Working Through Challenges to Increase Supply Chain Efficiency

shutterstock_626665418HEADERWEBThere are many opportunities to increase supply chain efficiency. There are also many challenges that impact the ability to run efficiently. By working through some of the challenges with some practical methods that have a big impact on supply chain management, any organization can increase their supply chain efficiency, regardless of industry.

Let’s start by exploring a few of the challenges to supply chain efficiency that impact most industries.


Customer Service

Successful customer service means being able to provide customers with the right products in the proper quantities successfully. Meeting customer needs is the basis of what businesses do but it can be challenging when things go wrong. Striving to meet the needs of customers while being prepared to assist and problem solve when things go wrong is an important part of any operation.

Planning and Risk Management

Being able to adjust and reassess as needed is important. Identifying risks within a system and rectifying those risks to minimize their effect is very important to a healthy, efficient supply chain. Planning and risk management should be happening at all levels of the supply chain and communication channels should be open so everyone is operating with the same planning in mind.


Finding the right talent to product the right results is key. The right people will positively impact efficiency every day. Proper staffing means the right people but also the right number of people. Having enough support staffing will increase efficiency as people will work smarter.

Cost Control

Costs related to the supply chain are always increasing. By controlling the costs that are able to be controlled, and managing around the skyrocketing cost increases, the operation will be more efficient. In order to increase supply chain efficiency, solutions to mitigate challenges must be implemented or maintained effectively.



supplychainautomationWEBPotential Solutions

Where there are challenges there are potential solutions. Many of the tips for supply chain efficiency will impact more than one of the challenges. There are some potential ways to increase supply chain efficiency that will help reduce the impact of some of the challenges that frequently impact supply chains.



Become Cloud-based

Getting your operation cloud-based can go a long way towards increasing efficiency. Cloud-based means ease of access and sharing between employees and less storage space needed for paper record keeping. Overall, adopting the cloud can be a true game changer in terms of efficiency. It helps improve upon customer service challenges and also planning and risk management. It also impacts cost control because it reduces storage needs significantly.



Making communication simple and encouraging frequent communication is a big step in business efficiency. Rather than mixing old styles of communication with newer, more technological styles, it may work best to work towards streamlining and unifying all communication systems. When people are communicating well at all levels, increased efficiency is a natural result. Communication will positively impact customer service challenges and will also impact planning and risk management.



Being able to utilize intelligent, machine-based tools to automate tasks as often as possible will increase efficiency. When you can remove the unpredictable aspects of the supply chain and replace them with solutions that are consistent and happen automatically, it creates a more efficient system. Automation will positively impact cost control and will also have an effect on planning and risk management. One could even say that automation could positively impact customer service challenges as well.


Hiring the Right Personnel

Having a plan and a strategy in place and then meeting staffing goals based on the plan will result in people who are very connected to the system they work within. When everyone is working towards the same goals and understands the plan, efficiency will increase. Hiring the right people impacts all the challenges listed above. Customer service is always positively impacted by good staffing as is planning and risk management. The right staff positively impacts cost control and even helps with future staffing. Good people attract good people. Since people are the greatest resource within an organization, it is no surprise that hiring the right people positively impacts most challenges to an efficient supply chain.


In any industry there are always going to be challenges to efficiency. By managing some of the basic aspects, any organization can increase the quality and consistency of the results within their operation. An efficient supply chain is a core standard for performance that every operation should be managing towards. As efficiency increases, there can be focus on improving effectiveness as well. An efficient and effective supply chain will insure that external needs, such as customers and suppliers, will also be met along with the internal needs of the business.


For information on how Radwell International can assist with your supply chain efficiency




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