Supply chain management lessons from leaders


supply chain managementRunning the operations of all aspects of a supply chain can be challenging for many companies. A disconnected supply chain will suffer expensive delays and setbacks if information is not accessible to all managers and teams. That is why companies are turning to supply chain management solutions and IT services to integrate all operations throughout a supply chain, creating clear channels of communication, increasing information accessibility and improving visibility for all participating workers and partners.

Without adequate supply chain management solutions in place, companies may find they are negatively impacted as a result of inconsistent decision making and disjointed communications. The recent economic downturn has placed greater strain on supply chain management solutions as companies seek new ways to cut costs and improve efficiency without major investment in IT infrastructure. Thus, companies are placing greater reliance on IT services and applications that unite operations from a single source and disseminates information across all networks and locations.

Big names set the tone

Spend Matters reported that many of the largest retailers in the world have had their share of supply chain mishaps or achievements. What these major setbacks or successes suggest is that no matter the size of the company, common supply chain problems can arise and threaten to disrupt all aspects of operations. Thus, companies in both large and small supply chains must invest in next generation solutions and IT services that address industry-specific concerns. This can enable them to prevent problems and learn from their mistakes.

The source reported greater efficiencies and innovative management processes are needed in the current marketplace to allow companies to remain competitive on a national and global scale. As supply chains become more complex, the solutions needed to manage the operations are adapting as well.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association's 2012 report on the State of The Retail Supply Chain examined best practices by some of the country's top sellers such as Best Buy, Dillard's and Target. These companies are constantly looking to cut costs at every corner, but also expand multichannel operations as shoppers are looking for multiple purchasing options. The need to build and enhance online platforms to aid in global expansion is forcing major brands to rework supply chain management strategies to remain competitive and achieve growth.