Organizing supply chains to adapt to changing market conditions can be a challenge. The truth is that the global marketplace is always changing, and what is expensive from one supplier in one country might be cheap from another company somewhere else. That's why businesses always have to stay on top of the latest trends not only when it comes to buying goods but also shipping them from their place of origin. In other words, a well-designed supply chain is in a constant state of flux.
Another important aspect to remember about a solid supply chain is that it dramatically impacts the rest of a business, so that neglecting it can result in poor pricing situations. If items can't be sourced efficiently, then they can't be sold for the right amount. According to Supply Chain Brain, one of the major things that holds businesses back is charging too much or too little for something in accordance with the prices in the marketplace. But when companies can offer a competitive product for a new price, this is often a potential disruption in how business is done by other companies, which could result in a shakeup of prevailing norms about a product, leading to becoming a major product distributor. An example of this might be Starbucks, which sold coffee for more than the prevailing price but sold it at a higher quality and changed the entire way people think of coffee in the marketplace.
Adapting to Change
Before thinking about what to charge customers, it should be the first priority of a business to think about how it sources things. According to the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, globalization is going to become even bigger than it already is as countries previously not on the radar jump to the forefront through the raw materials and markets they offer. An example of this would be developing countries in South America, which present a new and expanding market for infrastructure technology like electric cables and lights.
Because globalization makes the supply chain more complex, companies need to begin thinking carefully about how they structure themselves. A good approach would be to have many different experts in acquiring certain goods and moving them across the country - regional gurus in sourcing particular items - who then answer to an increasingly centralized group of people. In other words, as globalization grows supply chain networks further, companies need to begin thinking more locally.
In order to do this, businesses can take advantage of data collection solutions. This is going to become more important as people begin to source from many places depending on best-price scenarios. Managers will want to know where their products are coming from and when they arrived. When the trucks deliver the material, people on the ground can quickly use barcode scanners to put everything into a computer, which then updates automatically as items go through the factory to be made into the finished goods. Ideally, at the end of the process, the items and their components can all be traced to specific sources, which will help companies identify quality sourcing partners and expedient carriers.
Differentiating the Products
When companies are fully aware of their supply chain, they can begin to consider changing prices and finding other ways to differentiate themselves. According to Supply Chain Brain, one of these points of difference will be the level of service companies provide their clients after a product ships. For those who have made a careful investigation into the various components of a product, as well as the sources for these items, it will be easy to match a replacement part with the equivalent product made of the same materials. In the case of recalls, it will also be easier to take items off the market when the faulty part of the product has been traced to a certain supplier.