Management of supply chain seems like a piece of cake until profitability and efficiency is brought into the mix. Your business will not be successful if the supply chain is poorly managed, no matter how good a product is. Supply chain comprises of multiple elements and each element has its own unique set of preferences and characteristics. These elements must work together in a synchronized way to get the desired results while keeping the customers satisfied and prices low. Overall success of the company depends heavily on the efficient management of this complex structure. It can be a challenging task to meet the customer demands and expectations while staying on top of the ‘volatile’ market.
In the context of economic development, growth opportunities in a specific industry within a particular region can be identified with the help of supply chain analysis. Each industry is a small segment of a larger supply chain. Industries are involved sequentially from the production of goods out of raw material to the manufacture, packaging and distribution.
Supply chain analysis aids the industries in a particular region to understand that how the main industry of the area is related with other industries both inside and outside the zone. After determining the way each industry fits into the chain of supply, strategic decisions on regional bases are made to seek, attract and retain certain types of industries and expand one’s own business.
Tools and Techniques
- Supply chain mapping:
Studying the way a particular industry fits into the overall supply chain is the first step of the supply chain analysis. Plenty of information is available on the internet for virtually any industry, so to kick start the analysis procedure, searching for a suitable supply chain diagram is advised.
It is easier to study the industries like wood products and forestry without much background knowledge but for identifying the component industries of other supply chains, more research may be required to gain insight about the process of production.
The key element of the supply chain mapping is the identification of specific codes that consist of different portions of supply chain. For instance, in forestry, the basis of its supply chain comprises of natural resources, logistics and wood products that are further subdivided into their respective elements. These resources can further be utilized for analyzing trends in employment, growth predictors, and specific businesses both in and out of the region.
- Gap Analysis
The major aim of the gap analysis of supply chain is to identify where the inputs of main supply chain industries are sourced. There are tools available to carry out this analysis by entering the name of relevant industries and region of interest; the tool will then display all the data relevant to the search. Large supply chains with huge share in the purchase being made in and out of the region attract other businesses due to the potential of investment opportunities. The industries that only provide input within the region need support in identifying the sources outside the region in case a significant event such as power shortage occurs within the region.
The businesses can make decisions with the assurance of long term benefits by taking an analytical route to study the management of supply chain:
- Get smarter and optimize the processes
Major disruptions in the supply chain process are eliminated and historical data is evaluated with the help of appropriate supply chain analytics that determine a set of KPI(s) and metrics for this purpose.
Improvements and modifications based on this data enhance the overall competence of a supply chain by decreasing the cost and increasing the customer satisfaction by providing consistent and reliable services.
- It’s all about the data
Calculated decisions are triggered by the analytical data that verify the predictions and trends and these decisions are backed up by proven, quantitative data. A competitive strategy of the company is shaped with the help of decisions that are based on the results of objective analysis. Any strategy that’s responsive and adaptable to the fluctuations in market and demand is capable of providing long term benefits and success.
- Contingency planning and risk evaluation
One of the chief principles of analytics is to identify the risks and their possible effect on the business. The aim is to predict and anticipate the adjustments that can be the reason for monetary loss and disturbances in service. The negative impact can be avoided and balance in business can be maintained by being vigilant and having the contingency plans in place.
- Boost the sales
The end goal is to sell merchandise for the generation of revenue. Any successful company must have profitable and efficient sales with necessary efforts for growth of business. Examining the essential factors and ongoing patterns for redundant stock or immature market and application of this data for accurate prediction plays a role in effective and more targeted sales and growth planning.
- Continuous improvement
Various factors such as suppliers with poor performance, disruptions in production of goods, delays in delivery and other negative events can lead to the downfall of a business. These processes can be optimized and quality of the service can be improved by investing in supply chain analytics. Resourceful and adaptable supply chain, synched with the existing expectations and demand, ensure consumer satisfaction and constancy as well as steady growth and overall productivity.
Proper analysis of supply chain can help the business to have a competitive edge over market fluctuations with the maximization of profit and enhancement of services with minimal risks.
The final objective of supply chain analysis is to create a targeted list of industries for making contacts and expansion of business which ultimately convinces them to establish their franchise in the region or to spot the firms that need support to gain access to the emerging markets in order to remain in the region. The methods and strategies mentioned above are a way to get highest benefit from analysis tools for business support and effective marketing.