Sustainable Sourcing – 6 Supply Chain Management Tips All Business Owners Need to Know

Your supply chain includes every vendor involved in getting your completed products or services to customers. It includes finished goods, work-in-progress goods, and raw materials as they move from their point of origin to the end consumer. 

Tracking every product and process in a business can be challenging for even the savviest company owners, but you may learn something new from these tips below. 

Don’t Forget the Local Community

If you’ve been trying to think of ways to make your business more community-focused without negatively impacting everyday operations, social procurement could be just the thing your supply chain needs. 

What is social procurement? This term refers to the practice of working with suppliers, partners, and employees who allow you to do some good in the world. Some examples include purchasing ingredients from local farmers, having a small local startup handle your IT support, or purchasing raw materials from a sustainable business. 

Studies show that most consumers will spend more with ethical companies that have sustainable business practices. A community-focused supply chain tends to be more robust than an overseas one since it may be less likely to collapse under your watchful eye. 

Have Multiple Suppliers

Most business owners are familiar with the adage of not putting all your eggs in one basket. When you rely on one supplier, one client, or one product, you’ve got nothing else to fall back on if you experience delays, low stock, or other issues. 

Instead, have several suppliers that sell identical products. If one supplier falls through, you’ll have others to keep the supply chain open. 

Stay in Constant Communication

Communication is essential in a supply chain as each link relies on the one before and after it. When working with suppliers and customers, keep them updated on what’s happening. 

If you know you’re going to experience high demand for a particular product, let your suppliers know so they can be ready. 

Understand That Humans Make Mistakes

No matter how much innovative technology you include in your workplace to make sure your supply chain is error-free, there are still humans at the helm, and humans make mistakes. 

There may be times when your supplier sends the wrong products, gets quantities wrong, or in the worst case, falls victim to a supply chain attack. Rather than getting mad, work with them to develop a solution that benefits you both. They will surely try harder not to make that mistake again in the future. 

Plan for Problems

When you put time and effort into your supply chain, you’re essentially ensuring that your business will run like a well-oiled machine. However, most experienced business owners know this won’t always be the case. You have to plan for every business problem and worst-case scenario and have solutions for them before they’ve even arisen.                                                                    

Take time during those early days of your supply chain’s creation to troubleshoot potential problems. You can then give your team a play-by-play guide for managing any challenging situations that are thrown their way. 

Have an Excellent Tracking System

When you have to track so many materials and products worldwide, it’s easy for things to get lost. Reduce the risk of that happening by investing in an excellent tracking system. At a minimum, you should be able to track when packages leave a supplier. 

When you put time and effort into creating a robust supply chain, such as with social procurement, you can enjoy knowing that you’ve done everything in your power to keep your team, customers, and suppliers happy.  

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