A supply chain is made up of a series of moving parts. The components of a company’s supply chain begin with product manufacturing and end with the product reaching its destination. Efficiently managing the supply chain and all the processes that come between production and final delivery is vital to the success of any company. To improve these processes, manufacturers and logistics companies are looking for tools and tactics, such as creating an integrated supply chain, to optimize their supply chains — ultimately leading to decreased Total Cost of Business (TCOB) and enhanced customer satisfaction.
What is an Integrated Supply Chain?
An integrated supply chain involves parties both inside and outside of an enterprise working together to leverage their strengths and expertise to optimize the movement of the supply chain. When each organization or business unit focuses not only on their segment of the supply chain but also takes a big-picture approach and collaborates with others both upstream and downstream in the process, greater operational efficiencies can be realized. Working in silos or putting too much pressure on one partner to manage the supply chain in its entirety may lead to increased errors and longer shipping times.
As an example, a company looking to streamline their shipping processes may partner with a plastic pallet pooler to manage their shipping pallet fleet. iGPS plastic pallets incorporate smart features that make them traceable throughout a supply chain. These features allow companies to capture data at any point of distribution, ensuring better planning and efficiency, and helping to lower a company’s Total Cost of Business (TCOB). Additionally, iGPS plastic pallets generally last four times longer than wood-block pallets and are 100% recyclable.
Pooled plastic pallets fit into an integrated supply chain model well. They keep companies from having to manage their own pallet supply and can reduce the costs and complexity of pallet procurement, storage, transport, and recovery. Working together to manage the logistics allows for faster distribution times and increased satisfaction.
Other examples of supply chain integration are numerous. Computer interfaces between retailers and manufacturers can enable real-time forecasting and reordering of products based on sales trends and inventory levels. Real-time access to information about the availability of raw materials can enable manufacturers to pivot quickly to secondary and tertiary suppliers as needed. Advance notices of big incoming shipments to fulfillment centers can enable the facilities to allocate staff while setting up staging areas for receiving. And so on.
Benefits of an Integrated Supply Chain
Along with more efficient processes, an integrated supply chain approach may allow businesses to realize other key benefits:
- Improved quality control
- Increased flexibility
- Lowered overall costs
An integrated supply chain can not only increase the overall productivity of a company’s operations, but it can also build a stronger and more resilient supply chain. Companies that move toward a more integrated approach, rather than operating in silos, will set themselves up for long-term success.
Companies committed to supply chain integration use iGPS plastic pallets for all their shipping needs. Our lightweight, recyclable plastic pallets help to build an integrated supply chain and lower your Total Cost of Business. For more information, contact us at 1-866-557-0047, email a specialist at [email protected], or visit our contact page.