7 Practical Steps To Improve Supply Chain Efficiency

A good supply chain meets the needs of both producers and consumers and adopts a holistic management strategy. It only makes sense if operations across several regions work together to improve efficiency. This convenience for the logistics department makes managing every component of an integrated supply chain for several entities considerably easier.

Supply Chain Management helps to manage the flow of everything from goods to natural disasters. Supply chain managers oversee the logistics of every organisation on a global scale. They can easily discover problems or disruptions for uninterrupted products transportation with effective SCM.

Here are 7 practical steps to help you build an efficient supply chain.

1. Improve Supply Chain Visibility

It is critical to ensure that your company is agile and capable of adapting to uncertainties. Organizations can improve their scalability and adaptability by sequencing their priorities. This entails realigning processes and supply lines to prepare for the unexpected. This may be accomplished by rapidly testing and deploying blockchains, drones, and the Internet of Things (IoT), all of which are technologies and tools that can be used to develop a future-proof supply chain system.

Other options include developing more carbon-neutral supply chain initiatives. Because of the current environment, organizations must clearly define their supply chain management plans and vision to stay on track. Any expenditures must be made to support supply chain infrastructure.

2. Choose Reliable Suppliers

It is nearly impossible to overstate how critical it is to identify the most qualified suppliers. When it comes to selecting suppliers, price is not the only consideration. Most crucial is to choose suppliers who are dependable in their performance. This enables you to fulfil your role of providing your customers with the highest possible quality.

It’s vital to undertake a thorough investigation to find someone who has a solid reputation for maintaining excellent quality, customer service, and packaging, as well as ethical company operations.

3. Create Lean Supply Chain

Successful supply chains are lean, cost-effective, and dependable. So, if you want to reduce your supply chain costs low while maintaining the reliability of your process, reassess your supply chain strategy and goals to verify you’re employing the best possible approach for your firm.

Make sure that your strategy is appropriate for your business model. Online-only firms, for example, may want to pursue a drop shipping strategy for their supply chain. Meanwhile, migrating to a wholesale model may result in supply chain improvements for B2B enterprises. Examine your selections to ensure you aren’t missing out on any good discounts. If your supplier likes to use a specific 3PL provider, but that provider is more expensive, talk with them to see if they would be willing to ship their goods through an alternative logistics provider.

4. Automate Your Supply Chain Process

The use of digital technologies to increase efficiency, connect applications, and streamline procedures within supply chain operations is known as supply chain automation. Intelligent technologies such as  Robotic Process Automation, Digital Process Automation, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning are commonly used.

Automation and the rapid speed of technological advancement have altered the way businesses work and practically every facet of daily life. From self-driving cars to factory robots, it is one of the most significant advancements in human history. It can also be utilized to assist in the management and optimization of supply chain activities. Companies can utilize robots, artificial intelligence (AI), and automated sorters with capabilities that use Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. They can also use drone delivery to increase the pace and efficiency of their operations.

5. Monitor Your System

Just because something works well now does not guarantee that it will work well tomorrow. Intelligent supply chain professionals understand this and monitor critical supply chain aspects to identify weak places. Inventory management services that combine both supplier and logistics management platforms are an excellent approach to uncover areas of inefficiency in your supply chain efficiency quickly. However, you can actively search for issue locations and implement improvements.

Examine your recent supply chain performance at least once a quarter. Attempt to spot any emerging patterns. Is your company facing an increase in late shipments, unmet orders, products, or variable quality? If this is the situation, try to pinpoint the source of the problems in your system, whether it’s a supplier, a 3PL provider, or inefficient warehouse handling.

Once you’ve identified the source of your difficulties, you can select the best course of action to enhance your supply chain. This could imply switching to a different vendor, experimenting with a new shipping service, or providing better warehouse personnel training.

6. Upgrade Your Returns Management

The importance of a solid returns management procedure should not be underestimated. It goes beyond simply assisting your firm in the running more efficiently. It can significantly impact customer perceptions and their faith in the brand, the company, and the services it offers. A favourable product return experience can result in an increase in a customer’s future purchases and recommendations and the amount of profit the company receives as a result.

An excellent supply chain management plan includes an effective returns management system because it is necessary to give returns the same care as shipping out stock. When you have a sound returns management system in place, you can swiftly and efficiently process or re-manufacture returned items to service consumers fast and efficiently.

Keep track of everything as soon as possible when you get started. One broken product may seem insignificant, but ten damaged products in two days can indicate that an entire shipment of faulty products has arrived. Little things can lead you to the discovery of significant supply chain issues. As previously said, contemporary technology can play an essential part in achieving excellent SCM. Get your hands on the best and the most powerful software you can find, and make sure it is compatible with existing systems. Returns prevention software needs access to critical data repositories within your organization to function correctly.

7. Leverage Modern Technology

The technology that is available now plays a significant role in the improvement of SCM. Implementing a solid Warehouse Management System (WMS), for example, is what allows successful organizations to streamline their supply chain management (SCM).

The use of a WMS makes it simple to track, document, and analyze the success of your supply chain management system over time. It improves data collecting and, through data analytics, delivers essential insights into the data. Firms wishing to achieve a high degree of SCM efficiency should also consider investing in transport management software. It is possible to integrate all operations from a single control panel thanks to computerized shipping and tracking systems.

It is also possible to have a similar panel on your mobile device, which allows you to arrange your inventory data, handle shipping, monitor distribution, and so on – all from the comfort of the office. Companies can reduce the time-consuming manual involvement and accelerate decision-making through the use of technology. Arguably, technology-driven SCMs play a significant role in assisting organizations in gaining a competitive edge.


Focusing on selecting dependable suppliers and logistics providers, developing supply chain sustainability, and facilitating the flow of information throughout your organization can go a long way toward lowering costs and increasing customer satisfaction. If you want to build an efficient supply chain, you’ll need to analyse the impact of changing your supply chain management system on operational costs, service provision, working capital, and, most crucially, company revenue.

Your End-to-End Supply Chain Partner

Stockarea offers end-to-end supply chain services such as Warehousing, Freight Forwarding, Customs Clearance, and Transportation, acting as your logistics backbone. Let us take care of your complex supply chain so that you can focus on your core business.