What’s Your Supply Chain New Year’s Resolution?
Lots of us make personal New Year’s resolutions, and some even stick to them! You might decide to hit the gym, stop smoking or start a savings account. Whatever it is, the New Year offers a fresh opportunity to do some goal setting and put your best foot forward. New Year’s resolutions don’t only apply to your personal life though, logistics professionals should start thinking about their supply chain goals for the New Year and resolve to make positive changes in their processes.
Resolve to Get Tech-Savvy
We’re in the midst of an innovation storm where new technologies are emerging from all sides. These new pieces of tech are putting the pressure on supply chains to improve their operations in order to keep up with the competition. This can be a good place to start if you’re trying to think of a good supply chain New Year’s resolution. Think about how trends like automated intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), Blockchain, transportation management systems (TMS), RFID and GPS, electronic logging devices (ELDs), and other technologies are impacting your current operations.
Think about whether you’re leveraging your current technology to its fullest capacity. Ask yourself whether you’ve been procrastinating implementing a piece of technology that you know is only a matter of time. Do you understand all the benefits different supply chain technologies can give you? These questions can get you started in finding the right supply chain resolution for 2019.
Resolve to Improve Customer Satisfaction
Rising customer expectations may also be a sticking point for your company. Resolving to improve customer satisfaction might be a great resolution for your supply chain! Customers are demanding cheaper (if not free) shipping, complete visibility to their orders, and deliveries in record time. What once passed for acceptable is no longer good enough for customers accustomed to special treatment from retail giants like Amazon who offer trackable, free, 2-day shipping to members.
Instead of only asking yourself, you can ask your customers if they are satisfied with your service. Keeping track of customer satisfaction scores can help you understand the areas of opportunity you have in your supply chain. Areas to consider include order processing time (from the time they place the order until it leaves the dock), how difficult it is for a customer to get answers about their shipments, and whether you’re charging your customers the lowest possible amount in shipping.
Resolve to Cut Costs
This is probably a goal that you have year-in and year-out, but that doesn’t make it any less important for 2019. With the capacity crunch and driver shortage, freight rates have been steadily rising for over a decade. It’s difficult to keep shipping costs low when there don’t seem to be a lot of options out there. Couple higher costs with the rising customer expectations mentioned above and you have a recipe for poor profit margins and dissatisfied customers.
If you resolve to cut costs out of your supply chain in 2019, you should start by determining where there is waste in your current system. Are you wasting time individually calling up carriers to ask for rates? Is your network of partners as large as it could be? Are you tracking KPIs to make sure that external partners aren’t costing you money? Could you be consolidating shipments into larger loads or combining several routes into one optimized lane? Could your AR/AP process due with a little streamlining to make sure dollars aren’t being missed? There are many ways supply chains can cut costs on freight spend and which make excellent supply chain New Year’s resolutions.
Your Supply Chain New Year’s Resolution
Whatever you choose as your supply chain New Year’s resolution, make sure that it is measurable and achievable. Keep yourself on track with analytics and make sure to consider the ramifications for the entire supply chain, not only your own department. Making goals and sticking to them can help you enter the modern age with technology, earn loyal and happy customers, and do it all with lower costs and less waste!