Supply Chains are continuously morphing entities. Those who are therefore responsible for the oversight and management of a supply chain will find their work is never done, and is somewhat akin to cleaning windows on the Shard: you never complete the job. Continuing quests for efficiency are paramount, but it’s near impossible to say you’ve ever reached your goal. Therefore, it is essential to build resilient planning capabilities if you want to be sure of weathering the future, and continuing efficiencies regardless.
Factors That Create Ever Changing Supply Chain Goal Posts
The supply chain industry is certain of one thing – change. Every facet of the supply chain contributes to this changing nature. Customers are, by their very nature, whimsical creatures. Supply chains need to be ever-responsive to these demands. Then there are the unique characteristics to each specific chain – the players involved, the characters, the success at collaboration, the experience and facilities, as well as their objectives. Combine this with industry dynamics, which will vary but are key to each chain. Finally, there’s that big giant: technology. Supply chains experience radical change on a continual basis due to technology.
What is Resilient Planning? And Why Does Resiliency Matter to Supply Chains?
Resiliency in supply chains is all about having the structure and ability to not give up, but instead to flex and adapt as needed. It is the ability to recover from unexpected, or ‘painful’ change. Planning resiliency in to your supply chain management is central to its long-term success. Crucially, it comes from the top, from corporate culture. It is the ability to realise that the future is fickle and reflect this in your planning.
Fundamentally, for those responsible for supply chains, this requires flexibility and agility within all of the processes of the supply chain. On the ground this is dependent on having a workforce of people, from the top downwards – but also within collaborative partnerships – who are skilled and adept at analytics and communication. These key players are then able to feed through to planning with resiliency for every foreseeable and unforeseeable situation.
Long-Term Successful Supply Chains Are Resilient
Resilience in the face of change doesn’t just happen. It needs to be actively thought-about and built into every stage of planning. Through planning, you can ensure a supply chain’s adaptability to thrive and maintain efficiency whether there’s an earthquake that puts your parts factory out of action, or whether there’s a technological advancement that puts your warehousing in the dark ages. It’s about balancing contingency and forethought against current needs, requirements and expense.
In reality, few supply chain managers can potentially integrate resilient planning within the sheer weight of daily supply chain operations. It takes an umbrella view, and an in-depth understanding of the industry and the nature of the beast that can be hard to obtain whilst dealing with today’s efficiencies.
This is where experts in supply chain management come in. Consultants, such as the supply chain consultants at Paul Trudgian, are able to take a wider view of the industry and apply these understandings to build resilient planning for your supply chain and to ensure you’re not just successful and efficient today, but successful and efficient tomorrow.