[This article was written by Anita Ginsburg.]
Supply chains of the modern era cover expansive terrain and many international touch points. Because of that, there are several common supply chain disruptions that can negatively impact the flow of production and distribution.
Having a strategy in place to deal with recurring supply chain disruptions can save your company a substantial amount. It can also help cut back on headaches for managers and logistics personnel. Here are the four most common supply chain disruptions as well as some tips on how to prevent them.
Environmental disasters and other natural events are outside of the control of the company and often difficult to predict. Earthquakes and hurricanes occur unpredictably and often violently, threatening a company’s operations with little warning. Although environmental disasters cannot be prevented (at least not by a business), the disruptions to supply chains can be minimized by both surveying the local geography and climate prior to opening a facility. You should also put a contingency plan in place to accommodate temporary disruptions to operations caused by an environmental event.
Moving goods from one point to another, especially across borders, involves several moving parts that must be seamlessly integrated. Issues like the cost of fuel, getting through customs inspections, types of transportation available, and many others require foresight and careful planning.
To help you handle these, look into supply chain third-party logistic solutions to help devise the ideal transportation strategy to minimize costs and maximize efficiency. Logistics companies have experience planning around transportation issues to minimize shipping time and cost.
Breakdowns Caused by Poor Communication
To keep your supply chain on track, all team members need to be on the same page, working toward a shared goal using the same strategy. When supplies are on the move, team members must maintain constant contact to stay up to speed on the latest developments. A breakdown in communication, therefore, can cost a company big time.
Ensuring constant communication via telecommunication technology and hosting regular team-wide meetings to inform everyone of changes to the supply chain are two strategies to stay ahead of the curve and avoid disruptions caused by poor communication.
Theft and Robbery
Vehicles such as trucks and trains are prime targets for thieves and robbers—especially if they are known to carry valuable goods. Maintain working relationships with all local law enforcement, train employees on safety and avoidance techniques, and investing in security can prevent losses and disruptions due to theft or robbery.
Executing an effective logistics strategy requires formulating a comprehensive strategy. Following the plan will help to avoid supply chain disruptions whenever possible. In the event problems do occur, have backup plans in place to overcome disruptions with minimal cost to your business.
Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.