A strategy is a crucial part of any business, and it is even more important when thinking about a complex system like a supply chain. The term ‘strategy’ is often confused with what it’s not, or is considered to be a vaguely-meaning fancy word. However, businesses with a well-thought-out, long-term strategy reach and exceed their goals and are better at surviving turbulent times, compared to short-sighted management techniques.
Supply chain management strategy is a set of decisions, choices, and ways of management that bring the most efficiency at a lower cost and protect the company from certain risks. Strategy in supply chain management involves deciding on supply chain structure, working models, suppliers, level of agility, products and locations, partners, transportation strategy, and more.
One of the key aspects of efficiency in supply chain management is demand-driven decision making. Bringing predictability into your supply chain can boost profitability and lower manufacturing costs. Predictable planning means investing in talents and technology to enhance analysis and data-driven conclusions that will allow you to forecast changes in demand and trace key trends in the market.
Recent events have shown that you cannot predict certain things, and market conditions are changing too fast. That’s why the most prominent strategy for modern businesses is building resilience and flexibility throughout their supply chains. This includes a variety of suppliers and partners, agile inventory, better cooperation between parts of the supply chain, and more. Rigid structures are fading away because flexibility lets you adopt new strategies faster, and survive shuffles in the market.
In order for a supply chain to be resilient, it has to be integrated. From production to retail, cross-cooperation in the supply chains is the cornerstone of efficiency. The more transparent and accessible operations and interactions within the entire structure are, the easier it is to see gaps and quickly fix arising issues.