Supply chain weaknesses can cause short and long-term issues that hinder your competitiveness and frustrate your customers. Fortunately, it’s easier than you may think to tackle vulnerabilities.
- Explore New Ways To Cut Costs
Regardless of what you sell, you’re probably eager to keep costs low without sacrificing service. Investigating opportunities in low cost country sourcing could be a smart option.
Working with companies that employ dedicated customs agents can help you take advantage of American foreign-trade zones that allow you to avoid paying the import and export charges you’d otherwise incur. You can then invest the money saved into enhancing your supply chain for the future.
- Diversify Your Supplier Network
Statistics show that China comprises 28% of global manufacturing. Perhaps you have some supply chain resources there, too. That’s not an inherently bad thing, but you should strongly consider how to diversify your supply chain when necessary.
Doing that makes your entire supply chain more resilient against future challenges. You cannot predict the future, but thinking ahead goes a long way in increasing preparedness. Making improvements could be as simple as investigating how to expand a network of resources to encompass several countries or regions instead of only one.
- Set and Uphold Expectations for Suppliers
Many entrepreneurs who have supply chain partners create scoring systems for those entities. They establish minimum performance standards for the companies and let them know the consequences for falling short.
Besides setting those expectations with your suppliers, engage in regular discussions with them. Determine what challenges they face, and consider whether you could do anything to minimize those obstacles. Having ongoing conversations with the members of your supply chain will make you more responsive if problems arise.
These three steps will get you off to a strong start in making your supply chain stronger. Results will not happen overnight, but if you follow best practices like these, you’ll be well on your way to becoming more successful.