Effective supply chain relationships lead to successful supply chain operations. Product design, manufacturing, transport, warehousing, inventory management, distribution and retailing – in a modern supply chain these operations cut across departmental, organizational and national boundaries.
The effectiveness of your day-to-day operations will be directly impacted by the quality of the relationships at these boundary interfaces as will your ability to conceive, plan and implement innovative operational solutions to real world challenges that deliver competitive advantage over competing supply chain configurations.
Managing risk in the supply chain is a strategic capability when the components and ingredients for the products you make are sourced globally from places that may be susceptible to natural disasters, political instability or organizational disruption. You need to be able to proactively identify and quantify these risks, put in place mitigation plans and actions and set recovery time objectives that protect your customers, your stakeholders and ultimately your business.
Today, even small and medium sized companies are facing these challenges of inter-organizational, cross-border coordination and risk management. These were previously the concern of the multinational corporation but not any longer. For many, this presents a new and daunting set of challenge that requires new skills and ways of thinking about business, competition and cooperation.
Nonetheless, it is a challenge that is worth taking on enthusiastically and with confidence. Maybe it is finding new competitive suppliers, maybe leveraging the capability of a logistics service provider, or establishing distribution channel partners in a new international market. Whatever it is, those companies that can identify the opportunities presented by the ongoing developments in technologies, deregulation and transport capabilities will reap the rewards of delighted customers and businesses that are growing and profitable.