Leveraging Technology in Challenging Times
Originally appeared in Fleet Owner
Operations must work closely with procurement to find alternative supply chains. This may include looking for suppliers who have facilities in close proximity so they can get needed materials quickly.
The last several years have been extremely challenging for the trucking industry. Global supply chain issues, material and labor shortages, and rising inflation have all caused major disruptions for truck makers, component manufacturers, and fleets.
To survive these challenges, businesses need more cooperation between departments to ensure that they have all the information they need to make smart decisions. Keeping information in function-based siloes and relying on manual or paper-based processes adds to inefficiencies and causes businesses to fall behind their competitors. All functions from procurement, operations, and finance must be aligned with overall company goals.
See also: Trucking must continue to innovate
To ensure product availability, operations must work closely with procurement to find alternative supply chains. This may include looking for suppliers who have facilities in close proximity so they can get needed materials quickly. It also makes sense to rethink inventory stocking levels. While the trend in the recent past was to hold as little inventory as possible and rely on just-in-time deliveries of needed materials, that strategy no longer makes sense. Price, while an important factor in the purchase decision, now may need to take a back seat to availability.
Now is a good time to review your supplier list. Have you concentrated your purchases in the hands of too few suppliers? That was probably done to take advantage of discounts and rebates, but you may need to widen your supplier base to ensure availability. That said, don’t overlook the importance of supplier relationships, because many suppliers are taking care of the customers that take care of them.
Automating processes results in greater speed, accuracy, and efficiency. Digitizing data improves visibility throughout the organization. Because the costs of products are escalating, savings need to be derived from automation.
As your business becomes more reliant on technology, you will have to retrain workers to ensure they have the skillsets needed to operate in the digital world. Millennial and Gen Z employees are good candidates to help you make the digital leap, but you may need to revamp your recruiting and retention efforts to attract and keep them.
All indications are that trying times are likely to continue, but the good news is that companies can use technology to help overcome these challenges and stay competitive.
At Corcentric, we stand ready to help any fleet bridge that gap. To learn how we can help, contact Corcentric today.