4 Steps to Designing a Competitive Supply Chain

When it comes to designing a supply chain, think outside of the box. Unlike other components of your business model, you may be looking for a way to start your supply chain over – reducing costs, improving logistics, streamlining success, and reducing disruption from the ground up. Every company’s needs are different, but designing a competitive supply chain in today’s market does not have to be difficult to do. Rather, it needs to be an effective plan from the start, focused on technology and modernization methods. Consider these steps to creating the supply chain that is going to help you compete. David Kiger offers some key considerations in the process.

supply chain

Focus on Developing a Strategic Asset

This is a step most of today’s businesses skip and it can be one of the complications limiting your success in creating a competitive supply chain. It’s important to integrate your product and marketing strategies alongside your supply chain. This allows you to generate additional revenue during the life cycle of the product and improve customer response as well. And, perhaps most importantly, this step can help you to operate at a lower cost base than what your competitors can offer. That makes you competitive. View your supply chain as a strategic asset, one of the most important components to your business requiring a reconfigured plan aimed at competitiveness.

Focus on End-to-End Architecture

Also valuable within the development and design of a competitive supply chain is creating a comprehensive, end-to-end plan. When you create a supply chain tailored to specific processes that come from the company’s strategy and then adapt them as the strategy evolves, you are creating a cohesive system that works successfully. Create some questions and get answers to them including how robust the supply chain will be and how processes will be developed. When creating an end-to-end process, a key component will be creating the type of architecture that can adapt very quickly. Your business is going to grow and change.

As your business strategy evolves, your infrastructure and architecture needs to grow with it. The most effective and competitive systems are able to be versatile enough while still maintaining the ability to decrease complexity quickly. In fact, organizations that cannot organize and change with the times are the most likely to see a lack of return on their investment in the modification of their supply chain.

Focus on Performance Within Your Supply Chain

Another key step in the process of designing a key, competitive supply chain is to focus on performance like David Kiger does. That is, every component of your supply chain model should focus on the ability to develop and manage a complex supply chain that also needs to change as necessary.

It is also important to understand how your organization will be created and built (and then incorporate this information into the supply chain design). As a component of this process, be sure the right people are in place with next generation skills in this area. What this means is that you need a team that has leaders focused on business management to create a highly effective and well performing system.

supply chain

Use Technology as a Key Component

A final, but not a little component to a successful supply chain is one that incorporates the use of technology. You need information and, with the data that your company already has available to you, there should be no limit to your potential success. For example, if your company puts in place a supply chain that is designed with management technology in place, you can effectively grab data as it comes in. This data can then be organized and utilized to create statistics that help improve logistics as well as every other component of your supply chain.

Metrics from your technology need to be utilized to drive your business success. Create a set of metrics to gauge your business’s goals and successes. With data streaming in from all components of your supply chain, you can then use that information to create plans, evaluate successes, overcome the obstacles that develop, and continuously work towards improvement. Each step in this process is critical if you plan to develop a truly competitive supply chain.

What is a competitive supply chain? It is one that can efficiently manage the process. It is also one that is led by a team of professionals that see the supply chain as a key component of the business’s assets and create strategies based on it. And, it is a diverse and ever-changing model, one that can grow with your company every step of the way. When all of these factors come together, David Kiger says, you know you are on the right track.

The right supply chain, designed to be highly competitive can put your business in better alignment with the competition.

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