6 Steps to Developing Your Supply Chain Strategy

Stew Broward Head of PR (HelpResource)

Do you make or sell stuff? Then having a good plan for managing your behind-the-scenes supply chain is so important. But making that plan can feel hard and confusing – like trying to hike to the top of a big mountain!

The path to successful supply chain strategies has its twists and turns. The good news? We can guide you with a supply chain best practices plan that’s right for your business. Let’s do this!

1. Developing a Supply Chain Strategy: Get to Know Your Biz Inside Out

First things first, before you make any supply chain plan, you gotta understand what makes your business special.

Ask yourself good questions: What do we sell? Who buys our stuff? Why do they pick us instead of another company? Getting clear on these will make other choices way easier down the road.

You also have to map out how your business works behind the scenes. From start to finish, how does your product get made and delivered? Look closely at each step. See what works well or where stuff gets slowed down. Knowing your operations in and out will help your supply chain plan big time.

2. Supply Chain Planning Process: Map It Out

Okay, now that you’ve figured out your business, the next step is mapping your global supply chain. Your supply chain is all the partners that help you get materials, make products, store them, ship them, and sell them.

Make a big list of each company you work with from start to end. See what jobs they do for you. Look at their pieces of the puzzle. Understanding the full picture will let you make your process better. Ask yourself good questions like:

  •       What do we sell? What products or services?
  •       Who buys our stuff? Our target customers and markets?
  •       Why do they pick us instead of another company? What unique value do we offer?
  •       What business goals do we have? Growth? Cost? Speed?

Getting clear on these will make other choices way easier down the road.

You also gotta map out how your business works behind the scenes. From start to finish, how does your product get made and delivered?

  •       Look closely at each step in your production processes
  •       See what works well or where stuff gets slowed down
  •       Spot any bottlenecks where improvements could help
  •       Document roles for all employees involved

Knowing your operations in and out will help your supply chain plan big time.

3. Scout Out Challenges and Opportunities

Alright, time for the fun part! Now that your supply chain’s all mapped out, you can start spotting issues and chances to improve your plan.

First, be honest about past problems that limited your supply chain. Did stuff take too long to make? Were materials hard to get? Look at why, so you can find solutions.

Then look wider at new tech and ways others in your industry run their supply chains. You don’t have to copy them, but seeing what works can spark good ideas! Finding the potholes and shortcuts now guides your path ahead.

Your supply chain is all the partners that help you:

  •       Get materials and components
  •       Produce and assemble products
  •       Store inventory
  •       Ship goods to central warehouses
  •       Transport stuff to stores and customers
  •       Manage orders and transactions
  •       Provide customer and after-sales support

Make a big list documenting each company you work with from start to end. For each ask:

  •       What do they supply or handle for you? Their role?
  •       Are they easy to work with or cause issues?
  •       How much do they cost? Do they bring value equal to cost?

Understanding the full picture will let you make your process better.

4. Plot Your Road to Awesome Supply Chain

Now take everything you learned to chart a course to rockstar supply chain status! Start by setting goals for the next 3-5 years. Better speed? Happier customers? Lower costs? Set targets so you know the direction to head.

Look back at those behind-the-scene steps from before. Decide how to upgrade processes and technology to hit your goals. Make an action plan – what needs to happen first and who will do it? Share the plan so everyone’s on board! Having a good roadmap kicks things into gear.

5. Plan Like a Mountain Climbing Pro

Wrapping up your supply chain plan is like packing your bags for a big hiking trip. You gotta prepare supplies to handle anything on those steep trails!

To crush your supply chain, be sure you have the following:

  •       Good systems to connect data between supply partners
  •       Trusted partnerships for working smoothly together
  •       Regular process check-ups to improve all the time
  •       Employee training so everyone understands the supply chain
  •       Leadership support to fund important projects
  •       Back-up plans in case of unexpected trouble

With your plan and these basics covered, you’re ready to take it to awesome new heights!

6. Stay Focused on the Path Ahead

Here’s some pro advice from me and every world-class hiker and business leader: you won’t reach the peak with one single game plan. You need to focus, check progress, and move forward steadily to achieve big dreams.

Keep sharp oversight on how well you’re executing the plan. Update parts of it as you pick up speed. Get folks pumped up to drive success. Deal quickly with problems if they come up. And be ready to adjust course if situations change.

With steady leadership and everyone’s eyes on the prize, your supply chain gets stronger over time – taking your business right along with it! Adventure awaits.

Help Resource can provide comprehensive solutions

If after reading this post you feel overwhelmed tackling intricate supply chain optimization solo…take a deep breath. Our team at Help Resource exists to guide businesses like yours to supply chain success! We become trusted advisors and talent accelerators supporting both long-term strategic planning and reliable operations execution.

How do we deliver comprehensive solutions tailored to your needs? By offering flexible partnerships evolving alongside your multi-year objectives or changing priorities. Our suite of services includes:

IT Outstaffing

Our IT Outstaffing will help you find IT specialists who will fit right into your team. We can source, onboard, and train candidates to ensure that your tech team will have the best people to make projects soar.

Temporary Staff

Next, we strengthen organizational competency through experienced temporary professionals. Augment your teams with on-demand, seasoned talent across supply chain subfunctions without overextending budgets.

Our flexible temporary staffing services fill resource gaps, provide specialized knowledge, and advance time-sensitive priorities. They quickly strengthen everything from vendor relationship management, distribution optimization, training rollout, compliance auditing, new product launch preparedness, and beyond. Based on needs, we customize role profiles and responsibilities.

Outsource Staffing – Onsite or Remote Functions

Do you prefer outsourcing while benefiting from supply chain experts? We deliver tailored support solutions! Just determine the specific activities – supplier onboarding, import/export coordination, order/inventory processing, logistics control towers, etc. – you want to offload.

Then our talent reliably executes those high-impact priorities either integrated onsite or remotely for greater flexibility.

Project-Based Staffing – Timebound Initiatives

For seasonal or short-term projects, our analytical project-based staffing provides teams to make sure that all your tasks are covered.

In all talent partnerships, we combine technical expertise with a passion for continuous improvement – unlocking the possible for your supply chain. Let our customized workforce solutions strengthen every link in your chain!

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