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How can I avoid supply chain problems?

Thursday, 7 February 2013 | By Dean Ramler

What are the common supply chain problems you face? How can you best overcome them?

 

According to the definition on Wikipedia, a supply chain is a “system of organisations, people, technology, activities, information and resources involved in moving a product or service from supplier to customer.”

 

Traditionally supply chains were very complex, where the manufacturer would sell to an agent, who would sell to an importer, who would sell to a wholesaler, who sold to the retailers, before finally ending up with the customer. Along the way each takes their 10-15%, resulting in very high prices for customers.

 

Thanks to technological advancements, namely the internet, companies have been able to bypass all the traditional middlemen and deliver the product direct from the manufacturing floor to the customer. This is what we have done at Milan Direct.

 

Yet even with a more streamlined supply chain with costs tightly controlled, problems do arise, which need to be resolved if your business is going to be successful.

 

The common problems you are likely to face include:

  • Delays in manufacturing
  • Delays caused by the freight forwarder
  • Delays in shipping
  • Delays in in-bound receiving
  • Nationwide delivery delays
  • Damage to product at any stage of the supply chain

So the major supply chain problem you face today is ensuring minimal delays along the entire supply chain, so that you can get your product to market in the fastest possible manner. At each stage of the supply chain there is room for error and delays, so it is essential to minimise these delays.

 

At Milan Direct, we overcome this by having checks in place along the entire supply chain. For instance, in the manufacturing stage we have pre, mid and post production checks to ensure the order is being manufactured within our desired time frame and to our high quality standards.

 

Then we ensure that our logistics partners have accurate information and all relevant documents to clear containers in a timely manner.

 

Outside of delays, the other major problem that can derail a business is your product being damaged at any stage of the supply chain. So it is essential to ensure your products are properly packaged so that they can get from the manufacturing floor all the way to your customers door in perfect condition.

 

This is a major focus for us at Milan Direct, and we always pay extra to have bullet proof packaging. So, for instance, we add extra layers of foam, ensure the cardboard used is as thick and strong as possible, as well as adding other features to our packaging to withstand the long distances it will travel.

 

So in order to have complete control over your supply chain, and to eliminate costs, do your best to minimise delays, and pay extra attention to your packaging solutions.