May 08, 2020

10 reasons to upgrade your supply chain system

Coffee in bags and buckets

If you work with supply chains at all, it’s vital that you maintain your supply chain system. Here are ten reasons why you should consider an upgrade.

No matter what you produce, the supply chain is the lifeblood of the entire manufacturing industry. The supply chain is what connects a single coffee bean in Guatemala to the person who drinks the resulting cup of coffee in America, and it touches every single stop along the way.

For supply chain managers around the globe, it’s vital to maintain your supply chain system. Here are ten reasons why you should consider an upgrade.

Mitigate risk

The technology world is in a state of perpetual development where the tech of today might be outdated a week from now. It can be dizzying to keep up with all of it, but there are huge benefits to this rapid advancement. The main benefit is that yesterday’s problems have already been solved, and we’re working on the problems we might encounter tomorrow.

If your supply chain system is outdated, it was likely built around the problems of yesterday and not the issues of today. And this means you’re cumulatively adding risk to your supply chain as time goes on instead of mitigating it. By updating your supply chain system, you’re drastically reducing the amount of errors, and therefore the amount of risk, within that system.

Teams that make mitigating risk a priority continually update their supply chain software, tools and systems.

Take control of your inventory

It’s vital that you know where your inventory is at all times. A birds-eye view just doesn’t cut it in a world that expects things like rapid order fulfillment and next-day delivery.

Using state-of-the-art supply management tools, you can manage every item in your inventory on a micro level. That means finding any issues as they appear instead of after a customer has already complained about them, as well as solving potential problems before anyone else even notices they exist. This also drastically reduces lost inventory.

On top of all of this, knowing where your inventory is on such a granular level allows you to gauge demand and manage stock levels with razor-sharp accuracy. The faster you know when to reorder, when to restock, and when to retire a product that just isn’t selling, the more profits you’ll retain.

Avoid tech issues

Obviously, system shutdowns can cause major delays in your supply chain. This impacts everything from reorders to fulfillment, which translates to enormous losses in profits. If you’re using outdated supply chain technology, it’s highly likely that your system is vulnerable to outages that would be otherwise preventable. Don’t let technology shutdowns become business shutdowns.

Get data in real time

The world operates in real time; your data should too.

Lags in data make it impossible to pinpoint problems as they’re happening. Any lag at all can cause problems, but lengthy drops in data transfer can allow potential problems to snowball. Arm yourself with the data you need. Get alerted to potential problems affecting your key performance indicators. Use precise forecasting to create data-based solutions instead of relying on guesswork.

When you can watch your inventory in real time, you can react in real time. Eliminating lag in reaction time is vital in a fast-moving economy.

Meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

There’s a strong business case for sustainable farming, mining, and manufacturing: Sustainability is a pillar of the long-term success of your company. More importantly, crafting actionable sustainable development goals (SDGs) are an essential step in ensuring our children have a brighter future. SDGs touch on everything from reducing poverty to ensuring gender equality to providing healthcare, all of which are fundamental to humanity’s future. If you never realized that your supply chain could impact these issues, it’s absolutely time for an upgrade.

Of course, the goals we set today are meaningless if we don’t plan to meet them. By updating your supply chain system, you could be setting up your company to meet goals you’d be otherwise unable to.

This concept might be a little vague, so it’s valuable to provide a clear example here. BanQu’s blockchain platform gives farmers, miners, waste pickers and other originators an economic passport, or identity. With that identity, people in third-world companies are invited to participate in the global economy, something they’ve been excluded from for decades. It gives them faster access to the money they’ve earned by performing the fundamental tasks our manufacturing ecosystem depends on.

Beyond that, empowering impoverished farmers, many of whom are women, is an essential step in worldwide gender equality. Giving these workers access to their own identity records makes it easier for them to get healthcare and education, while it also lets the world check in on the sustainability and ethical productions of the raw materials these workers provide.

There’s a lot of good that can be done in this world, and updated supply chain systems are giving hope to the people who the world has overlooked for way too long.

Improve your budget

Even small holes in your budget can add up to enormous long-term losses for you and your company. What if you could cut losses by reducing waste and increase revenue with better forecasting at the same time? With current supply chain management tools, this becomes a reality.

Own your data

Supply chains create immense amounts of data, and all of it is critical to your business. When upgrading your supply chain system, make sure you consider this. Don’t let this data be managed by a third-party, who might sell it for profit or restrict your access to key fragments. Implement supply chain solutions that put your data where it belongs: in your own hands.

Increase transparency

Transparency in the supply chain is essential in making the whole thing run smoothly. When you can trace a product on a store shelf all the way back to the mine where the raw materials came from, you’re empowered to make decisions about your products on a level that would have been unimaginable just a decade ago. You can trace a defective product beyond the factory it was made from, all the way back to the factories that made the individual parts. This gives you an enormous about of control over the manufacturing process.

Reduce fraud

With the transparency mentioned in the previous point comes the ability to reduce fraud. Transparency lets you get to the bottom of fraudulent transactions faster than ever before. If something seems suspicious, you can learn more about it almost instantly.

Blockchain solutions provide another advantage here: With the immutable record provided by blockchain-based supply chain solutions, your data becomes invulnerable to tampering. Because blockchain records are decentralized, they prevent fraudsters from altering old data to cover their tracks.

Meet regulations

Regulation is an inevitable part of doing business. When the government creates standards for your business to live up to, you either need to meet those standards or risk lawsuits and legal entanglements, which could ultimately sink your business.

With a transparent supply chain, you can ensure your products are not being created using unethical labor practices, such as child labor. Not only does this prevent potential lawsuits, but it protects your reputation from being tarnished. When you can verify that your resources are being produced ethically, you can prove to the world that you’ve been doing the right thing all along.

Summary

If your supply chain system hasn’t been updated in a while, you’re missing out on an enormous amount of technical advancement that can ultimately streamline your business. The solutions to some of your greatest challenges probably already exist. Your supply chain is an essential component in your business, and it should be treated as such. Think about upgrading today.

BanQu creates blockchain solutions for some of the modern world's biggest challenges, such as supply chain transparency and identity platforms for impoverished populations. We believe that with blockchain's bright future, world poverty can become a thing of the past.