Supply chain management traps to watch for


Supply chain management can be a tricky practice for any company looking to introduce a product to the market as quickly and efficiently as possible. There are many factors that can slow the process down, and a recent CFO Magazine report highlighted several such traps that all firms should address.

"Virtually all organizations today are managing a global supply chain, whether they realize it or not," Shawn Casmore wrote for the industry news provider. "In consideration of this, there are several risks that must be managed and mitigated to minimize exposure and ensure success."


1. Price misconception

It's important for a company to be aware of what it is spending for certain areas of its supply chain. For example, completely outsourcing one process or another may seem like an effective way to cut costs, but according to CFO, the company must also be prepared for any issues that may arise when relying too heavily on a third party.

In the end, the organization could spend more to fix the problem.

So instead of focusing solely on costs, companies should also consider the level of service they are paying for, the CFO report argued.

2. Timing

Sure, time is always of the essence and any company wants to get its products on the shelves of retailers as quickly as possible. But, as is the case with costs, the time it takes to finish the process shouldn't be a company's lone priority.

Interruptions can happen and the entire process can be delayed. That's what happened to Boeing, according to CFO, as the company filled more than 800 orders for Dreamliner 787. Most of the transactions were set to be completed in 2007, but many are yet to be fulfilled due to delays caused by new processes introduced to Boeing's supply chain.

3. Intellectual property

Today, information is among the most important and valuable assets of any organization. And for a lot of companies, much of that data is in the form of intellectual property.

According to CFO, companies must be careful about the suppliers they use, because a global supply chain presents many opportunities for the loss of intellectual property and trade secrets. The information should not be entrusted to just any company.

Overall, experts agree that supply chain community management is becoming an increasingly important practice for companies both large and small. These days, it seems that global supply chains are utilized by nearly all organizations