The 5 Most Overlooked Supply Chain Inefficiencies

by Editorial Team

Small mistakes and setbacks in a company’s supply chain can lead to significant issues if not addressed. These seemingly small setbacks and mistakes can prevent a company from reaching its full potential.

The following five issues can be quickly addressed by a company to yield better results and improve customer and worker satisfaction.

Using data inefficiently

Data analytics help logistics professionals analyze how well a supply chain is performing and determine how future adjustments may affect consumers’ perceptions.

It is possible for a company to miss out on faster supply chains and improvements if it does not utilize analytics. An increase of 1% in customer satisfaction can reduce the cost of sales by around 3%, though specifics vary by industry.

It is an easy fix to implement. Companies can put the customer first and share performance data with consumers, so they can see every step of the process. Moreover, logistics professionals should analyze all the available data and come up with solutions to improve customer satisfaction and overall turnaround time.

Transparency is lacking

The fact that communication is not occurring as it should leads to confusion. People down the line may not know the target time to arrive at a certain location or where individual trucks in a fleet are. Communication is important for businesses to run smoothly.

For example, not many people can handle the early mornings and careful driving truck drivers face every day. When dealing with small disputes, it is important to work with empathy, which is where communication can come in handy. Others should step into the driver’s shoes and understand it from their perspective.

Fix It: Establishing a clear communication channel is the best way to resolve this issue. If things aren’t going as expected on your end, encourage others to share it as well. As a result, the entire supply chain knows what to expect and what might delay their own processes.

A fully transparent workplace is one where everyone feels supported and ready to advance the company’s goals. A fully transparent workplace allows employees to prepare for any setbacks and make up time in their own way.

Idling of fleets

When fleets idle, they waste time and resources, resulting in negative effects on the environment and a damaged supply chain. A chain should meet customer expectations while minimizing cost as much as possible, but idling means that fleets aren’t moving, which adds more time to the chain. The waste of time is the same as the waste of money.

Among the drawbacks of fleet idling are:

Burning fuels unnecessarily increases fuel budgets

Atmospheric greenhouse gases are increasing

Distances between points A and B are longer

Customer satisfaction decreased

Fines may apply, depending on where the vehicle is idling

Idling can be mitigated with the right measures. Logistics professionals can use trackers to track the location and efficiency of individual trucks. In addition to motivating the driver, it can also provide valuable data to the company regarding supply chain routes.

The company can then use this data for future fleets, including how or when to educate drivers on how idling affects the company. In addition to helping drivers overcome those embedded driving habits that might lead to excessive idling, reducing idling time can also improve fleet vehicle performance and save even more time and money.

It’s about reactivity, not proactivity

It is proactive when a business thinks of the future and how today’s decisions can affect a supply chain or a company months in the future. In contrast, reactive management is created at the last minute and without careful consideration. Typically, managers make these decisions out of fear or a time crunch, rather than based on their actual knowledge.

When employees experience a setback, it’s natural to react with emotion. As people are greatly influenced by their environment, a manager might react on impulse if something negative happens based on the emotions of just one person in the supply chain. However, impulse decisions can be costly for a company if they create more trouble in the long run, even though they may lead to quick fixes.

If a logistics professional wants to manage their fleet efficiently, proactive management is one of the best investments they can make. With proactive management, supply chain surprises are never a setback. Implement just-in-case measures in an instant if something goes wrong. In this way, the company will not have to deal with the fallout of a quick fix that does more harm than good due to a reactionary decision.

The management of warehouses is poor

It’s no surprise that some supply chain issues can be linked to ineffective warehouse management. It’s an important part of the process, and if things aren’t organized or readily available, a company might find its fleet running behind schedule.

A warehouse manager is supposed to ensure things run smoothly and minimize the number of issues the supply chain runs into from day one.

Having a warehouse manager take on more responsibilities, such as making sure items are actually in stock, as an automated system won’t always indicate whether items are in stock, can help keep the warehouse under control. As a result, warehouse managers can increase customer satisfaction with effective management and clearly laid out processes.

How to Manage a Supply Fleet Like a Pro

There is always room for improvement for logistics professionals and fleet managers. Some easy ways to improve include eliminating room for miscommunication and errors, as well as proper education of team members. These mistakes can be fixed easily, but are often overlooked.

All a company needs to do is analyze where there’s room for improvement, and implementing changes is easy.

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