A supply chain is the system that delivers a product or service from the manufacturer to the consumer. The system includes organizations, people, resources, and processes in order to achieve its goals. These chains can be simple in theory but are almost always highly complex in practice due to the numerous moving parts. Even in small supply chains, total synchronicity is unrealistic, so real-word systems require modeling that integrates flexibility, fail-safes and efficient redundancies. Operations consulting
Stuck in a Loop
In a perfect business world, a company operates via a closed supply loop that is versatile, financially efficient, and environmentally friendly. Most chains, however, are not optimal. There are often built-in inefficiencies or inadequacies that have emerged due to changes in the market or business infrastructure. The remedies for such defects are often simple in theory, but the practical execution of those necessary changes is often a logistical nightmare. This is what is known as being stuck in a supply chain loop, since there is no simple way to make even a minor change without throwing a wrench into the works.
Supply chain consultants specialize in supply chains. They can design them, but they can also find ways to fix and upgrade them while ensuring that the wheels of productivity never stop spinning. Ideally, every business would have a specialist on staff, but the reality for most small businesses is that they cannot afford in-house consultants.
When it comes to supply chain problems, the biggest issues that most small business have are, first, recognizing that there is a correctable problem and, second, being willing to reach out for assistance. In order to overcome the first problem, a business should perform a yearly reassessment. If the business is not able to perform this assessment in house, then it should hire a consultant. It can be very beneficial to have the same consultant or consulting firm perform the yearly assessment and be directly involved in the repairing and upgrading of the chain.
Businesses can often have difficulty assessing and correcting their supply chains because they are a part of the system. This often leads to an objective perspective that is too narrow. Supply chain consultants, on the other hand, are more easily able to see the big picture. They also have the advantage of familiarity with other similar chains. They know what works and what doesn’t, and they are able to achieve efficiency without the trial and error that hamstrings so many small businesses.