No business operates without encountering some speed bumps along the way. But when it comes to managing a global supply chain, even the smallest frustrations, when they crop up consistently, can have a considerable impact. And when these frustrations are shared among managers and staff across the board, finding practical and effective solutions should be a priority for every company—especially ones that want to stay ahead of the competition. Here are some of the biggest sources of frustration in supply chain management, and some simple strategies for alleviating them.
Obstructions to supply-chain visibilityA lack of end-to-end visibility is a problem plaguing many supply chain managers today. And the inability to maintain a comprehensive, birds-eye-view of operations isn’t just frustrating. It has the potential to severely impact a supply chain’s effectiveness and can spur a whole host of operational complications. Where blind spots exist, problems are inevitable—from avoidable delays to unnecessary costs. Implementing a robust transportation management system (TMS) is one of the easiest ways to centralize information and provide greater visibility across the supply chain. For example, a TMS allows leaders to curb rogue spending by letting them see what each individual facility is spending, no matter how spread out those individual facilities may be. If a regional location is overspending on premium freight or relying too heavily on pricey spot quotes, key stakeholders will know about it before it becomes a bigger problem than it needs to be. This can facilitate more proactive management—and allow supply chain managers to spot optimization opportunities.
Outdated and low-quality supply chain dataAnother common source of frustration for supply chain managers is the difficulty involved in getting high-quality, real-time data. When operating across disparate systems, data silos are inevitable. Receiving outdated, incomplete, or even incorrect data is a problem that can cause innumerable small- or large-scale problems for any company—let alone one dealing with a complex, global supply chain. Improving the flow of data across the supply chain is another core benefit of adopting a TMS. A fully integrated TMS will streamline and automate data collection across all of a company’s systems, allowing supply chain managers and leaders to quickly consolidate and analyze their data. And when this is combined with powerful business intelligence tools, extracting actionable insights from vast data sets is easy—enabling rapid improvements to be made.
Lack of much-needed skillsA supply chain is only as effective as the people overseeing it. But when companies are understaffed or don’t have enough employees with the right skills, they may struggle to keep up—let alone get ahead. Outsourced transportation and logistics management can help relieve this issue. By handing over some or all aspects of supply chain management to a trusted partner, companies can optimize their processes and put hours back in employees’ days—without relinquishing control. A partner like CTSI-Global can handle everything from freight claim management to international consulting, leveraging decades of experience and expertise to add more value every step of the way.
Underestimation of the supply chainAnother issue that can hold supply managers back is a lack of faith from higher-ups. Unfortunately, the majority of executives view the supply chain as a support function, rather than the growth enabler or competitive differentiator that it could be—with the right technology and tools. By making a compelling case for leading-edge technology, supply chain managers can bring their supply chain into the 21st century—and get ahead of the curve.
Better tech, less frustrationImplementing cutting-edge solutions like a TMS can dramatically ease frustrations—and boost the bottom line. Say goodbye to unnecessary aggravation and hello to a more effective supply chain. Contact CTSI-Global today to find out more.
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