The supply chain is in flux. The pandemic changed a lot about the modern economy, and one of its major impacts has been on the global supply chain.
For decades, companies in the U.S. have outsourced manufacturing to Asian countries because of lower labor costs and an increasingly skilled workforce. But pandemic-caused disruptions of the global supply chain have shown that there are major risks with this strategy. Recent advances in technology for both supply chains and manufacturing have created opportunities to relocate production and manufacturing closer to end users and make supply chains more efficient and resilient.
This post will illustrate how you can transform your supply chain and create growth by leveraging technology and people to increase your efficiency and profitability.
The Right Technology
Investment in logistics technology has been growing and there are a myriad of technology tools available for warehouse management, transportation management, fleet telematics, routing management, etc. for businesses of all sizes.
Warehouse Management System (WMS)
A warehouse management system is both the software and processes that help companies run their warehouse operations from the time raw materials or goods are received until they are shipped out. A WMS ensures that everything moves through the warehouse quickly and efficiently and handles receiving, putaway, picking and packing for shipment, and inventory management. A WMS tracks everything using barcodes and scanners, or radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, to ensure the business know what it has and where it is.
Transportation Management System (TMS)
A transportation management system is software that helps businesses plan, execute, and optimize their inbound and outbound shipments of raw materials and finished goods. This includes carrier rate management and selection, shipment routing, delivery tracking, documentation, and reporting and analytics.
To increase efficiency, consider warehouse automation systems such as autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), robot pickers, and automated conveyor systems. As workplace staffing issues persist (and increase) these solutions can augment a human warehouse staff and allow them to be more efficient and accurate.
Technology should help further your supply chain strategy and the detailed insights provided by these tools can help you leverage technology to create a visible, intelligent supply chain, which in turn will create more meaningful relationships with business partners and maximize your profit.
The Right People
Having the right technology in your supply chain is useless without the right people to develop actionable strategies and make decisions using the data and insights the tools provide. The right people, using technology properly, can deliver cost reductions, more on-time pick-ups and deliveries, as well as have the ability to measure success and improve your overall supply chain process.
Invest in Your People
Supply chain personnel often juggle multiple responsibilities and wear many hats. Plus, with technology constantly changing, it’s vital to have a well-trained staff. Consider adopting a formal training program that includes specific role training, cross-training, coaching and mentoring, as well as frequent external courses that focus on industry trends and developments, and training on all new software and technologies you use.
Younger Professionals are Important
Millennials and Gen Z are important, so adopt a strategy to attract and retain them because population trends show that as older, more experienced workers retire, there are not enough people to replace them. These tech-savvy professionals bring a fresh perspective but have strong preferences for flexible working arrangements. If you want these two generations as part of your workforce, flexibility is key.
Experienced Professionals are Important Too - Create a Mentoring Program
Education, co-ops, and apprenticeships can only teach so much and experienced supply chain workers have a lot of knowledge to share so make sure you facilitate knowledge transfer.
The Right Strategy
Finally, you need the right supply chain strategy in place.
Reactive vs. Proactive Supply Chain
With the right technology and the right people in place, organizations can transform their supply chain operations to be proactive and not simply reactive to customers and conditions. Analytics that inform data driven decision-making provide a level of insight that can anticipate customer needs and alert the organization to possible issues before they happen.
A Customer-First Experience
Using technology and the data it provides, a digital-minded supply chain can completely transform the customer experience. Creating end-to-end supply chain visibility and coupling it with data-driven insights means that customers will view your organization as a leader and will trust your expertise and recommendations, creating a deeper business relationship.
Jarrett helps our customers transform their supply chain with a combination of technology, people, and the right strategies to drive efficiency and profitability. Contact us to learn how we can help you transform you supply chain by calling 877-815-0279 or by visiting