As the global economy seeks to recover post-pandemic, a renewed focus is being put on supply chain optimization. No one wants to relive the days of cleaned out produce aisles at the grocery store or a toilet paper shortage. But more importantly, as the medical community seeks to vaccinate the world, we’re starting to realize that getting vaccines to all doesn’t have as much to do with science as it does the supply chain.
More companies are actively seeking trained supply chain professionals with graduate degrees in the field – a far cry from when I first started my supply chain journey. Amazon is often held up as the poster child of supply chain success, and they’ve earned that right. The company has proven they can move nearly anything at any time, and they always know where their inventory is.
Why is this so hard to replicate? A company’s portfolio of customers and products typically changes more quickly than the assets used to meet demand. These situations can include changes in the macro-economic environment that precipitate significant increases or decreases in demand (think Covid-19), shifts in a company’s product portfolio, developments in new markets or changes in the cost to produce and/or deliver the product or services.
New processes and tools have emerged to make supply chain optimization more accessible, affordable and action oriented. But, as Profit Point’s leaders have said before, marrying optimization technology and strategic business objectives is often easier said than done.
Where to focus your supply chain optimization effort
While the supply chain landscape can be challenging, the good news is the industry is ripe for change, and supply chain professionals are poised and ready to take advantage of new opportunities for optimization. Supply chain as a practice can be vague, and especially now, you can invent what you want to make your supply chain work for you.
Profit Point’s supply chain optimization framework sets five key steps to establish your customized approach to optimization:
- Assess your existing supply chain processes.
- Identify processes that give you a competitive advantage.
- Design your supply chain to take advantage of key business value drivers.
- Implement new processes and technology that you can sustain over time.
- Conduct regular scenario analyses to measure the impact of change and profitability.
You don’t have to be a billion-dollar company to achieve what Amazon has. Be deliberate and intentional in your supply chain optimization planning for sustained success. And don’t forget, Profit Point is always here to help.