[:en]5 Top Supply Chain Challenges You Could Face in 2018[:]

[:en]Keeping your facility fully stocked with all the supplies you need at all times of the year is a daunting task. When you consider the complexity of your supply chain, or any supply chain for that matter, it becomes overwhelming to manage it all.

What issues could affect your supply chain here in 2018? Find out, and discover potential solutions too:

1. Continuing to Rely on Human Data Processing

Compared to software and machines, manual data processing is time-consuming and error-prone. It’s exceptionally difficult, and likely impossible, to get a team of people working together so they make few errors.You might still use human workers to track your data. But, 2018 should be the year you review your processes and turn to machines and software where possible.

2. Building a Successful Team

Regardless of how you use human workers when supplying yourself, it’s always a challenge to create a team that succeeds and meets or exceeds company goals. Creating a high-performing team takes time, mistakes, and identifying solutions.

This may be an area to cut your time to success by working with an experienced consultant who knows what companies with successful supply chains (and the teams behind them) do.

3. Cost Control

When aren’t costs a problem? In 2018, possible minimum wage hikes and increased shipping costs could likely become major issues.Unfortunately, the solutions to rising costs won’t be easy ones. Raising prices, layoffs, or fundamental shifts to your business model could all become necessary.

Software automation can come in handy in this case. You may also explore the use of machine automation, where possible.

4. Risk Management

It’s tough to keep your own supplies, and your entire supply chain, as efficient as possible. But, it’s necessary to stay competitive.You’ll need to periodically assess your own supply chain. You’ll have to optimize all your processes. And you might even need to fundamentally redesign certain aspects.

5. Managing Supplier Relationships

Have you and your suppliers mutually agreed upon standards that give you both a beneficial relationship?If something could be done better, or if you need service in an area your supplier hasn’t addressed, have you communicated that to them?

You both need to be on the same page. And just as much as they need to be a good supplier, you need to be a good customer also.

Take some time to review your supplier relationships and make sure you’re both working toward the other’s greatest good so you get the best performance.

Will 2018 be a challenging your as you work to keep your facilities supplied? You bet. But if you follow these tips and work towards solutions now, you position yourself for the greatest efficiency possible.[:]