As the old saying goes, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. That’s especially true of the supply chain, where even small errors or oversights can have a major impact on everything from production to customer retention and beyond. And you can’t have a resilient supply chain without having a strong team in place to support it.
Experience and expertise are important—but what intangible skills and everyday behaviors set high-performing supply chain teams apart from merely capable ones? Here are a few traits to look for in candidates and nurture in your existing team.
Agile and flexible
To manage a modern supply chain, teams can’t be afraid of change. In fact, they must embrace it—from being amenable to investing in and exploring new technologies to thinking on their feet in times of crisis.
As the last few years have made painfully clear, the pace and severity of change are only increasing. Geopolitical events, natural disasters, and other unforeseen circumstances can lead to sudden and disastrous disruptions—sometimes even causing whole supply chains to grind to a halt. In order to remain resilient in the face of complications and change, supply chain teams need to be flexible and agile.
These traits not only make staff better equipped to navigate crises but can help them respond to the industry’s constantly evolving landscape by trying new things. Veteran logistics specialists may possess a lot of knowledge, but if they are too set in their ways, they may struggle to embrace opportunities for improvement that can take a shippers’ operations to the next level.
Shipments get stuck in customs. Bad weather slows trucks down. Problems like this crop up all too often in the supply chain—but the best logistics professionals are able to anticipate them and put a plan in place to deal with them when they do.
Of course, some problems are beyond the scope of preparedness, which is where flexibility and agility come in. But teams can often save themselves—and their customers—a lot of trouble by planning ahead for hurdles and thinking through several potential solutions.
Collaborative and transparent
Top logistics professionals are acutely aware of all the moving parts involved in running a supply chain. They also know that silos within the supply chain are detrimental to getting products to market and in the hands of customers on time.
In order for a supply chain to be efficient and effective, collaboration is key. After all, it’s called a chain for a reason—the links need to be connected. That means team members need to be both highly communicative and unified in their ultimate goal of getting goods to their destination on time, in one piece, and at the right cost.
Improving visibility in the supply chain can help break down silos and aid collaboration, and there are a number of tools shippers can use for this, such as a robust transportation management system (TMS). But to make the most of this technology, teams need to possess a keen understanding of why visibility in the supply chain is so valuable—driving them to constantly improve it.
Augment your supply chain team
At CTSI-Global, we know that building a high-performing supply chain team is challenging. We also know that staffing needs can change as demand fluctuates, making many logistics managers hesitant to invest in more full-time team members—even when they’re badly needed.
Whether you only need support during a temporary spike or you have a specific skills gap to fill, our outsourced logistics management services can help. Our skilled staff can augment your in-house team for as long as necessary—and handle problems you might not have the time or resources to solve.
Build your supply chain dream team. Contact us today.