Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) face similar supply chain challenges to large companies but can find them more difficult to overcome.
With the right partner and advanced supply chain management software, small businesses can predict the future better, maximize available opportunities and nullify the negative impact of uncertainty and disruptions. Some of the main challenges they face are:
- Meeting increasingly high customer-service expectations
- Keeping control of costs, especially those related to transportation
- Risk identification and mitigation
- Achieving supply chain visibility
- Building and maintaining supplier and partner relationships
- Keeping up to date with technology developments
- Targeting global markets
How a small business can improve their supply chain in challenging times
SMEs face many challenges that can disrupt the company’s supply chain. Nonetheless, there are also steps your company can take to avoid these happening.
SME Supply chain management is built on data such as, master data, physical inventory balances or open orders. Many SMEs have issues with the availability, age, and quality of the data that they use for their supply chain operations. If the data is missing, old, or of poor quality, then the resulting plans will not be effective. The use of digital technologies and effective data management processes can improve your supply chain management and decision making.
Small businesses are up against a multitude of inventory management challenges. Customer expectations are constantly changing, demand is volatile, ecommerce is driving greater competition, and regulatory compliance is more complex than ever. Having the right inventory in place at the right time is crucial for SMEs to survive and find opportunities for growth. Cloud-based supply chain management software can provide complete, real-time visibility into your supply chain operations and help you to make informed supply chain decisions.
SMEs typically have modest IT budgets, which can be a huge challenge to achieve the levels of visibility required for your supply chain to be competitive. Most enterprises struggle to achieve complete visibility due to heavy investments in legacy supply chain systems. Outsourcing your data analytics to a third party will enable SMEs to utilise modern technology to increase efficiencies while keeping costs down.
Supplier Relationship Management
Supplier relationship management can be complex with potential conflicts on issues such as on-time billing and payments, delayed shipments, quality of shipments etc. Small companies have little leverage over their suppliers when compared to larger businesses, making it difficult for them to negotiate effectively. Outsourcing your logistics to a single partner (or 4PL) will resolve this issue. A 4PL partner manages a combination of warehouses, shipping companies, freight forwarders, and representatives on behalf of the client and regulates and maintains the supply chain.
Overall solution: Outsource your logistics
By outsourcing your logistics, it will take the pressure off your company and leaves the complicated tasks to the experts. There are many behind the scenes tasks that logistic providers deal with such as customs, product packaging as well as import and export documentation.
The best solution for an SME would be to outsource to a 4PL provider (Fourth party logistic). A 4PL acts as a true global supply chain partner. It oversees managing and controlling all activities inside the supply chain network enabling your businesses to expand with confidence.
How Titan can help you with improving your supply chain
Titan Solutions is here to assist you in improving your supply chain. We act as a fourth-party logistics provider, which means we can handle all aspects of your supply chain, including warehousing, storage, and distribution. More info on our technology here.
- Full supply chain visibility through a single dashboard
- Simplification of customer experience
- Control carrier performance via integrated control tower and round the clock support
- Improve service cost and performance using integrated data analytics
- Connect and standardise multiple carrier networks within a single platform
- Deploy at scale through standard API protocols with accompanying technical support