One of the more difficult aspects of operating a complex supply chain environment is the need to account for forthcoming market changes. This is particularly true for manufacturing firms that must account for production expenses in addition to labor, transportation and other operational costs. When demand fluctuates, supply lines dry up, or an unforeseen incident disrupts the performance of a component along the network, manufacturers need to be ready to make adjustments that will help them weather any challenges and mitigate any potential revenue losses. In order to do so, business leaders will need the ability to monitor supply chain operations from both a holistic and granular level. The most effective way to achieve this degree of oversight is through the implementation of comprehensive supply chain management software.
Market conditions can change quickly, potentially altering inventory needs overnight. For years, U.S. sugar industry observers have expressed concern over the potential for Mexico's burgeoning sugar production industry to flood the American market, which would create a surplus and reduce demand. However, American Crystal Sugar CEO David Berg recently announced that Mexico's soft drink industry players intend to buy more of its sugar cane from domestic suppliers, reducing exports to other countries, including the U.S. Although industry experts are not yet sure how this will affect U.S. production, there is the possibility that American suppliers will ramp up activity if consumer demand increases.
Across the U.S. economy, signs are pointing upward, indicating potential growth. Private research group The Conference Board recently announced that its consumer confidence index rose to 81.5 in August. The metric had reached its highest point since January 2008 in June of this year when it topped out at 82.1. However, in July it fell back down to 81.
With the potential for increased consumer demand on the horizon, manufacturers need to be prepared to increase production. A sudden influx of inventory could cause substantial issues on the warehouse floor, resulting in costly delays. By deploying mobile devices with barcode scanner software, manufacturers can better orchestrate and synchronize supply chain activity. This will ensure that business leaders can quickly respond to changing needs as soon as they arise.