When it comes to business continuity, it’s important to hope for the best but plan for the worst. This is especially important when it comes to older systems and older ways of doing business because these are the areas likely to have problems during an outage event. When an interruption happens, supply chain partners clamor for information and solutions. It’s important to quickly get ahead of this reaction and avoid an escalated event. The good news is that a supply chain business continuity plan makes it possible to turn a bad situation into an opportunity to build customer goodwill and trust.
Forward-looking companies use Supply Chain Management (SCM) technology that includes a notification solution to get out in front of a growing disruption problem. Any business that doesn’t use SCM technology can have a distinct disadvantage, no matter how good their business continuity plans appear.
There are four major areas where SCM technology with notification will help: global trade, supply relationship management, reverse logistics, and supply chain execution.
•Global trade – Global trade has constantly changing regulations. Firms have received large fines for inadvertently side-stepping these regulations and shipping products that eventually landed in the hands of terrorists. The automated notification function in a SCM package keeps everyone along the chain appraised of the latest updates and helps avoid such a situation.
•Supply relationship management – Large recalls of millions of products force a business to work backwards along the chain to find out where the problems came from as well as forward to where the final goods were all shipped. With notification as part of an SCM toolkit, much of this communication is automated, thus speeding the process and providing a reliable audit trail.
•Reverse logistics – Reverse logistics is the process of managing the return of goods, recycling of batteries and other components, disposal of products coming off lease, and the auctioning of those items, etc. When there is a sudden influx of new goods, manufacturers have to offload goods quickly. Notification can help alert a variety of recyclers and other parties at once, allowing them to quickly let you know their availability to process redistributed goods.
•Supply chain execution – Using notification to make the delivery cycle more efficient can cut costs and improve service. When a delivery arrives, staff has already been notified to be on standby to receive it immediately. If staff is not available, it’s easy to alert trucks to reroute and deliver to an alternate location, thus saving both time and money.
As business complexity and global competition increases and consumer loyalty becomes more tenuous, more and more companies are exploring SCM technology to improve business continuity and gain operational efficiencies. By using technology complemented with a reliable notification solution, any business can establish a foundation for consistent performance and secure a strong competitive edge.
This blog originally appeared in the March 8th Associated Industries of Vermont (AIV) News & Views newsletter.