Designing a smoother supply chain process

By Henry Brown

Whatever it is that your business supplies to its customers, you can be sure that you are going to need to rely upon a supply chain as part of the normal operation of your company. That is something that you need to be aware of and to try and make as much of a success as possible, as it is always going to be central to your business’ overall level of success. That being said, there are many things that can go wrong with a supply chain, and your task at all times will be to try and make it as smooth a process as possible.

In this article, we take you through some of the ways to achieve that, so your business and the surrounding supply chain can be as simple and powerful as possible.

Develop a supply chain strategy

One of the very first steps you will need to take here is to develop your own supply chain strategy. You can approach this in any way you want, and in truth it doesn’t have to be that detailed, but the important thing is that you do have a strategy that you can focus on and try to make a reality. Once you have that in place, everything you do will be about improving that process according to your vision – and as you will already be aware of, having a vision is a very important way to improve anything.

A good supply chain strategy includes an understanding of customer needs, a production strategy, asset network use, along with a way of approaching channels of all kinds. It’s all about deciding what you want to prioritize, and working from there. In time, you can develop the strategy that aligns best with your wider business goals and visions.


To have a smooth supply chain, you will next need to think about your supply chain planning. You can’t really have a supply chain at all without some decent level of planning, so this is something that you are going to want to think about at the top here too. At the very least, you are going to need to brainstorm what is going where and when, but you’ll also need to dig down and plan out every detail as to how it is going to happen.

As you might imagine, this can quickly cause headaches, and it’s no wonder that most people really struggle with making this kind of plan work for them. But it is also going to be essential if you want your supply chain to work smoothly and easily, so it’s something you need to think about as best as you can. Over time, you can return to the plan and improve it and fine tune it. For now, you should simply make sure that you have a plan that appears to work, and which you feel you can trust to deliver in the manner and speed that you would hope for your company.

International complications

The minute your supply chain stops being solely domestic, all sorts of complications can arise. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and it doesn’t mean that you should avoid going international – it’s just that you need to be aware of a lot more if you are going to do so, so you should make sure that you are as prepared as possible for these issues.

A decent way to make this a lot simpler for you is to look into some reliable customs brokerage. That is going to ensure that the border side of things is being dealt with professionally, so you don’t have to worry about it. They will manage the customs parts of things and ensure that you are working in line with the regulations, thus reducing any potential fees or other legal issues that can sometimes arise.


Above all, what you need to try and achieve with your supply chain is a sense of connectivity. The more that things are connected with one another, the better, and the more of a decent and smooth supply chain it is going to be. This is easier said than done, but by making use of decent individual elements, and keeping an eye on them from the top at all times, you can ensure that the whole process is a much more well-oiled machine. This kind of connectivity is worth aiming for with your small business.


Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop, he’s roaming the streets of London, uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.

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