Six Ways to Ruin Your Supply Chain

Every link in your supply network is important. A weakness in even the most seemingly insignificant subcontractor’s policies or practices can have a negative domino effect on your ability to get the quality electronics goods you manufacture to your customers. Learning about the different ways you can fail will help you in correcting your supply chain management before a disaster happens.

#1:- FAIL TO INSTITUTE PROPER VETTING OF YOUR SOURCES

Not all of the companies from whom you buy your raw materials and components will be as well-known in the field as Toshiba Corporation is. Therefore, it is incumbent upon your team to carefully research every potential partner before signing any contracts. Being lax in doing so can result in your digital assets becoming vulnerable to the ripple effects. After all, risks tolerated by your vendors will inevitably become your risks as well.

#2:- FAIL TO COMMUNICATE WITH SUPPLIERS

Many things can happen to a component or raw material on its way between origin and endpoint, and you should have trace-and-track mechanisms in place to ensure that you are aware of every one. In addition, there should be clear and open communications between you and each vendor in your network so that snags and bottlenecks can be addressed quickly and efficiently. Supply chain management that allows for tardy or, vague or nonexistent dialogues is one of the prime ingredients in a recipe for disaster.

#3:- POOR LOGISTICS PRACTICES

Making assumptions when it comes to product delivery can lead to extra costs and unhappy end users. Effective supply management requires your team to be keyed into every aspect of the product’s manufacture, and that includes where, how and when it is to be delivered, who will be receiving the shipment and what will be done if there is a problem. With a good strategy in place, both you and your freight partners will know what labor and other costs to expect, and errors in timing and billing will be minimized.

#4:- BEING RIGID ABOUT INNOVATING

Just as the electronics you manufacture improve with every passing year, so does logistics technology. It might not be as glamorous, but remaining on the cutting edge in terms of real-time tracking and tracing, milestone-triggered status updates and automated cube scanners and freight scales helps to ensure that your company remains competitive. If you are doing business with logistics providers who don’t see the advantages of this technology, it might be time to start shopping around.

#5:- ACCEPTING PARTNERS ONLY BECAUSE THEY ARE THE CHEAPEST

If the price someone quotes you to source or ship a material or product seems too good to be true, it probably is. While you should always have your eye on the bottom line, don’t let frugality get in the way of instinct or good sense. Before committing your precious freight to a new vendor, consult reviews from peers in your industry, and ask the potential partner for any objective testimonials that attest to their ability to handle shipments of the volumes you require.

#6:- MISMEASUREMENTS AND WEIGHT DISCREPANCIES

If the specifications you provide about your freight are inaccurate, your providers will have to make adjustments to the space it takes up in their container ships and warehouses. This will quickly lead to massive cost increases that come right back to you. In the worst case scenario, items may be held up for days, weeks or even months.

Some supply chain issues are out of your control. However, you cannot afford to have lax policies and procedures that will eventually result in problems that you can do something about. Make it a priority to create and maintain a supply chain that has high visibility and strong communications among all partners.

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