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Supply (176)

Maintenance and Your Supply Chain

The year 2020 was indeed a nightmare for supply chain managers. With the COVID-19 pandemic on sight, global logistics chains and networks were disrupted at an unprecedented scale. The same was the case in 2021. While things had improved a little, supply chain companies and providers still faced countless challenges. Despite the challenges witnessed, businesses went through a steep learning curve, which highlighted the importance of optimizing operations that rely on vendors or risk further uncertainty and disruptions. While production relies heavily on a steady supply of supplies, a supply chain is also critical for maintenance, which needs a regular supply of spare parts. Lack of an optimal maintenance strategy leads to holdups and delays in production, which will have costly effects on an organization's supply chain. Therefore, the lack of a maintenance strategy will significantly impact your supply chain and logistics.

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The Supply Chain May Be Opening Up

The disruptions in global supply chains in the past three years were unprecedented. It led to soaring inflation across many parts of the world. This has forced central banks to change their policy stance, raising interest and borrowing costs. Amid the pandemic, rising tensions in different areas in the world have worsened the situation. Furthermore, there have been a switch in demand for services and manufactured goods in the US and lockdowns that have reduced the manufacturing abilities in leading manufacturing hubs such as China. These two factors have occasioned supply chain disruptions never witnessed before. However, the good thing is that things are showing signs of easing. Here are some examples of changes being experienced that show that the supply chain may be opening up at last. 

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Deploy the Right Type of Supply Chain Control Tower

A supply chain control tower is often a confusing term to many in the market. It confuses with regard to what it actually means and its value to supply chain organizations. A supply chain control tower is a cloud platform focusing on providing end-to-end supply chain visibility and control. It integrates and extends existing ERPs, WMS and TMS systems with 3PLs, suppliers and manufacturers, and other partners. This integration provides visibility, actionable insights and operational control across the supply chain. Furthermore, it reduces lead times and inventory costs and helps mitigate exceptions while increasing the percentage of orders delivered on time and in full.  

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Supply Chain Strategies to End the Year

Supply chains determine the failure or success of businesses. Similarly, a good supply chain strategy with a well-thought-out marketing plan and an efficient inventory management strategy must be in place if a supply chain has to work properly. The success of a business is also determined by supply chain management, which is all about ensuring reliability and redundancy in the procurement process. From the COVID-19 pandemic, we drew many lessons regarding the vulnerabilities in the current supply chains. These lessons show supply chain strategies to end the year that will help you overcome vulnerabilities caused by demand surges, shipping challenges and other potential external factors.

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Some Basic Questions About Supply Chain Answered

The supply chain is like a circulatory system for a business. It is the only way that facilitates the process of transformation of time, labour and raw materials into finished and market-ready products that consumers can buy. Although the processes involved are complex, putting the right strategy in place can help reduce costs and increase production speed. The key to developing an efficient and well-oiled supply chain machine is putting the right people in the right places. This begins with identifying the right talent and hiring them. Below are some key interview questions that will help you in your journey to build a strong supply chain team.

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The Just-In-Case Revolution

The just-in-time revolution of the ’80s brought demand-driven, agile, and lean processes to manufacturers. It resulted in over four decades of economic prosperity for the global manufacturing and distribution sectors. However, this success was based on many factors: reliable demand data, a strong buyer market, ample raw material, and dependable transportation. The world we live in today, however, has changed. Every day, we hear of supply chain disruptions, new consumer behavior, geo and political events that are changing the conditions under which supply chains operate. I see a new upheaval coming, the just-in-case revolution, where supply chain leaders must understand uncertainty better, build more options, sense and respond faster.

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US Gov Reports Progress in Resolving Supply Chain Issues

Outsourcing production to other countries where products such as clothes, computer chips, medicine and computer chips was once a simple thing to do. It led to value through design capabilities in other countries and low cost of production. Many businesses used inexpensive labour abroad to assemble products and global distributors who would manufacture and deliver materials for American firms. However, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen massive challenges in the supply chain, which have stressed the movement of products to unprecedented levels. With other challenges such as high levels of supplies coming to the US, geopolitical disruptions, the pandemic itself and the aging infrastructure, there have been unprecedented challenges in global markets, most of which are caused by disruption of supply routes.

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Build More Resilience into Your Supply Chain  

Risk management is one of the critical areas in supply chain and procurement. At the heart of this is the development of resilience of strategies to safeguard supply chains, ensuring business continuity. With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it is clear that the lack of a comprehensive resilience plan can lead to challenges of high magnitude for businesses. As such, it is crucial to have a plan that comes into play if a problem, such as a disaster, occurs. Supply chain resilience is the ability of a supply chain to prepare for and adapt to unexpected events. The resilience plan, therefore, leads to the adjustment of the company to sudden disruptive events that adversely affect the supply chain’s performance. To continue functioning during and after disruption, an organization needs a resilience plan that has the following characteristics:

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China's Heat Wave and Zero-Covid Policy Felt World Wide in the Supply Chain Industry

Jin Zhuanglong, China’s new Minister for Industry and Information Technology is creating a plan that (if successful) will stabilize the country’s supply chain as Chinese economic growth slows. It’s no secret that China has faced their share of supply chain woes over the past few years. It started with the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 as many countries became frustrated with the manufacturing powerhouse as they were unable to keep up with the supply and demand of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) like N95 masks and gloves.

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Planning Your Supply Chain Strategy

The beginning of a new year is always the start of new challenges. It can be not easy to know where you want to go and the efforts that you need to put in for success. In the supply chain, it is difficult to put things in order and start a new year on a high note considering the events of the end year. As such, you need to develop concrete plans that will help you out of the confusion you are in and assist you make better decisions. Here is how you can build a strategic plan to propel your supply chain strategy.

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