While a supply chain management career has its perks and rewards, the field also has its due share of woes. Supply chain managers have constantly been confronted with increasing challenges hindering the creation and retention of effective and efficient supply chain methods.
While it is something they deal with daily, the problems have only dramatically magnified, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The current issues faced by supply chains are as acute as they could ever be and require constant surveillance, robust planning, and addressing of weak links.
Top Supply Chain Management Challenges and How to Overcome Them
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While the concerns regarding supply chain management hurdles are always on the rise, the good news is that the advancement in innovative technology and analytics has made it possible to face these challenges head-on. So, let’s look at some of the most common supply chain management challenges and their possible solutions.
In global logistics and supply chain management, cost control is a serious and complicated task. The rising freight and fuel prices, increasing labor rates, new technology, the increasing cost of commodities, new regulations, and greater globalization do not make things any easier.
Solution: The best way to deal with the cost control challenge is to leverage the power of technology. Streamlined systems, technology (such as Transportation Management Systems), and communication can give companies the visibility to see the monetary and service implications of every decision. The key is to have a plan and execute it properly while optimizing systems with the help of technology.
Quality Customer Service
Supply chain management revolves around customers. However, customer service remains one of the biggest challenges in supply chain management.
Solution: The one-size-fits-all approach fails because every customer’s needs are different, and everyone expects customized service. Thus, the solution here is to invest in technologies that offer access and visibility to data. Hence, real-time changes and shifts in the supply chain can be monitored and responded to before they create challenges that affect customer service.
Changes in the dynamic global market are triggered by consumer demands, politics, new product launches, credit availability, and events like a pandemic. These changes are usually unforeseen and cause an immediate blow to the supply chain.
Solution: The only way to overcome these unprecedented disruptions is to plan, review, assess, and be ready with a risk management solution. Along with regular inspections and assessments of the market, contingency plans must be in place to minimize damage as much as possible. Identifying and quantifying the major risks to operation is the key to control and respond to them.
Quality and Sustainability
Quality and sustainability of products is a significant concern in global supply chains, especially when the products have to meet specific regulatory standards. In addition, ethical sourcing is necessary to reduce environmental impacts.
Solution: Supply chain managers must ensure that suppliers and their products meet regulatory, quality, and environmental standards. To this end, third-party software tools and inspection services can be leveraged. Such tools and software collect and monitor information regarding supplier safety and environmental standards.
Which is the Best Supply Chain Management Course?
During your hunt for the best supply chain management online course, you will come across several programs tailor-made to prepare individuals for a career in the field of supply chain management. So, to ensure that you learn from the best, research the program and look for features like hands-on learning with real-world SCM projects, comprehensive coverage of tools like Python, Excel, and TOra.