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Supply chain planning has been extremely difficult for the last several years …

The COVID-19 pandemic shut down most initiatives and options for shipping products, and froze many companiesability to grow and evolve. As the pandemic continues to evolve and move in waves, many of the same issues that companies faced in 2020 are coming back to light.

The economy was amongst the least of many consumersworries, with health concerns taking priority. Still, the fragility, volatility, and uncertainty of the economy have severely damaged many supply chain processes throughout the country and the world. In this transitional period, as the world creeps back towards a new normal,” it’s time for companies to think about their supply chain planning moving forward.

Even if your company has remained successful through these trying few years, it may be advantageous for you to reconsider the way you plan your supply chain processes. When numbers slowly slip its easy to ignore them in favor of the status quo, but thats not always the right decision.

Companies who keep an in-house supply chain management team have to be very careful about staying up to date as well as forecasting the future, which is, of course, very challenging. The supply chain is a very complex and oftentimes volatile thing, and supply chain management teams need to be ready for anything that may be thrown their way.

Because supply chain management teams tend to work within themselves most of the time, it can be easy to gloss over signs that the process itself needs an overhaul. By lending an ear and a new set of eyes to the problems that arise in that sector, you may discover that there are pieces of the puzzle that could be switched up.

Below, you’ll find a few tell-tale signs your supply chain planning process needs an overhaul:

1. Missed Connections Lead to Mistakes

The supply chain is very aptly named, in that it represents a chain when one adopts a macro lens. For it to work effectively, each individual agent must be connected with the previous and following steps in the process, just as a chain only works when each link is connected to the next.

Disconnect between stages in your supply chain can cause holdups that are swept under the rug or simply ignored, because they often only result in a minor loss of time. Eliminating any miscommunication is essential to productive shipping and distribution.

Fixing this type of problem is as simple as double checking every piece that is in play when the supply chain is in full effect. From the primary producers to the freighters, theres no room for error in a productive supply chain. By having a finger on the pulse of each agent in the supply chain and planning accordingly, an easy fix can make a significant difference.

2. Your Supply Chain Software Causes Problems

When its time to rethink a supply chain, there are a few traditional solutions. The first is to bring in an expert consultant (or several) to analyze the process top to bottom. Expertise is almost always the most important tool, but if a company wants to address it themselves, there are software options available that give them the ability to.

The most helpful option is pairing the two to pass off the majority of supply chain management to a company that helps you work with their sophisticated technology. Companies like Stord and Kinaxis are excellent examples of modern technological solutions to supply chain issues.

If supply chain planning is sinking your business, consider simply passing it off. Theres no shame in allowing an expert to overhaul what was working before and no longer does, and once again, you may be a very simple fix away from profitability and in need of a new set of eyes.

3. You’re Considering New Talent as a Solution

Its a challenge for executives to keep up with the industry, but its even more challenging for those who need to keep up expertise. The technology is growing and changing with every new quarter, every new means of transportation, every new global or national conflict.

The job is tremendously hard, and the fact of the matter is that sometimes an overhaul of staff members who are taking care of planning the supply chain may be in order.

A fresh set of eyes is never a bad idea when something isnt quite going to plan, and your supply chain issues may be as simple as that. By bringing in newly educated experts to replace the older guard, new perspectives and ideas about efficiency and productivity are virtually thrown into your lap.

The industry is highly competitive, and its essential that companies keep up with the trends of the day when it comes to supply chain management. Bringing in fresh faces, new perspectives, and young professionals is an excellent way to keep up with the day.

Though theres no one-size-fits-all solution, as with many problems, there are many ways to advance and overhaul your supply chain planning without breaking the bank. The investment in productivity in the short term results in profit in the long term, and the supply chain is an area where there is just about always room for improvement.

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