How are Supply Chains Fundamental to Success?

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Supply Chains have become the ‘go-to’ mechanism when “the going gets tough and the tough gets going” a term popularized by Billy Ocean, the then-famous eighties music performer. From the late-2000s Great Recession to the anticipated onslaught of Covid 19 on enterprises worldwide, organizations quickly resorted to supply chain methods to mitigate the impact of supply fallouts and escape the point of no return. However, supply chain management has not just been a lifeline and an avenger’s superhero in times of world tragedy.

Professionals in the sector have worked relentlessly to ensure that the business fulfils its objectives and remains afloat in the face of current economic and supply chain instability. Supply chains have been known to position their organizations towards a larger market share, locally, regionally, and internationally, by providing enhanced customer responses through autonomous means and playing a key role in developing and protecting an ethical ecosystem that their customers have. Here are a few supply chain techniques that are transforming the way business’s function, save money, and use technology.

1) Savings Equals Profit When Negotiating :

Supply networks are supposed to secure the organization’s coffers from the start. Therefore, we are conditioned to negotiate, not just the lowest possible price, but the best value for our recipients, commensurate with a price that is reasonable, ethical and along market lines.

Sounds complex, yet this skill has the potential to save you or cost you billions of dollars. Once you are successful, the billion you saved, might turn into profit for the company. Negotiating with a plan before the participants get down at the table provides your business power and a comprehensive vision of what can be accomplished, and results in a favorable conclusion. While the company might have saved some money, the possibility of collaboration is also a plus when win-win goals are pursued.

2) Supply chains, the ethical gatekeepers :

Action against unethical practices often requires supply chain organizations and their supplier counterparts to tackle these issues head-on. From modern-day slavery to poor working conditions, corruption, and in recent times, debt bondage, have driven supply chains to step up their auditing regime and even adopt blockchain technology to help curb and eventually eradicate this problem. Many organisations, particularly house hold names(see figure 1.1) have taken the lead in actioning Poor Working Conditions, an issue that can affect the quality of goods and services, the organizations’ goodwill, and most importantly, the social context of the workers affected. As for the benefits to the enterprise when supply chains adopt thorough due diligence to combat ethical issues, a recent survey by EY has reported that 51% of professionals claim that ethical focus will boost their corporate reputation while 31% believed that it would minimize the risk of litigation actions.

See the full report below :

3) Adopting an autonomous ecosystem :

Real-time is not just an unrealistic business slogan. Realtime means just that, and the customer will be holding you to this performance indicator. Technology has been able to ramp up production throughput for speedy delivery and shorter assembly time, while electronic

commerce, through omnichannel strategies has afforded customers to access a multitude of services from their mobiles without taking a stroll to their neighborhood brick-and-mortar outlet. Such convenience has cultured customers’ behavior towards demanding instantaneous feedback and end-to-end accountability. Again, organizations are reliant on supply chains to invest in the right business intelligence platforms with AI features that are capable of tracking and anticipating customer demand and preferences. In a recent study conducted by EY (see figure 1.3 below), we have witnessed several organizations (34%) now in the process of transitioning into a fully autonomous mood. It is expected that this trend will increase overtime as more organizations will eventually achieve full digitization.

Figure 1.3

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