Key Challenges Within Supply Chain in 2018

5/25/18 12:15 PM

In supply chain management, obstacles are presented daily. These obstacles hold a facility back from reaching it’s true potential - and also cost money. Key Supply Chain Challenges in 2018Fortunately, with every obstacle, there is a solution. Figuring out these issues will allow for great insight into the supply chain and will further enable a production facility to come closer to reaching overall efficiency.

Locating Supply Chain Challenges

The first step is asking one simple question: is the problem within the facility demand visibility or with unforeseeable flow circumstances? These are the two extensive hurdles that supply chains face and restrain companies from growth; with attributes of each issue differing from the other.

  • Improper demand forecasting and low visibility will hinder a facility from being able to properly produce the correct output due to unreliable data or system feedback. Reliable data should explain up-to-the-minute demand changes with high visibility. Without this insight, a series of problems, such as too much or too little of inventory, may lead to stock outs or inflated stock holding cost. If a facility is experiencing low data accuracy and stock shortages or surpluses, demand forecasting may be the issue.
  • Unforeseen circumstances are common in the supply chain. Anything can happen; machines breaking down, maintenance, an economic collapse, labor deciding not to attend work, and even accidents within a facility. These issues can arise at the worst possible moments and will hold production back - ultimately costing the facility revenue.

Key Challenges within Supply Chain in 2018As these issues become prominent within a facility, they can contribute to inaccurate delivery times. Inaccurate delivery times will show signs to the customer that there are issues within the supply chain and may give the facility a bad reputation. Consumers can be unforgiving, making sure the product is delivered on time is arguably one of the most important aspects to be considered. Therefore, with these obstacles to be considered, what are ways to solve these complex issues?

Overcoming Supply Chain Obstacles

These obstacles can be difficult to overcome, but it is not impossible. Taking a deeper look into the area of these issues and taking into account all (or most) things needed to be considered can move things toward a solution. Accounts to be considered are:

  • Shifts Within an Industry
  • History & Organization of Orders
  • Data Analysis Teams - Marketing, Sales, Finance, etc.
  • Planning and Strategic ventures

Advocating awareness in these areas will promote faster problem-solving and comprehension of future problems. Discovering the areas where there are inventory or material issues can have it almost always leading back to either poor planning or unreliable demand forecasting. With complex outdated systems often found to be the culprit of these issues, advanced planning and scheduling systems could be the solution.

Utilizing APS with Supply Chain Solutions

Advanced planning and scheduling systems (APS) utilize real-time demand forecasting and augmented planning for unforeseen circumstances. It is a collaborative system that is easy-to-use and diminishes the inconveniences of manual-entering systems. It also includes easy scheduling of orders with high visibility, accurate data, “what if” analysis, and flexible alerts. APS systems are changing the manufacturing industry and allowing production facilities to up their game against competitors. 

Related Demand Forecasting Video 

 APS Resources

Topics: Factory Scheduling, Advanced Planning and Scheduling, capacity planning, management, project management, supply chain, agility, capacity, constraint, scheduling, MRP, multi-plant, Demand Forecasting, minimize waste, Material Requirement Planning, Capacity Modeling, workload, challenges in supply chain

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