glasses) give your employees information right at their fingertips without having to leave the floor.
Thanks for reading, be sure to check back every week to learn about the growing supply chain and logistics industry. To learn more about Murphy or 3PLs in general, be sure to contact us for more information.