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How to strengthen your supply chain

charttwo30340387.JPGYour supply chain for your business can become a drain on your profits or your supply chain can be strengthened and help your profits to climb.

A supply chain is exactly what it sounds like. A network of systems, organization, technologies, people, information, activities and resources that are all involved in some way to get your product to you out the door and thento your customer. Because of how big the supply chain network is there are many opportunities given to you for strengthening your supply chain and maybe even increase your profits.

The first step you should take in strengthening your supply chain is to do an evaluation of your full supply chain. Have any of your suppliers been slow to get products to you making you late on your deliveries to your customers? Are you getting the best supplies for the least amount of money as possible? Both of these are factors in how well your supply chain works for you and your business. You want to create a supply chain with few to no problems. If you have a problem somewhere along the supply chain it can greatly affect the rest of your supply chain. When you do the evaluation and you see some supply chain problems you will want to then focus on those problem areas first.

If your supply chain is weak before the supplies come to your business you can do a few things to strengthen the supply chain. Look at why this particular supplier is having a problem getting the supplies to you. Evaluate if you can help fix the problem with that one link in your supply chain or if the problem goes beyond the one supplier. You will want to try and fix the problems before you move onto the next step of looking for a new supplier.

You can also strengthen your supply chain before the products come to you by looking for new suppliers. This should be done as a last step because it may cause your business some down time before the new supplies get routed to you. New suppliers can help your supply chain if they are more effective in getting the supplies to you. Sometimes fixing the supply chain problem before it comes to your business can't be fixed. In those instances you can strengthen your supply chain problems within your business instead.

During your evaluation you may have noticed that your supply chain may be weak inside your business. Maybe you have one or two links in your chain that are not running as smoothly as you'd like. You can take a few steps in strengthening your supply chain in your business too.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Incorporate technology as much as possible to help streamline your supplies coming in and going out. You want your supplies to move down the supply chain as fast and as efficiently as possible. Integrating everything into a computer is the best way to get those supplies moving fast. There are different types of software to use for this.

  • - Keep your inventory to a minimum. Fewer pieces of inventory takes up less room and time spent monitoring it. Have just enough inventory to please any existing or potential customers but not too much that it drains your bottom line.

  • - Employee people that know what they are doing. This requires less training time and they will be better able to help your customers at the end of your supply chain. This will also help insure billing and shipping invoices are done correctly when you have the right employees.

  • These are just some of the many ideas that you can take advantage of in order to strengthen your supply chain.

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