The global supply chain has not been without its interruptions lately, from the GM recall of more than 6 million cars to a multitude of large-scale natural disasters in the past few years. However, these disasters have not spurred a significant revision of risk management policies, according to Forbes Magazine.
While many companies may view such disasters as beyond their control, they actually have more tools to help them cope than they may be aware of. While the interruption may be a surprise, organizations should not let their suppliers' troubles impact business. With the proper data collection, analytic tools and ERP software, companies can operate more independently within the supply chain. With more accurate information on second-, and third-tier suppliers, enterprises can find ways to stay safe and productive when a crisis occurs.
Investments in Risk Management Have Other Benefits
One valuable risk management tool is automated and mobile data collection. Companies can expand their view of their supply chain and collect information in real time, allowing them to make quick, educated decisions on how to mitigate interruptions. However, these tools are not only an investment in risk management, they can also be utilized every day to make an organization more efficient and productive.
- Inventory Control: Data collection that updates in ERP systems in real time can drastically improve inventory control by showing the location of each order throughout the day as well as creating organized and detailed historical data that can be used to reduce overstock and stockout.
- Employee Performance: Staffing benefits from data collection in a couple of ways. A major advantage is that it's much easier to monitor the productivity of an individual employee, such as how long it takes him or her to get an item from the rack to the conveyer or to pack a box. However, reducing the need for employees to manually collect data also makes any worker more efficient.
- Tracking and Tracing: Whether to hasten response times to a recall or just improve daily operations, tracking and tracing orders in real time means that errors can be corrected before a customer is impacted. Companies can use pack scans to ensure that incomplete orders cannot be shipped due to human error. Reducing error rates increases customer satisfaction while cutting costs.
As the global supply chain increases in complexity and speed, organizations must have the ability to create accurate back-up plans for times when operations are impacted by outside factors. Automated data collection is an integral tool to achieving that goal.