Supply chain interruptions, otherwise known as disruptions in the delivery of raw materials or parts to manufacturing plants and factories for completion of orders, are a fact of life. In fact, they are so common that they are called “chronic”. The term “chronic” was selected because of its frequent and chronic character. In fact, it is a bit of an exaggeration to call them “chronic” given the fact that most interruptions are only on a minute-by-minute basis. However, “chronic” does capture the reality of the situation better than “minute-by-minute” to some degree.
Supply chain interruptions can occur for many reasons. Some of the more common causes include excessive loading or unloading by shipping or transportation channels, engines that are out of service, raw materials that are bought on short notice, and even obsolete parts or materials. In addition, some sources can experience just a few interruptions in a particular supply chain cycle, while others may experience hundreds or thousands of interruptions throughout the process. These interruptions can significantly reduce the speed or efficiency with which the cycle completes and can even cause the entire chain to come to a standstill. If this happens, the effect can be disastrous, and it can have long-term implications on the companies’ ability to compete in today’s global marketplace.
Many companies believe that their businesses can survive on a level if average or below average levels of performance are maintained. Unfortunately, this belief is sometimes based on the companies own perception of their own ability to control and manage the process. If companies don’t believe they can do this, then they will be much more likely to experience supply chain interruptions.
The reality is that the only way to really keep your business moving in a smooth fashion is to maintain the ability to accurately anticipate future demands and to be able to quickly and efficiently respond to those demands. Just because you are in the business of manufacturing something doesn’t mean that you can’t become distracted. You may be sitting in the office working on a new client proposal when you suddenly receive a call from a client whose product is ready for production. While you are away from the office, your supplier contacts you about a new delivery of raw materials. This can cause a lot of problems if you do not have the resources to meet the new delivery request in a timely manner.
The most common causes of supply chain disruptions occur when a large company buys raw materials from a smaller company that doesn’t have the capacity to keep up with the new demand. When this occurs, there can be substantial delays in the process. Not only can the raw materials cause interruptions, but they can also become overstocked and result in loss of business for your company. In addition, a company can experience a cash flow crisis when they purchase too many products from too many different vendors.
There are several ways to avoid having a long or short supply chain. First, if you can buy the materials in bulk, you can often negotiate a better price than you would if you were to simply buy it piecemeal. Second, by buying in bulk, you can often get much better pricing than you would if you sold individual items. Third, by working with a larger vendor, you can create a more efficient distribution system. Fourth, it can sometimes be helpful to work with multiple vendors. Finally, when you have a long and winding supply chain, it is important to have a backup plan in place should a chain disruption occur.
What are some common causes of supply chain interruptions? The most common interruptions occur during the start of the production process and end of the processing process. The most obvious problem is when your vendor fails to fulfill your order. In fact, some businesses experience more interruptions during the start of the process than they do at the end. Other common interruptions include issues regarding backorders, stock shortages, and return-shipping issues. Each of these issues requires a different solution.
How can your business avoid these frustrating supply chain interruptions? First, if you must deal with a backorder, you should make sure that you’re ordering in advance. If you aren’t ordering in advance, ask your vendor to place the order for you. Next, if you have a large order, it may be beneficial to place the order with a different vendor so that you’ll have more control over the distribution. Finally, if you have backorders or if your vendor experiences stock shortages, it’s always a good idea to contact the manufacturer directly and find out how you can receive the goods you need without interrupting the chain.