Start The Year With A Supply Chain Review

Kristina Causer

From SME’s to large multinationals, now is the time to create opportunities in your supply chain.

The global business environment has, to say the least, been hugely challenging over recent years. Wading from a global pandemic to economic slumps and volatile political environments, every shape and size of business has to innovate to find the hidden path to safeguarding their business.

Gartner’s ‘Future of Supply Chain:Crisis shaped the profession’ report found 77% of companies are investing in deeper and more collaborative supplier relationships to improve resilience and agility. The pandemic also jolted a spike in supply chain manager roles globally and the UK seeing vacancies for supply chain managers on job sites such as Indeed rising by 22% in 2022.

Needless to say, every aspect of the supply chain has to be carefully managed and a scrupulous eye needs to be cast over it continuously. Every day we see the challenges our customers (businesses of all sizes from the UK and globally) face to fulfill orders and meet ever-growing customer demand. But we really believe that time is well spent taking a step back to put your supply chain under review, and we aren’t just talking to the large organisations, with thousands of staff and a global presence, but we are shouting this out loud to our SME community too.

SME’s! Don’t ignore the power of your supply chain

Earlier this month the government launched the ‘Help to Grow’ campaign for SME’s to support them with funding, knowledge and leadership programmes. With such a focus on the 5.5 million SME’s in the UK this is an opportunity for SME’s to take stock and lean on all the support available to them.

Leaning on Logistics

It may be surprising to know that the people with the best insights into supply chains, customs, trade routes live within logistics and are organisations like us at Baxter Freight. With a birds-eye perspective on how different industries operate, source and move goods, we can quickly see where there is an inefficiency or potential black spot.

Paying Duty and Saving Money

Since Brexit many businesses have either given up trading in Europe or are paying duties or inflated costs they shouldn’t be. It doesn’t matter if you are an SME with 5 employees or 150 if you are sourcing goods globally to resell and distribute, your long-term success can be hidden within it.

Comfort Click, an online retailer and wholesaler specialising in well-being products, felt the impact of Brexit, paying double duty on goods imported into the UK, which were then exported and distributed across Europe. Leaning on a logistics partner focused on longer-term goals, beyond just moving goods, provided Comfort Click with the insights and practical solution to overcome the escalating costs of customs duties and within a few months they were saving thousands of pounds and streamlined their logistics processes.

comfort click

Supply Chain Health Check for larger organisations

Complex supply chains have the most to gain through rigorous scrutiny. Even the Ministry Of Defence has taken major steps to overhaul their supply chain and logistics, publishing their strategy to improve its resilience.

Our Associate Director, Solutions Consultancy, Dan Myers, has also noticed a seismic shift in recent years;

Dan-Myers-Baxter-Freight

Supply chains are being seen more and more as a way for businesses to gain a competitive advantage.

The range of issues of recent times, and their impact on profits and revenue, have pushed supply chain management and logistics to the forefront of C-level executives minds. Organisations can no longer rely on one region for all of their sourcing needs. Executives are starting to build their businesses around agile and resilient supply chain models such as reshoring to deal with sudden changes in demand and deal with disruptions to ensure customer’s experiences remain consistent.

Not only is it the responsibility of the Logistics/ Supply Chain Manager but cross-departmental alignment at the highest level of an organisation is becoming more commonplace when deciding suppliers, trade routes, terms of purchase, and logistics partners. There is a growing trend that executives believe they can capitalise on competitor‘s inability to adapt and therefore grow market share by having a supply chain of excellence in their chosen sector.”

This has long been the case for one of UK’s major clothing and homeware retailers who we have worked closely with to keep their supply chain working hard for them. Our role was to ensure their European customers didn’t feel the impact of Brexit, avoiding long delivery times and inflated delivery costs. After nearly three years that service continues but is also under continuous review to ensure optimisation.

Supply Chain Review: Next Steps

Supply chains vary from business to business, and even within a business, so reviewing them requires a flexible approach as there is very rarely a one-size fits all solution. Understanding the trading industry as a whole, the relative trade routes, supplier locations, and best practices in process, automation and digitisation is key to unlocking the potential.

Sometimes it may seem there is nothing wrong with the supply chain, but a little digging can often uncover weak areas, where contingencies or even a change in supplier or process is necessary to future-proof your business. This can also be the exciting opportunity you uncover! From gaining competitive advantage, driving efficiency, building stronger relationships with suppliers to lead your business into the future.

Our own team of Solutions Architects work daily with businesses of all sizes to create power in the supply chain why not get in touch to see what you could uncover? New opportunities made possible by logistics.

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