Top 3 detrimental supply chain mistakes and how to avoid them

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

By Henry Brown

Good supply chain management is vital for the success of any business.

A strong supply chain will add value to your business. Unfortunately, many small businesses are making the same errors, which becomes very time-consuming and costly, and takes away from important business tasks that would otherwise grow the business.

It is therefore vital to understand some of the biggest supply chain mistakes so that you can avoid them, and not miss out on any opportunities. The more knowledge you have, the more you can equip yourself and your team to deal with challenges head-on and implement preventative measures.

Here are some of the top three detrimental supply chain mistakes and tips on how to avoid them. Review these against your current strategy or use them to create a new one.

#1 Only creating short-term strategies

While short-term strategies can benefit your business, as they are based on the budget and resources you have at the time, it is a big mistake to make all your decisions from a short-term plan.

This often means that a business will have to regularly create new strategies whenever their business needs to pivot or is struggling to keep up with the industry demands which can be costly, time-consuming, and disruptive to your business and your customers. Your supply chain strategy needs to be able to adapt to changes in the market and the needs of your company.

You can avoid this by creating a long-term plan, and combining the two. This will help you fulfill short-term business needs, as well as set yourself up for future success.

#2 Not using data 

When managing your supply chain, ignoring data may make the process quicker and easier to move forward at the time. It provides you with one less thing to do. However, ignoring data can be detrimental to your supply chain in more ways than one.

This is because metrics are vital to the management of your supply chain and the progress of your business growth. Important data points include the average order value, fulfillment times, cost per unit delivered, fill rates, cost per order handled, cost per order processed, and more. These data points provide your business with information that will help you make important decisions. Without these, all decisions are made on assumptions, which can slow down the supply chain by causing delays and waste.

To avoid this, you should identify what data points are relevant, collect them regularly and analyze them before making decisions or strategies.

#3 Not optimizing processes 

Setting up a supply chain and just leaving it is a big mistake. Without review and optimization, it can slowly develop problems that easily go undetected, and can become inefficient.

There is always room for improvement. As a business, you should be constantly reviewing processes and available resources to see what improvements you can make. For example, make sure there is a good flow of communication between your business and your warehousing and fulfillment partners, ensure everyone in the supply chain is clear on common goals and can collaborate well, and increase the transparency in your supply chain.

Avoiding these common mistakes in your supply chain management will limit risks and disruptions and ensure your business can grow as intended.


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.

Leave a Reply

The Self-Employment Survival Guide can help you succeed. Learn all about it here.

Self-Employment Survival Guide book cover