7 Tips For Small Business Supply Chain Management During A Rapid Growth Phase

Global interdependence is the norm and is all but certain to continue despite disruptions such as earthquakes, wars and pandemics that break some links in the chain. Logistics is an essential component of supply chain management, the part that deals with moving products and materials in activities such as transportation, warehousing and distribution. Inventory management is threaded throughout the logistics process. Supplier relationship management , in contrast, addresses sourcing issues by focusing on the suppliers the company deems most critical to success and systematically strengthening relationships with them while fostering optimal performance.

Some companies are working on digital twins that model their entire supply chain and use prescriptive analytics to alert people to problems. Digital twins also serve as data brokers between IoT sensors and the ERP and SCM software. Optimize Inventory Management In tandem with demand forecasting, inventory management is another crucial part of an efficient supply chain. Having visibility into inventory helps you forecast more accurately — without inventory visibility, you can’t have accurate demand planning. There are many different ways companies can improve their supply chain management to increase operational efficiency, reduce costs and provide a better customer experience. Below are 15 supply chain management practices that businesses can follow in 2021 to start realizing these benefits. Regarding the impact of how you manage your supply chain on what happens to your business model, it can help to read some case studies about your industry to get supply chain management ideas that are specific to your company.


This manager needs to build an information technology sys­tem that integrates capabilities of three essential kinds. (See Exhibit 4.) In the short term, the system must be able to handle day-to-day transactions and electronic commerce across the supply chain and thus help align supply and demand by sharing information on orders and daily scheduling. While manufacturers should place high demands on suppliers, they should also realize that partners must share the goal of reducing costs across the supply chain in order to lower prices in the marketplace and enhance margins. The logi­cal extension of this thinking is gain-sharing arrangements to reward everyone who contributes to greater profitability. Many consult the marketplace only informally, and few involve their major suppliers in the process. The functional orientation of many companies has just made things worse, allowing sales forecasts to envision growing demand while manufacturing second-guesses how much product the market actually wants. Finally, the network will require more robust logistics planning enabled by “real-time” decision-support tools that can handle flow-through distribution and more time-sensitive approaches to managing transportation.

7 Tips For Small Business Supply Chain Management During A Rapid Growth Phase

That allows a company to fully load trucks taking products from manufacturing facilities to regional warehouses, which keeps transportation expenses down. Although seasoned operations and supply chain executives understand the difference between efficiency and responsiveness, many are nonetheless confused about when to apply each strategy. That’s because different products have different characteristics, with some requiring a strategy focused on efficiency, some a strategy focused on responsiveness, and some a hybrid approach. Until recently, executives didn’t have the tools to segment products and decide which strategy was appropriate for a particular segment. In this article we’ll focus on the CPG manufacturer’s implementation of the approach. The most effective plans encompass employees—as well as contractors, vendors, partners, and unions—who need to be included to keep the entire workforce safe.

Balance Long and Short-Term Strategies

Of course the above is great for planning ahead longterm, but what happens if your supply chain is currently disrupted and you’re figuring out how to solve issues and continue to move forward in the short term? In this section, we’ll look at the more on-the-ground, crisis management solutions you can take to solve for evolving supply chain disruption issues. In a study conducted by the Institute for Supply Management, almost 75% of the 628 businesses surveyed had experienced supply chain disruptions as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. In this same survey, 57% of respondents said they were facing longer lead times for orders with suppliers in China.

What are the 5 R’s of supply chain management?

In an effort to squeeze more efficiencies and cost savings from the supply chain, companies are focusing on reverse logistics – the last and most overlooked frontier for supply chain optimization. As they do, they're streamlining the five R's of reverse logistics – returns, recalls, repairs, repackaging and recycling.

To define your values, think about all the people your company is accountable to, including owners, employees, suppliers, customers, and investors. Now consider how you’d like to conduct business with each of them. Since an outline is such an important step in the process of writing a business plan, we’ve put together a high-level overview you can copy into your blank document to get you started . If you’re looking for a structured way to lay out your thoughts and ideas, and to share those ideas with people who can have a big impact on your success, a business plan is an excellent starting point.

How do supply chain issues affect small businesses?

Initiatives intended only to cut costs and improve asset utilization have limited success in structuring sustainable win-win relationships among trading partners. To facilitate channel-spanning performance measurement, many companies are developing common report cards. These report cards help keep partners working toward the same goals by building a deep understanding of what each company brings to the partnership and showing how to lever­age their complementary assets and skills to the alliance’s greatest advantage. This fact-based knowledge is the essential foundation for determining the best way of acquiring every kind of material and service the company buys. Some companies are not yet ready for such progressive thinking because they lack fundamental prerequisites.

7 Tips For Small Business Supply Chain Management During A Rapid Growth Phase

Hence, we broaden the existing literature on the formulation and selection of generic supply chains by arguing that supply, including logistical and demand uncertainties are important to manage during pandemic. We propose our mitigation strategies under all three categories to improve the capability under dynamic conditions that developed due to COVID-19 pandemic (Refer Fig. 3) based on the dynamic capability theory. Thus, it is an ideal theoretical perspective to analyze the mitigation strategies due to COVID-19 outbreaks. This literature review is divided into two subsections to provide a better understanding of the concepts behind the supply chain issues that companies have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. The first subsection presents our analysis of existing COVID-19-related research towards supply chain issues, while the second subsection discusses the supply chain challenges that companies have faced due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Step 3: Automate your supply chain processes

This paradigm shift is an opportunity for focal firm to concentrate only on its core competence and let transportation specialists such as TPLs focus on their expertise. Further, the focal firm should install a culture conducive for the https://quickbooks-payroll.org/ formation of strategic alliances with TPLs, vendors and customers to enhance partnership and visibility across interconnected supply chains. This perspective is aligned with the multilateral connectivity of business interactions .

At this stage you might feel there is almost a routine-like feel to running your business. Staff is in place to handle the areas that you no longer have the time to manage , and your business has now firmly established its presence within the industry. Here you might start to think about capitalizing on this certain level of stability by broadening your horizons with expanded offerings and entry into new geographies.


While growth is generally welcome for startup entrepreneurs and C-suite executives alike, it always brings challenges. This topic has been coming up in many conversations with clients and peers, so it’s worth examining. Think of them as an alliance, as both parties are working together to enhance the buyer/supplier relationship. The most successful relationships have two-way communication, with shared objectives to continue improvement and value, measure performance, and implement a platform for conflict resolution.

  • This example highlights several key characteristics of segment-specific services.
  • An example of the items bag shop BAGGU would include in the products and services section of its business plan.
  • Movley was founded by Sajag Agarwal after his e-commerce brand startup had issues with fraud and bad quality control.
  • Fisher Bookkeeping can get your books squared away no matter where you are.
  • Firms need to develop capability to mitigate such challenges in future which we discuss in Section 5.
  • Even worse you could lose valuable customers to competitors because your are unable to offer them the products they want, when they want it.

By developing multiple supplier relationships, it’s easier to become more flexible and adjust to a constantly changing market (i.e. during a prolonged pandemic that alters the entire global economy). And though there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach to supply chain planning, combining a few different techniques can provide complete and comprehensive outcomes. As you can tell, the pandemic has presented some unique supply chain challenges that ecommerce retailers continue to tackle on a daily basis. The good news is, there are a multitude of ways to mitigate major issues and avoid running out of inventory ever again. It takes time and organizational realignment to put these technologies into action, particularly when working with multiple warehouses or omnichannel selling.

Supply chain management is a critical focus for companies that sell products, services, hardware, and software. The supply chain includes everything involved in the flow of goods from a business to its customers, clients, or other businesses. It’s not something that can be set up and left alone — your supply chain needs to be regularly evaluated so it stays efficient and productive.

  • Most of these emerging technologies have the common goals of making it easier to gather more detailed supply chain data and analyze and act on it quickly.
  • We, demonstrate that the criticality of supply inconsistency, coupled with vehicle unavailability and transportation delays, is a major cause of disruption in supply chains, and its mitigation is pivotal for the efficient running of operations.
  • A business plan can help you identify clear, deliberate next steps for your business, even if you never plan to pitch investors—and it can help you see gaps in your plan before they become issues.
  • The supply chain is also vital to the delivery of electricity to homes and businesses, providing the energy needed for light, heat, air conditioning and refrigeration.
  • While there are many ways to improve supply chain efficiency, almost all methods boil down to having the right tech stack — one that offers insights into your inventory data and deploys automation, along with the right logistics team.

That is one of the – economic driven – reasons why they focus heavily on energy reduction. Of course, the other trigger is the regulatory pressure of emission reduction. Like its rivals COSCO and CMA CGM, MAERSK has invested in new, fuel-efficient vessels and retrofitted older ships with energy-saving designs. Its real-time tracking system allows it to avoid delays, maximize cargo space, and optimize ship speeds for fuel-efficiency.

Circular Supply Chain

In this situation, supply chain managers are encouraged to abandon their bias, pursue new data sets for forecast models, and continually refine their results for the greatest level of accuracy. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt the supply chain ecosystem with new and unforeseen barriers to both productivity and profitability. The following are 2022’s biggest supply chain challenges faced by product-based businesses from all over the globe. We expect that supply chain challenges will persist for the remainder of the year. Generally speaking, these challenges are driven by increased consumer spend, sustained appetite for the convenience of buying online, and catch up required from last year’s bottlenecks. And yet, in spite of 2022’s fragile supply chain network, companies are acclimating to these changes by addressing inefficiencies head on and seeking to work smarter, not harder.

What makes a successful procurement manager?

Negotiation, interpersonal and communication skills are key to the role as the job will require you to lean on your networks to get the best price for your business. You will also need to have good finance abilities and be capable of managing budgets as cost is always a key priority for people in these roles.

In this paper, we have identified the supply chain challenges that manufacturing organizations have faced in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, specifically in the context of an emerging economy, and have suggested suitable mitigation strategies. COVID-19 was one of the most impactful events in the supply chain management realm. Despite previous efforts and preparations, majority of supply chains have suffered. This has created an opportunity 7 Tips For Small Business Supply Chain Management During A Rapid Growth Phase for managers to foster better preparedness to cope with future pandemics and disasters. Our discussion in this study not only helps to mitigate the current ongoing crisis rather it will also help to mitigate future disruptions. In the subsequent subsections, we highlight important implications to literature and managers. PIS issues accentuated during COVID-19 because majority of the firm’s supply chains are global in nature.

Tips for Managing a Fast-Growing Organization

This makes our study distinct, both in terms of its theoretical contribution as well as empirical insights. A summary of the literature review conducted as part of this research is presented in Appendix A-Table A.1. We can observe that research dealing with supply chain challenges due to COVID-19 is missing. To mitigate the supply chain challenges resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak, it is important to improve supply chain resilience (Belhadia et al., 2020, Ketchen and Craighead, 2020, Queiroz et al., 2020). Craighead et al. investigate different theories and suggest how these theories can help to tackle such challenges. Remko, 2020, Golan et al., 2020 observe that during this outbreak, supply chains experienced a lack of preparedness, shortcomings in their response plans, and a need for better resilience in the supply chain. Some papers have investigated supply chain resilience under the context of the agriculture supply chain, airlines and the automobile industry (Belhadia et al., 2020).

7 Tips For Small Business Supply Chain Management During A Rapid Growth Phase

To achieve this, many supply chain leaders are hiring staffing companies that specialize in supply chain recruitment. SCMDOJO aims to help Supply Chain Professionals grow by providing high-quality supply chain on-demand courses, guides, best practices, tools and mentoring from industry experts. A healthy, functioning supply chain is really the lifeblood of any firm’s day-to-day operations.

This three-level SCM approach is critical in building supply chain resilience for handling disruptions such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Each major phase of a product’s movement through the supply chain, from materials to production and distribution , has its own distinct business processes and disciplines. Most of the processes, which began as paper-based methods, are now usually handled in specialized supply chain management software. The products that support modern societies are manufactured and distributed by some of the most far-reaching systems ever built.