With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s time to take a moment and think about what you appreciate most in life, especially the people with whom you rely on. Being a supply chain manager isn’t easy; they are the first ones to take the heat when a delivery doesn’t show up on time or when there’s an issue at customs, so they could use our thanks this holiday season..
Here’s a look at four of the many reasons we should all be thankful for supply chain managers:
Supply Chain Managers Have the Keys to Visibility
The supply chain is drastically increasing in complexity. Contributing factors include changing consumer expectations around the speed of shipment and delivery, new shipping technologies and an increased focus on e-commerce. Supply chain managers know that the best way to tackle this complexity is through increased visibility. The simplest way to boost this visibility is with a transportation management system (TMS) that provides a holistic, end-to-end view of the supply chain – and can highlight the most business-critical trouble areas.
TMS technology enables the management of various forms of transportation – rail, sea, road and air – and connects a business with multiple carriers. If there are any potential delays or problems with a shipment due to extreme weather, problems with the carrier, etc., the supply chain manager will be alerted beforehand and can take steps to mitigate the issue, including switching the shipment to another connected carrier.
Supply chain managers also extend visibility into every aspect of the business to ensure that individual operating silos are broken down. This creates increased coherence in the supply chain, as having all teams on the same page helps protect the business from disorganization and duplicated work.
They Stay Ahead of Upcoming Regulations and Compliance Issues
New regulations and mandatory compliance changes are making navigation of the supply chain much more complicated than before. These include the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s recent enforcement of the Automated Commercial Environment [ACE], new shipping container weight regulations and solutions for port and road congestion relief. Supply chain managers recognize the importance of software and TMS solutions to ensure they are aware of each individual regulation and the deadlines for transferring data or moving to an automated system.
They Stay Ahead of the Trends, and Help Beat the Competition
Without supply chain managers, new technologies like drone delivery service and IoT may not even be incorporated into the enterprise. Believe it or not, it is often the supply chain managers who identify the biggest technology trends and are able to execute on them, making sure the company is as competitive as they can be. Without supply chain managers to breakdown the barriers between what is considered “consumer” and “enterprise” technology, many companies may still be manually implementing shipments or using clunky legacy systems that are slow and outdated. Supply chain managers are able to identify trends and make them work for their enterprises.
They Exceed Consumer Expectations
After a shopper places an on-line order, the next step they think about is when it will arrive. They do not think about the in-between logistics of actually getting the item from the warehouse, getting it onto the truck and having it delivered. Especially during the holidays, customer satisfaction revolves around one thing: did my gift arrive on time? Supply chain managers are the magicians behind this whole operation utilizing many means, including a Carrier Network System that allows access to multiple transportation options, to ensure step of the way runs smoothly. Through end-to-end visibility throughout the entire supply chain, managers are able to course correct in live-time to keep it so that the customer only sees when the package arrives at their door, and not all of the logistics in-between.
So, with that, we’d like to take a moment to list out a few supply chain managers who could use our thanks. Think we should add someone else on our list? Comment below!