Digital supply chain management

How manufacturers can turn supply chain issues into opportunities


It’s no secret that the supply chain is backed up for manufacturers. The time it takes to get supplies and ship products out to consumers has led to discord between manufacturers and buyers: consumers are getting irritated with delays in shipping, leading to unsatisfied customers.

But manufacturers can get ahead of this problem with the right approaches and solutions. Below are 3 things manufacturers can do to start turning things around and getting their supply chains humming again.

  1. Build a backup plan before you need to use it 

No matter how hard you try to plan, there will always be issues that arise with supply chains, they’re just too complex to run smoothly 100% of the time.  Work with your team to identify the most likely issues to arise and create a backup plan for when suppliers fall through. With the right communication and digital tools in place, you can turn a massive roadblock into a small hiccup and get back to business as usual in no time. 

One trouble that manufacturers run into is shortages in materials. This, along with delays, can spell troubles for fulfilling orders on time. But, one thing to note is that material shortages tend to differ across various regions.  You can take advantage of this by spreading out your suppliers in different countries so that when one region is affected you can easily pivot to a supplier in another.

  1. Choose tools that help you act and react in real-time

Gone are the days when you could simply send an email and wait for a response. Businesses today (and consumers, too!) expect instant communication when problems arise. Even though much of the rest of the business world has slowed down, when it comes to the global supply chain, the rate of communication has steadily increased over time.

Consumers want to know the whereabouts of their orders, and when there’s a problem, how you’re going to solve it, immediately. t Luckily, there are plenty of tools available for you to choose from that will help you do just that. As consumer demand continues to pick up speed, it’s more important now than ever to ensure you communicate with your  with your suppliers in real time and discuss any problems that have arisen and how you’re going to solve them. This is best accoomplished on a digital platform.

Digitalization is the key to success for manufacturers. See what advice we have for embracing a digital-first approach to business. 

  1. Embrace a digital-first approach. 

We’ve been preaching it for the better part of 3 years that now is the time to invest in a digital platform that supports your supply chain initiatives. With the world of work increasingly adopting a digital-first approach, you cannot afford to fall behind.

Traditional processes slow down your business and are prone to human error. While some parts of supply chains will still inevitably rely on human effort, the capabilities of advanced artificial intelligence, digital supply chain management platforms, and automation solutions can help organizations meet the future of work head-on.

As your company evaluates its technology suite, make sure to find a solution that expands your insight into the state of your supply chain. The tools you choose should help take some of the burdens off your team, so they can instead create more meaningful relationships with buyers and suppliers and work more strategically.

The supply chain might be facing delays, but digital transformation helps  manufacturers speed up critical parts of their processes. With the right tools and strategies, you can communicate in real-time when there’s a problem untiil you’ve found the right solution  deploy a digital-first approach to business that will establish a supply chain that can withstand future disruptions.

Tradeshift is here to help you shift towards a more digitized and intelligent supply chain function. Our B2B Marketplace  connects you with hundreds of pre-vetted vendors and buyers, instantly adding value to your organization. To learn more about how our digital tools can prepare your organization for the future of work, reach out to our team today.

Learn more about Tradeshift’s B2b E Procurement Marketplace