How to: Supply Chain Optimization
November 16, 2018
According to the Shippabo platform, 79% of companies with optimized supply chains outpace their competitors. Sounds like it is worth optimizing, right? But what exactly does “optimized” mean? This blog will show you what an optimized supply chain entails to put you on the right track.
Supply chain management is all about your ability to control your supply chain, and managing the supply chain is all about people – how they interact with you, with each-other, with suppliers and service providers, and with technology. So, with this in mind, we have compiled a list of a few things you can do to optimize your supply chain:
- Technology: Over the last 10 years, technology has advanced. Luckily, for the average importer, improving one’s supply chain has been made that much easier given tech developments like intuitive communication tools such as Skype and WhatsApp; innovative software such as Apps too numerous to mention; improved hardware for quality assurance such as web-linked cameras in factories; automated inventory management systems and tracking systems for logistics. The hard part? Selecting the best technology toserve your supply chain’s needs when there are a ton to choose from on the market. There are plenty of new ways to minimize repetitive and time-consuming tasks with modern day software created for businesses like yours.
- Benchmark: Maybe you have a factory that you prefer to use, or a factory that you’ve used for years that works, but often times importers stick with what works and are afraid of losing it. Importers don’t realize they could be saving money, or get a higher quality product by finding new suppliers. Investing a little more time and money in benchmarking factories could either confirm that your current supplier is the best fit for you, or reveal possible savings in either time, money, or even discovering other unexpected benefits. Remember: you can’t find if you don’t look for it.
- Focus on what YOU do best, and let others do the rest: You wouldn’t prepare your own business taxes, or file lawsuits on your own company’s behalf. Most business owners hire CPAs and attorneys for this type of work so they can focus on running their own day to day operations. So why not hire a professional to manage your supply chain? We would highly recommend hiring an agent or team of professionals to help manage your China sourcing operation so that you can focus on what you do best— running your US operation.
- Analyze: Do a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis to help identify what you can do to optimize your supply chain. In doing this analysis, you will see where your supply chain stands, and how you can project plan for optimal results. To learn more about SWOT analysis, check out our previous blog post.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to optimizing your supply chain. Every importer and industry has different challenges and so will have different solutions and opportunities, but how you use these solutions is how you stand apart from your competitors.
What steps do you take to optimize your China supply chain? Share your solutions with us in the comments below.
By Jocelyn Trigueros