December 3, 2019

Why Supply Chain Resilience Should Be a Priority for Your Business

As supply chains become increasingly more complicated and globalised, the scarcity of resources and rapid technology transformations affects their every point. This assertion gives rise to the need for managers and logisticians to periodically test their supply chain’s resilience.

The good news is that increasing the resilience in your supply chain can lower expenses and increase revenue by identifying the disruptive risks to your operation. You can accomplish this goal by taking a new approach to managing the opportunities and challenges that exist.

Benefits of supply chain resilience

While it may sound like playing defence is the key, it’s also about establishing an excellent offensive strategy as well. Supply chain resilience, in and of itself, creates an automatic competitive advantage for companies who focus on this area and execute it well. Maintaining a focus on sustained performance is critical to a company that wants to remain agile and operations-focused. Balance is the optimal solution.

Companies are also better positioned to respond to adverse events faster when they focus on resilience. However, it’s digitisation is now placing different needs than companies have experienced before. And in many cases, companies are experiencing difficulty melding these two facets of supply chain management cohesively.

Testing your company’s supply chain resilience

Testing your company’s supply chain resilience is a critical step in assessing where you currently are in relation to an ideal model. The problem is that testing your supply chain’s resilience is no easy task, and there isn’t much ‘how to’ information on the subject since resilience testing is different for every industry. For example, food and pharma companies may find meaning in looking at their data logging, condition monitoring, data collection, and analysis efforts while non-temperature controlled products do not.  However, newer, more conceptual frameworks are being developed and may help your organisation forge ahead through risk management.

The Supply Chain Resilience Framework attempts to define what optimal resilience performance looks like across the entire supply chain network. The new framework seeks to balance a supply chain’s capabilities and vulnerabilities, which is really smart and makes sense from every angle. Optimal performance occurs when the capabilities of your organisation are able to handle potential vulnerabilities. Any deviation away from this balance is known as the resilience gap, which drains profits and raises costs.

If this sounds way too complicated for a smaller operation to handle, you might be right, but it’s not without the potential to at least assess where you are in terms of fundamental resilience. You can even take a 21-point assessment offered by the Fisher College of Business located known as the Supply Chain Resilience Assessment and Management (SCRAM™) tool. It’s a feature that can quantify your resilience while providing you with a list of benefits and opportunities found within your specific supply chain resilience improvement plan.

4 Tips for improving supply chain resilience

Once a basic understanding of how resilient your supply chain has been established, now, it’s a good time to start implementing techniques that you can use to facilitate your company’s goals while mitigating risk. Here are some simple ways in which to accomplish this task:

1. Understand the risk your suppliers pose

Knowing who you are going to work with is pretty essential. While a lot of deals are made on a handshake and contract, finding the right supplier takes time. You can improve your supply chain’s resilience by assessing supplier risk. You can evaluate them based on credit, data security, and their own resilience. This activity gives you a more in-depth insight into what types of threats they may pose for your operations.

2. Create realistic response plans for the unexpected

Response plans are so important, yet so overlooked. A response plan is your organisation’s proposed course of action in the face of adversity. It’s not enough to simply identify that risk or threat exists. Instead, you and your team must be prepared to respond to adverse events as they happen.

3. Plan for future events and occurrences

It’s relatively easy to put long-term planning on the back burner when there are several short-term needs. However, your ability to manage a resilient supply chain must take into account future needs. By its very nature, supply chain management is a marathon that everyone wants to see sprint. One of the best recommendations for improving your efficacy is by building quality long-term relationships that involve mutual trust.

4. Take your supply chain digital

You are likely bored to tears about supply chain digitisation. However, you keep hearing about because there is an incredible discrepancy in market need and actual implementation. Digitisation is the single most important tool you can incorporate to effectively increase supply chain resilience. It works by automating tasks, creating consistencies, and freeing up your human capital to work on other business areas.

Final thoughts and considerations

Supply chain resilience is your organisation’s ability to ‘bounce back’ after negative events due to weak links in the chain. Companies who are more resilient actively engage in testing and improving their ability to respond to external forces as well as mitigate internal occurrences. There are several ways to approach this area of supply chain management. However, it’s digitisation that is taking over for the long-haul, and agile companies must prepare now before breakdowns in the supply chain occur. 

Become more resilient with Logmore

Did you enjoy this article? If so, you may be interested in out our other posts that relate to levelling up your supply chain management game. Make sure you check out these on Top Things to Consider in Order to Choose a Secure System and Digital Logistics: What Is It, and How Will It Impact Your Organization? We address the issues that matter to supply chain managers most.

Further, you can reach out to the Logmore team if you are ready to chat with us about how you can utilise data logging, condition monitoring, data collection, and analysis to make your supply chain more resilient. And we would be glad to get to know you. Book a meeting today to start discussing your options.

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