Why Your Auto Parts Supply Chain Plan Shouldn't be on Cruise Control

Why Your Auto Parts Supply Chain Plan Shouldn't be on Cruise Control

Technology has given us great travel tools like cruise control and autopilot.  These applications take the guesswork, and ideally the potential for error out of the equation for travel. Although we have the option to let software and tech guide us, it doesn’t mean that we can be completely uninvolved.  Turns in the road, traffic, construction, weather and other variables are all factors that force us to adjust our strategy.  Supply chain planning, specifically in the automotive parts sector, is no different.

Through cloud computing, system optimization and other advancements over the past decade, supply chain management has become more streamlined.  Even though there are automated processes and automatic updates, your supply chain planning should not rely on those and be left on “cruise control”.  Here are three reasons why planning is still a vital element to your supply chain. 

Advanced Processes

With the rise of e-commerce and the subsequent increase of competition and consumer demands, logistics and fulfillment processes have been forced to adapt.  The planning processes that were in place, even a couple of years ago, would be woefully behind today.  Visibility is crucial to keep the supply chain running efficiently and accurately.  This means that more input is needed from every stage.  Advancements in the supply chain planning process that allow for more input, more frequent optimization and overall greater data can be a key differentiator.

Software Developments

With more data available, and the need for greater visibility to promote your supply chain strategy, the way you use and integrate warehousing, transportation and other software will be imperative.  As you realize which variables and inputs are crucial to your performance, implementing software that utilizes these metrics as well as communicates with each stage of the supply chain will be necessary.  Cloud technology and other tools are making it easier and cheaper to leverage the latest developments.  More importantly it can provide more visibility and versatility throughout the supply chain.

Operation Evolution 

As the marketplace has changed, so has the actual environment in which the supply chain operates.  There has been a shift to focus on agility to respond to demands for quicker and cheaper delivery options.  Next-day, or even same-day delivery, is no longer a luxury option, it is now expected.  Your supply chain plan should be able to incorporate this.  Whether you are shipping directly to a consumer, to a store or to a region, the changes in your operation should be reflected in your supply chain planning.

While the basis of your supply chain, which has been a continually evolving strategy from day one, may be largely intact, it is important not to let new technology allow you to rest on your laurels.  It is this same technology that is providing the tools to take your automotive supply chain to the next level.  Barrett Distribution Centers uses technology and a customized supply chain strategy to support logistical, fulfillment, transportation and warehousing needs. 

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