Article: Top 5 ways to optimize your global supply chain

BLOG

Top 5 Ways to Optimize Your Global Supply Chain

NOVEMBER 9, 2018
Author: Rob Garrison
Image
Global trade is tough and getting tougher. Here are five ways to help you compete more effectively.
1. Digital Order Management
Most International Orders are placed electronically, However 98% of the orders are managed manually once sent. The electronic order is continuously denigrated through manual processes resulting in the dreaded 3 M's - manual effort, mistakes, and miscommunication. Keep your order digital throughout the process so that you can tie your digital supply electronically to your digital demand.

2. Supplier Collaboration
Most International supplier relationships are managed via spreadsheet and email. This makes it nearly impossible to analyze and improve these relationships. Ensure you have a effective CRM with modern communication tools (video, mobile, chat) and a robust business intelligence tool. Great supplier relationships and collaboration capabilities are critical to your effectiveness.

3. Business Intelligence
The supply chain contains a gold mine of data, but only if you can mine it. The ability to tie disparate sets of data together to make informed decisions is critical. For example: How will Chinese new year impact my sales? Minimum data needed to answer - suppliers in china, orders falling in / on / around that date, dollar value of orders, hot product vs not, lead time, on hand inventory, demand.

4. Machine Learning
The average International order takes 4 months from placement to receipt. Dozens of hand-offs and technical interchanges occur during this process, and it's critical to understand how long each should take and how to optimize them. Every week's worth of improvement in time is a corresponding week's worth of improved sales opportunity and lower inventory costs.

5. Structured Flows
Without a map (or GPS) it's tough to know the best way to reach your distant destination. The journey from factory to sale is a long and complicated one. Your International supply chain needs a robust Import Management System (IMS) to help you manage the journey, along with all the tools needed to make it drama free (are we there yet?). Dynamic milestones to plan your best route, real time visibility to each activity, collaboration tools to tie in all impacted parties, transparency to every change, and inbuilt guides and checklists to manage the process.

6. Bonus! Compliance
International trade requires social, supply chain, and governmental compliance. Managing millions of dollars of inventory manually makes these compliance efforts difficult at best, and extremely risky at worst. Your IMS should account for all of these technical requirements, and be flexible enough to manage to your exact standards throughout.

Discover how Mercado can help your supply chain

Check out more details on the Mercado platform or get in touch with our team here and we'll be happy to help

Recommended resources for you




Start your Mercado journey
Get started with Mercado today and discover how you can better control your imports from source to store.

 

Start your Mercado journey
Get started with Mercado today and discover how you can better control your imports from source to store.

 
Mercado Unlimited
Join our exclusive mailing list and receive regular updates from Mercado.
Sign In Image
A better way to import
Start your Mercado journey
Get started with Mercado today and discover how you can better control your imports from source to store.
Image
Launching Summer 2018!
Mercado Unlimited
Join our exclusive mailing list and receive regular updates from Mercado.