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Flexible Solutions Are Needed to Make Supply Chains More Efficient & Reliable

Picking up where we left off in December, this month we're talking about supply chain resiliency.



Last month we talked about the growing complexity and interconnectedness of global supply chains. We explained that businesses of every size have new opportunities to serve ever-larger markets, but they're also finding it harder to compete without innovative warehousing, inventory management, and distribution systems and strategies.

Nearly 9-out-of-10 supply chain professionals say they plan to invest in making supply chains more agile within the next two years." - Gartner Research

This month we're focused on why logistics is still a weak link when it comes to building a business that can survive through turbulent times, and why 89% of respondents to a recent industry survey say they plan to invest in making their supply chain more resilient. 

Supply chain resilience isn't new - it's just getting another look

In 2017, consulting firm Deloitte issued a trend report that stated, "The threat of [supply chain] disruption is higher than ever." At the time, they didn't know about the natural and man-made events on the horizon that were about to upend the global economy, so they weren't wrong – they were just ahead of their time.

Ultimately, the firm's analysts concluded that "there are steps businesses can take to lead, navigate...and cultivate resilience in their supply chains - which translates to better anticipating and recovering from the unexpected."

In hindsight, it seems that many businesses didn't get the message.

Fast-forward to 2023; now there's a new Deloitte report on the future of freight, which describes why logistics managers are still fixing broken production and fulfillment systems that didn't hold up under the strain of "disastrous bottlenecks and price spikes" caused by COVID. 

According to this study, businesses that manufacture goods overseas and then ship them where they're needed at the last minute take on significant inventory risks with potentially negative consequences for both profitability and customer satisfaction. The evidence? The just-in-time supply chains designed to minimize cost at the expense of resilience that simply failed during and after the pandemic. 

When "just in time" just isn't enough

If you're still relying on just-in-time fulfillment to manage waste and reduce holding costs at the expense of a more agile operation, maybe now is the time to reconsider the advantages of just-in-case inventory that's always there when you need it. 

But how do you become more agile when it comes to moving, storing, and delivering goods? To steal an old adage from Apple Computers, you need to "think different." 

Onshoring, or nearshoring – when companies move manufacturing and distribution closer to the end consumer – is one idea many brands are considering to mitigate inventory risk and build resiliency.

And if a one-size-fits-all logistics solution isn't suitable for your business, look for more flexible options to keep critical inventory close at hand for a reasonable price.

About Cura

IBM, a world-leader in digital supply chain management, says "supply chain resiliency isn't a one-time project, it's an ongoing process". 

At Cura Group, we focus on building partnerships with our clients to help them manage the intermediate steps between manufacturing and delivery because almost every business needs smarter warehousing and distribution. 

Contact us to see if our affordable, customizable "build, operate, manage" 3PL model is the right solution to keep your supply chain humming.

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Topics: e-commerce business growth distribution strategy last-mile distribution center managed pick-up centers