What is Supply Chain? How to Develop a Strategy for Your Small Business

What exactly is supply chain? As a small business owner, you know that implementing a supply chain is one of the most beneficial things you can for your small business. With an effective supply chain, operational costs can be reduced and your company could experience increased efficiency, output, and revenue.

supply-chain-managementHowever, a supply chain is only successful when it’s developed and implemented properly. So to ensure that your business’ supply chain is designed to yield the best results, here’s how to develop an effective supply chain strategy for your small business.

What is a Supply Chain?

A supply chain outlines all the steps, processes, and people involved in manufacturing a product and delivering it to the customer. It also includes every business that comes in contact with the product,0 including the supply company and delivery companies that handle the shipments coming to and from the warehouse.

How to Develop a Supply Chain Strategy

Again, a supply chain will only help your business if it’s designed properly. The steps below will help you develop the supply chain strategy that’s best for your business.

1.    Understand Business Goals and Strategy

An effective supply chain strategy must align with your small business’ goals and overall business plan. Look at your company’s competencies, competitive advantages, and overall focus. Understanding these aspects will help you develop a supply chain strategy that works best with your company’s capabilities and strengths. It’ll also help you understand what you need to do to ensure that your business operates efficiently.

2.    Evaluate Business Assets

Once you develop an outline of your company supply chain strategy, evaluate your business’ assets to understand if they can adequately support it. Examine your machinery and systems. If they’re outdated, they may create high operational overhead and deliver an inconsistent performance. This means they won’t be able to support your strategy if you’re looking to be a low-cost provider.

A formal supply chain assessment from a non-biased organization can examine your assets. The assessment will help you understand your business’ operational strengths and weaknesses.

3.    Review Supply Chain Assessment

supply-chainNext, review the assessment to see what you can do to implement your supply chain strategy into your business. Consider all recommendations outlined as well as the risks that could occur when the strategy is implemented.

Most importantly, use the review to determine if you have the resources needed to apply the strategy to your company. If you don’t, consider making capital investments or adjusting your strategy to better meet your business’ capabilities.

4.    Develop Your Implementation Plan

Develop your implementation plan when everything has been reviewed and adjusted as needed. The plan should detail everything about the entire supply chain process for your business. This includes employee roles, tasks, and responsibilities. It should also online the timeline of the process as well as performance metrics.

In addition, you should create a team dedicated to rolling out and evaluating the strategy as well as a team responsible for handling any issues.

5.    Monitor Performance

After your supply chain strategy has been implemented, monitor your company’s performance regularly. Check to make sure that the supply chain strategy is helping you better meet your business and customer expectations.

You also want to consider industry changes and see how they affect your supply chain strategy. This will help you make any necessary changes and explore new opportunities to improve your strategy.

Read more small business tips to drive your company to success!