A company's supply chain can be a simple process or a complicated set of operations intertwined to create a product. While most businesses have a more complex supply chain, the need to reduce costs and increase efficiency is ever prevalent. Supply chains offer many areas of unnecessary spending that can go unnoticed due to complicated tasks, division of responsibility or reporting capabilities.
With each branch of the supply chain, and every time a link in the chain becomes more complex, there are increased opportunities to trim costs and boost overall performance. Therefore, executives must look for easy and creative ways to improve supply chain management and production, examining opportunities throughout the entire process.
Every company operating in a supply chain must deal with challenges in shipping and logistics. Smaller companies can be more vulnerable to increased expenses than larger corporations. If a small business has persistent disruptions in supply chain performance when moving products from place to place, resources can be drained and business can be lost to disgruntled customers.
"Supply chain disruptions lead to drastic increases in costs and losses of shareholder value, with examples of companies going bankrupt as a consequence," said Volodymr Babich, a professor of operations and information management at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business, in an interview with Entrepreneur magazine.
Entrepreneur reported one way to improve supply chain performance is to improve the packaging of items sent out for delivery. Many companies with a less-than-desirable packaging strategy wind up spending more than necessary on associated costs. They don't get to take advantage of the opportunity to engage shoppers with creative containers.
Many companies, after reviewing packaging practices, realize how unnecessary some of the materials and steps are when shipping items. Inappropriate packaging can include too much protection materials that encase the product, which not only costs a company money but also slows down processing and delivery times for customers.
As a result, many businesses are looking for more practical means of packaging products that leverages clever designs to increase product safety and security while reducing materials used. Many businesses are looking for eco-friendly materials to intrigue environmentally conscious customers, while others are investing in unique packaging designs that focus on efficiency and resource reduction.
Once packaging has been perfected, companies can focus on trimming costs in delivery operations. Many businesses will send out products as orders come in, without considering how effective trucking planning could increase cost efficiency. If a trucking schedule is designed to ensure distribution of certain products to specific regions, companies can enjoy reduced shipping costs and accelerated delivery of products to customers.