Five Steps to Developing Your Supply Chain Strategy

February 2, 2019

What is the supply chain?

The supply chain is all of the systems, people, organizations, and resources involved in getting a product or service from the supplier to the customer. Developing a supply chain strategy that’s aligned with your organization’s business goals is key to maximizing its success. We’ve identified five key components to developing your supply chain strategy.

Review and align with the overall business strategy. Business strategy is defined as leveraging the core competencies of the organization to achieve high-level goals or objectives. The supply chain strategy should support and inform the overall business strategy. For example, if your organization’s goal is to be the lowest cost provider, the supply chain strategy should center around reducing costs.

Analyze the needs of your current and future customers. Your supply chain strategy should be designed around these needs and how you can best serve your customers. The fulfillment experience should match up with what your brand promises to deliver.

Review your existing supply chain and compare it with the “best in class” to help identify opportunities. Analyzing your competition is a great way to gain insights on how you can best leverage your organization’s unique strengths to win in the marketplace—the same statement goes for both business and supply chain strategy.

Look into the future. What economic or industry trends are emerging that could disrupt your sector or your business? Are there any technologies being developed or entering the market that could help give your company an advantage? Do your homework to discover the answers to these questions, and build a plan to proactively respond to trends that impact the supply chain. Create a plan to incorporate any necessary technology investments into your long term plan so you’re prepared to compete as the landscape shifts.

Assemble a team and define your goals. The supply chain isn’t just an operational department—think of it as a customer-focused organization that should be doing battle for your brand. In other words, if your supply chain isn’t creating a flywheel effect toward the strategic goals of your business, it’s not doing its job. In order to determine the success of the supply chain, you must define measurable goals, implement tracking mechanisms, and gain the buy-in of key people who will monitor the success of your strategy.

Many businesses look at developing a supply chain strategy as really hard work that doesn’t sound like much fun. That’s where we come in. We’re passionate about the art of fulfillment and creating solutions for companies is what gets us out of bed in the morning. If you’re looking for a partner who can help you navigate this complex world, then let’s start a conversation!