It is challenging to make supply chain predictions in today's dynamic economic and political environment. However, supply chain issues have troubled the
manufacturing industry for the last two years. As a result, it has been busy and often difficult for many facing numerous obstacles and disruptions resulting in backlogs and bottlenecks. In addition, labor shortages have been commonplace, adding to the difficulties.
Here are a few ways to be prepared for 2023 and to overcome supply chain challenges:
1. Inventory Control
Even during the best times, tracking your inventory is essential. With frequent supply chain shortages, knowing what you have in stock and what needs replenishing is critical. If you have reasonable inventory control and reporting, you can handle running out of items you cannot restock. Keep in constant communication with your inventory team so you can be the first to know about disruptions.
2. Increase Inventory When Possible
Increasing standard inventory levels is only sometimes possible. Businesses must consider budget, time, labor, and physical space. There are several ways to improve your inventory:
Restock when supplies are available
Stock up on deeply discounted items
Expand your current storage or consider renting storage space for additional inventory
Outsource storage, packing, and shipping if possible.
3. Be Flexible and Investigate Local Alternatives
With an unpredictable supply chain, you never know when a specific product will become unavailable—possibly at short notice. So be proactive and anticipate such problems by researching local manufacturers and suppliers. Also, it helps to research alternative suppliers, preferably in different locations. You can also be creative about offering alternative options for your customers.
4. Use Efficient Supply Chain Management Tools
The latest automation tools can help you stay on top of your supply chain and plan efficiently. For example, companies can use supply chain management (SCM) software to manage inventory for multiple departments and locations. This software tracks and manages inventory and shipping while reporting on the fastest-moving products.
5. Be Transparent With Your Customers
Be transparent about any shortages or delays with your customers. Explain on your website that circumstances beyond your control may cause delays. Customers want to be reassured, rather than expecting something to arrive in a few days and instead waiting a month.
6. Stay Informed
Supply chain disruptions can be predictable. However, the situation may differ depending on your location and industry. In addition, supply chains can be affected by politics, the economy, or weather. Stay current with trends in your industry and with
news affecting your products. If you anticipate a shortage, you can take the appropriate steps, such as finding alternative products to stock.
The future of supply chains is yet to be determined. Many issues may continue to cause disruptions. Luckily, local manufacturers like us do not typically face supply chain issues because all our custom products are made right here in Mebane, North Carolina. Be proactive, study your data, look for local manufacturers like Broadsight Systems, suppliers, and products, and always keep your customers informed.