There’s no one-size-fits-all formula for optimal supply chain management. After all, every shipper is different and faces its own unique logistics challenges and needs. There are, however, a few key factors that, when present, bode well for a supply chain’s success.
As you make decisions about your supply chain, keep the three S’s in mind: speed, service, and scalability.
The most successful supply chains are models of efficiency, with managers identifying and eliminating bottlenecks as soon as they crop up and taking advantage of technology that saves staff time. This includes automating time-consuming tasks to move orders from confirmation through to load tendering and beyond as quickly as possible, with minimal manual intervention from employees.
This speed also extends to the deliveries themselves. From using tools that optimize routing to designing distribution networks with efficiency in mind, supply chain managers that prioritize speed are focused on getting goods to the customer fast. But to ensure long-term success, this speed can’t come at the expense of quality, which leads to the second S…
A strong supply chain is one that provides superior and reliable service to customers. This encourages repeat business, customer loyalty, and word-of-mouth referrals to potential new customers.
But great service doesn’t just happen: it takes planning, coordination, and investment in tools that allow shippers to balance speed with quality, like a transportation management system. That way, supply chain managers can easily keep track of carrier performance, ensuring they’re not entrusting their goods—and their reputation—to carriers that are unlikely to perform at a high level. Honeybee TMS has robust event management capabilities, like pre-shipment visibility and in-transit tracking, shippers can also get proactive about communicating with customers, ensuring the right expectations are set.
Demand rarely remains static. It can fluctuate for a variety of reasons: economic dips and booms, time of year, increased competition, and so on. Sometimes shippers can see fluctuations in demand coming, but all too often, they’re taken completely by surprise. Being able to scale operations up and down to satisfy these shifts is key to staying in business.
For surprise upticks, having access to a variety of carriers that can be tapped at a moment’s notice can help shippers meet those surges and get goods out the door in good time. A TMS can help with this too, giving supply chain managers access to a wider pool of carriers than they might be able to manage on their own. The data that flows through the TMS can also help shippers improve their forecasting, making it easier to anticipate and prepare for surges.
If spikes in demand are expected to be temporary, partnering for logistics management services can be a highly cost-effective way to manage them. These solutions allow shippers to quickly scale up their operations without the long-term expense of hiring and training new employees, then scale them back down if circumstances change. In many instances, shippers ultimately decide to maintain these services even as their operations continue to scale upwards, recognizing the convenience and cost savings they bring. Which leads us to…
The extra S in supply chain success: Savings
Becoming masters of speed, service, and scalability can help shippers drive lasting success. But it’s the extra S—savings—that give them a real competitive edge.
At CTSI-Global, our industry-leading logistics technology and solutions are designed to streamline and enhance supply chain operations—while reducing overall costs. Set your supply chain up for success by contacting us today.