Recent worldwide supply chain disruptions have put a spotlight on international business and supply chain management. While the backlog is beginning to clear up, challenges still remain. From international freight costs to tracking and visibility issues, supply chain managers have their work cut out for them.
Fortunately, there are many strategies and tools that supply chain professionals can utilize to ensure their global supply chain is running as efficiently and effectively as possible. Let’s dive into the key strategies you can use to stay successful in your role.
Let’s Get Strategic About International Business and Supply Chain Management
Whether you need to improve communication or increase visibility, there are many ways to improve supply chain management on a global scale. Here are six strategies we recommend implementing.
1. Prioritize Your End Customer
Creating value for your end customer should always be at the top of your list of global supply chain strategies. Consider how you can drive improvement to support customers:
- Reduce delivery times.
- Minimize product shortages.
- Provide better service levels.
These customer-centric improvements can positively impact other areas of the supply chain, such as reducing inventory levels or improving supplier performance. And when your clients are happy, you will have more breathing room to address other challenges.
2. Improve On-Time Performance
As you expand your global supply chain management efforts, take the time to measure and track on-time performance for carriers and suppliers. These metrics can greatly impact freight costs, inventory levels, and customer loyalty, so staying on top of your performance is vital.
Implementing a freight audit system is a great way to monitor on-time performance and ensure you’re getting the best possible service from your vendors. Additionally, utilizing technology like real-time tracking and automated alerts can help you quickly identify delays and take corrective action.
3. Perform Cost Analyses
Don’t let your supply chain costs get out of control. By performing regular cost analyses, you can identify areas of your global supply chain where you’re overspending and make adjustments.
- Start by understanding the true costs of your supply chain – from transportation to inventory.
- Rate shop with carriers and consolidate shipments to reduce shipping costs.
- Consider outsourcing certain supply chain elements – such as warehousing and order fulfillment – to save money.
Whatever changes you make, make sure they are in the best interests of your end customer.
4. Centralize Your Data
Data is the lifeblood of any supply chain operation, but it can be difficult to track and manage information when it’s spread across multiple systems. This challenge is only exacerbated when dealing with international trade.
Centralizing your data will help you increase visibility into every aspect of your supply chain, from inventory levels to customer orders. Investing in a comprehensive supply chain system such as our CloudLogix platform can help you collect, store, and analyze all of your data in a single location.
Consider the value of our integrated end-to-end supply chain solution to help you make better decisions and drive improvements.
5. Streamline Your Carrier Invoicing Process
Invoicing can be a major headache for managers of global supply chains. The process is often slow and manual, with errors slipping through the cracks. Outdated methods also lead to excessive paperwork and back-and-forth email chains, which can be a burden for carriers and suppliers.
Utilizing a comprehensive carrier invoice management solution can help in the following ways:
- Optimize key processes.
- Reduce errors and wasted effort.
- Increase visibility into the entire invoicing process.
With this type of software, you can automate the entire invoicing workflow and quickly generate reports to monitor costs and identify areas for savings.
6. Simplify Outbound Shipping
Outbound shipping can be a major challenge, especially when dealing with multiple carriers. To reduce the stress and complexity of managing outbound shipments, consider using a transportation management system (TMS).
A TMS can make it easier to perform these critical tasks:
- Compare rates.
- Book shipments.
- Track and trace shipments across multiple carriers.
A TMS service provider can also offer personalized support and help you troubleshoot any issues that arise throughout the process.
Plus, many TMS solutions can be integrated with your ERP system so you can manage the entire process from one platform. ERP implementation is certainly the case with our CloudLogix platform!
CloudLogix Can Help You Manage Your Global Supply Chain
Managing a supply chain on an international scale is no small feat, but it doesn’t have to be a burden with the best systems in place. The CloudLogix supply chain platform can help you manage all aspects of your global supply chain – from order management to invoicing and everything in between.
Our intuitive and user-friendly platform simplifies the complexities of global supply chain business management so that you can focus on what matters most: serving your customers and driving growth.
Schedule a demo of our platform today. Discover how CloudLogix can help streamline international business and supply chain management for your company so that you can gain a competitive advantage.