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6 tips for purchasing in a widespread supply chain

6 tips for purchasing in a widespread supply chain

For many companies in the logistics field, the industry requires them to have a broad and diversified supply chain to procure everything they need to operate. However, especially in a post-coronavirus world, that’s often easier said than done, and many businesses are trying to find new strategies to make sure purchasing remains an easy process.

While you aren’t likely to suffer a once-in-a-century disruption again any time soon, the following steps should help your company build a more reliable, resilient supply chain:

1) Find new partners

Perhaps the easiest way to make sure your supply chain can withstand any disruption, regardless of size, is to diversify it so that you can rely on more suppliers when problems arise, according to Strategic Sourceror. Simply knowing that you can easily pivot from one partner to another when and if you need to makes it much simpler to proceed with whatever your current plans may be.

2) Keep waste to a minimum

The name of the game is efficiency in just about any business, but in the supply chain, it should be your entire organization’s watch word, Strategic Sourceror advised. The more you can do to ensure every process you have in place runs smoothly and at the lowest cost possible, the better off you will be in both good and turbulent times.

It's critical to understand every aspect of your supply chain.It’s critical to understand every aspect of your supply chain.

3) Make sure you keep up compliance

Even as you partner with suppliers — potentially in a number of different countries — you need to make sure that all appropriate rules and regulations are being followed to the letter, according to G2. Finding more areas of efficiency does not mean you should cut corners, and putting at least one or two people in charge of compliance (including hiring a separate compliance officer) is always a good idea to ensure all aspects of what you do are held in check.

4) Know your risk factors

At the same time you are trying to be cognizant of the ins and outs of regulatory controls, you also need to make sure you have a holistic picture of your supply chain and can consistently identify emergent issues that might knock you off course, G2 said. When you are able to use data and consistent communication with your partners to recognize problematic patterns before they even arise, you’ll be able to weather any storm.

5) Strategize as far in advance as you can

Along similar lines to recognizing issues in advance, you should also map out your purchasing strategies weeks or months before you actually take any action, so that you can tweak what you need to, as necessary, according to IndustryWeek. That way, you always have your eyes on the prize and won’t be deterred unless absolutely necessary.

6) Work on your contingency plans

With that having been said, the coronavirus pandemic certainly highlighted that you can’t plan for every eventuality, IndustryWeek added. Instead, you should have multiple plans in place that account for as many potential hurdles as you can think of, so that you always have a fallback plan when normal procurement strategies aren’t feasible.

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