Supply Chain Trends for 2015

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Supply Chain Trends for 2015Supply chain trends are quickly changing and their impact on manufacturing industries around the globe in the 21stCentury cannot be underestimated. This vast change is the result of changing dynamics, some of which include the change in consumer expectations, intense global competition and limitations on time to market. The rise in internet use and mobile marketing has also had a huge effect on supply chains.

To cope with the requirements of today’s supply chains, you have to improve your customer supplier relationship. You must a cordial relationship with your trading partners in order to have a clear understanding of what their needs are and come up with different solutions for any challenges that may arise.

Even though you are in full control regarding what trend your business will adopt in 2015, there are these 3 supply chain trends that you shouldn’t ignore. These are the marketing supply chain, technology advancement and corporate social responsibility. These 3 aspects will most likely help to keep your business afloat in terms of managing inventor.

The Marketing Supply Chain

The marketing supply chain mostly involves partners from inside and outside the business organization. These are usually sales representatives, brand managers, marketing agencies, customers, dealers, and distributors just to mention few. Marketing the supply chain is significant because it helps firms attain a strategic position that allows them to compete in the fast growing global market. In today’s market, manufacturers have no other option than to adopt new operational tactics in order to meet the needs of the ever rising number of customers worldwide.

Supply chain marketing has three major objectives in any business;

-Reducing investment on inventory.

-To increase customer service by increasing the available stock and at the same time decrease amount of time used to order.

-Improving customer value.

Any business that hopes to have an effective and practical supply chain has to concentrate more on the important marketing pillars, which are the customers, profitability and use of coordinating marketing strategies. If your business has gone global or you are planning to enlarge your business territories, you must understand that your customers will significantly increase. However, if you poorly coordinate with your suppliers, marketers and other important people in the business, you might fail to gain the set profit. Marketing chain supply achieves these goals by strengthening the business relationship that exists between manufacturers’ and suppliers, which in turn helps to improve the internal flow of communication and creates transparency within the business.

Technology Advancement

Anyone business savvy person can attest to the fact that the supply chain has greatly changed over the last 20 years a. As technology continues to advance, it has greatly impacted our lives and other aspects of our environment, including supply chain management. These days, there is increased awareness amongst customers, their demands have also increased and they are surer of what they really want. In today’s market, customers can demand for goods from any store from any region in the world due to the increased number of shipping services. As a result, they have developed a certain character of impatience that has forced suppliers to do their best to meet the needs of such customers. In the past, issues such as these were not as rampant.

With increased use of collaboration platforms, business can easily keep their customers informed. This in turn has increased customer expectations. One can say that the increased use of technology has made the supply chain more complex, promoted increased competition globally and revolutionized how business owners handle their inventory. With use of RFIDs, firms are able to provide the right products to the right customers and at the right time. This is unlike the days that businesses used to use barcodes; RFIDS have now made businesses more reliable and efficient by making real time information available whenever it is required.

However, not all impacts of use of technology in supply chain are positive. For instance, cyber security is still an issue. Over the past few years, business owners have experienced several security breaches in their supply chains. Most experts agree that it is quite possible to have security and privacy cracks as a result of cyber-attacks. It is therefore right to conclude that even though technology has brought a wide range of benefits, security still remains an issue that must be addressed adequately.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate social responsibility deals with a firm’s involvement in their immediate environment. It is a very important and fast rising aspect of the supply chain. The way a business interacts with the community says a lot about its commitment to their well-being. It will also help to determine how the society is going to perceive the business.

In order for a business to practice the best form of corporate social responsibility, it has to do it in a systematic way that will benefit both the society and the firm. You must keep your social responsibilities simple to avoid a point where they might become too complex for your business to handle. Before making any decision, ensure you have carefully analyzed all the ethical aspects. Always remember it is important to corporate with the society and making contributions in any way possible, but also don’t forget to stick to your principles even when carrying out such activities. For instance if you are meeting with a new supplier, remember to clearly indicate your expectations from them.

When dealing with suppliers, always ensure you get the best for what you pay for. For instance, you can ask the supplier what they would like done; this will most likely prompt them to offer their best when dealing with you. Due to the increased globalization, you can also use your buying power to your advantage by creating positive influence in different countries. This will help to give you the leverage you need to operate in on developing countries, where they will likely want to deal with you. Most customers and businesses look at a firm’s ethical achievements before deciding whether to do business with them or not. It is therefore important to ensure that your social achievements are known by your partners and every other person that you might get into business with.

Justin Velthoen

Justin Velthoen

Justin Velthoen has 20 years of supply chain experience, from food distribution to manufacturing, to systems management and implementation. His primary focus is helping businesses realize the cost savings directly to their bottom line.

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