19 Jan 2024

Top 10 Proven Supply Chain Management Best Practices

From complying with ESG guidelines to delivering the finished consignment on time with zero carbon footprint, best supply chain practices ensure maximum efficiency at every stage of the value chain.

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We're living in exciting times. Each day around our big, beautiful world, we see headlines that promise to make our current time more happening and lay down the foundation for a future that is sustainable and equally rewarding for the generations who'll inhabit this planet of ours. From the shift in technology adoption to the consumer's evolved and conscious-driven buying pattern, the supply chain world has seen many catalysts that have made it adaptive and more relevant to the timelines it operated in.

In our current write-up, we'll focus on what makes the value chain ecosystem get the maximum efficiency and be resilient in the face of challenging disruptions. On what makes the supply chain management finalize the action plan ahead so that continuity can be constant. A blueprint that can result in an execution that can weather all challenges, from production to transportation, to aligning stakeholders and ensuring that their processes are both proactive and, at the same time, adaptive. Considering the fickle nature of the value chain world, let’s cover the question that’s been lingering for a while now:

Table of Contents

What are the supply chain best practices?

A diagram outlining supply chain management best practices
  1. Adoption of Automated Technology

    In a competitive market where companies are embracing latest tech to steer ahead, it is safe to say that traditional SCM methods don’t cut out for today’s highly volatile economy. Automated platforms like iTMS for logistics operations and IBP for upgraded collaboration are a few applications whose data insights prowess powered by AI & ML can help enterprises with more astute result-oriented planning powering their growth objectives. Not to mention, these platforms, apart from leveraging relevant working information, provide complete end-to-end visibility of the tasks they are overlooking, thus instilling a sense of advancement in how to approach ground execution without compromising on security and adaptability as and when needed.

  2. Set Clear Objectives

    While one can invest in a technological platform, its usage depends on whether the key objectives or the end goals of the application are decided first-hand or not. Often considered among the best practices in supply chain management, laying down the requirements from employers, suppliers, and customers can help decision-makers plan the course ahead. This also results in better usage of finance and keeping tabs on the actual tasks being achieved.

  3. Have an ESG-first approach

    To say building a green supply chain is the need of the hour would be a gross understatement. A comprehensive approach is one where ESG compliance is part of value chain process, too. A non-negotiable term from the optics of consumers; institutions not only have to be focused on their carbon footprint right from production to delivery of the finished product, but also have to ensure that working conditions to proper disposal of wastage in ethically accounted for. If the ESG principles are adhered to, then an organization sees an immense boost in its brand value, which invites positive attention globally from customers.

  4. Transparency

    Transparency of the processes is the key to judging a value chain's framework efficacy. With the inculcation of artificial intelligence, many business-as-usual tasks are now automated, allowing leadership to focus more on the strategic expansion of their organization. This also opens up avenues for streamlining the workforce for much-improved throughput. Another best practice in logistics and SCM involves IoT devices for complete visibility. Aiding transport management through real-time tracking, stakeholders find much firm control of the transit in process with the marquee tools. A planned maintenance schedule is another IoT virtue that bolsters a company's performance.

  5. Defined KPIs

    Any planned effort needs constant review. And effort translates far more convincingly if the key performance indicators are defined clearly. Acting as a metric to gauge the effectiveness of a plan, KPIs set in congress with key stakeholders can help management figure out what is working in their favor and what isn't. Parameters from OTIF, inventory turnover rate, and customer order cycle time, among others, are a few examples of indicators of supply chain processes.

  6. Enhance Demand Forecasting Process

    An enterprise's first pointer jotted down on the whiteboard is Demand Forecasting. If a leadership knows the exact number they are after, the planning and, most importantly, the execution will have a better chance at succeeding. With a clear picture ahead, a company can work on its infrastructure if required and look to upskill its workforce to match the intended target. This also holds true in the face of the variable demand cycles that leadership faces, allowing management to know the best course during uncertain periods. A business can avoid stockout or overstock situations by investing in a demand forecasting platform.

  7. Inventory Management

    There are days in the calendar year when the demand is at its peak and days when the same intensity isn’t noticed. To be smart with the capital that is invested, leadership has to be proactive about its inventory management. With the right solutions in place, logistics stakeholders can minimize waste, optimize their production, and better manage their subsequent inventory.

  8. Better Suppliers Relations

    To gauge how robust and resilient your supply chain network is, the best litmus test is your relations with your suppliers. The better the dynamics, the better the framework that optimizes cost and procures the right amount of products w.r.t customer demands. Not to mention, in case of a disruption, a good, diverse supplier network can help you scale operations during market volatility while ensuring that the goods are delivered at the right time.

  9. Risk Mitigation and Compliance Framework

    Resiliency, scalability, and revenue are terms that get severely impacted if there's a lack of risk mitigation framework. With disruptions being a normal course of routine for any organization, irrespective of the industry, having an SOS plan in the face of an anomaly can help a company recover well when faced with dire straits. This helps in having a proactive approach to avoid loss of revenue, business, and most importantly, customer's vote of confidence. In addition, having a compliance check keeps the company aligned with the regulatory framework and helps it nullify any penalty.

  10. Regular Review

    A diligent practice is to make sure that SCM has a regular review of the process in place. This not only finetunes your daily supply chain operations but also keeps the end-to-end process adaptable to new mechanisms that benefit objectives with better efficiency and resiliency. Organizations can have quarterly, biannual, or yearly reviews to see what new trends are being adopted by the value chain world and how management is adapting to nuanced customer demands. All this contributes to far more confident brand positioning in the market.

Successful modern supply chain management typically includes these practices to ensure smooth end-to-end operation. From production to consignment delivery, stakeholders can align the points in their approach to maximize their effort. These practices combine sustainability with resiliency that bolsters a solid base for scalable prospects for an organization.

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