Your supply chain can become an engine of growth for your business and holds the key to creating essential competitive advantage. A strong supply chain delivers on customer expectations and enables the business to grow and develop, creating a positive business culture and effective relationships along the way. But what does it take to develop a strong supply chain today?
Ethics and transparency
Ethics may not previously have had a big role to play when it comes to a strong supply chain. However, ethical issues, as well as sustainability and socially responsible business practices have become much more prominent (and important). The strongest supply chains reflect the brand’s take on these principles from beginning to end. This approach has two key benefits – it enables consumers to see genuine commitment to an ethical approach and it means that your business is working with likeminded suppliers. Choosing to work with suppliers whose ethical and sustainable principles align with your own is likely to create an environment of real innovation and connection. Transparency too has a big part to play in how well a supply chain functions today. Suppliers expect openness and transparency and when it isn’t there it’s often noticeably absent.
Fostering genuine partnerships
Relationships provide the basis for an effective supply chain, both the relationships with suppliers and also internal stakeholders. Many businesses forget about internal stakeholders when it comes to shoring up supply chain relationships but they can be as important as suppliers. So, it’s key to ensure that internal stakeholders are involved, especially where decisions are being made that will affect them, whether that’s on a financial basis or with respect to day-to-day operations. Suppliers are obviously key relationships that benefit a supply chain when they are carefully managed and genuine. Real partnership with suppliers fosters cost efficiency and the opportunity to innovate to the benefit of both parties. It also ensures that there is reliable, strong support even during the toughest of times.
Robust risk mitigation
Economic and political landscapes seem to change with great fluidity and this can create all sorts of obstacles and challenges for the average supply chain. That’s why it’s crucial to have robust risk mitigation in place to ensure that the business is both aware of the potential risks that could arise and also prepared to deal with them. Supply chain risk mitigation will vary from business to business depending on the areas of value and vulnerability. Marketing intelligence has a crucial role to play in giving businesses the tools to mitigate risk and to have a solid understanding of where the biggest problems could potentially lie. As systems and processes use increasing volumes of technology this is another area where risk assessment is key – and disaster recovery planning essential. Strong contractual management will also be essential, both for the business itself and also for the supply base.
If you’re looking to establish better logistics relationships we can help – we have more than 20 years experience in focused, flexible logistics solutions across a wide range of industries. Contact UCS today to find out more.