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Supply chain network design: what you need to know

By Avetta Marketing
May 27, 2021
5 minutes
Supply Chain Network Design: What You Need to Know

As a business owner, you rely on your company’s supply chain to produce results according to schedule. But what you may not know is that your supply chain might not be the most efficient or affordable option available to you. 

To find out what works best, you need to compare different types of supply chain network designs. Take a look at what you need to know to make the most of the process. 

What is supply chain network design? 

No matter what kind of business you run, you’ll need to order supplies regularly. This could include components that help you take your product to market, individual goods from various retailers and even raw materials. Whatever you’re ordering, you order it from different vendors. 

Those vendors are part of your supply chain. 

Supply chain network design is the process of mapping out the various supply options available to you. It gives you the ability to examine the costs associated with each supplier, the challenges your business faces with your current system and makes identifying solutions easier. 

Why is supply chain network design important? 

Keeping your business profitable means minimising your costs wherever you can. The more delays you have in your supply chain and the more issues you have getting products at affordable prices, the more money you put at risk. 

By looking at different supply chain network design models, you’ll be able to identify ways to save money more quickly. 

Is there more than one type of supply chain network design? 

There are many types of supply chain network designs, and each type helps different kinds of businesses manage their operation more effectively. The best way to determine what sort of design is best for your business is to use a software program to input your business’s details. 

The software will generate supply chain network design models based on different design types. You can then use these models to determine which network design will work best for your business and help you cut costs. 

How should I create a supply chain network design? 

The supply chain network design steps you need to follow will vary based on your business’s unique needs. But the easiest way to create a design that will work for your specific needs is to use supply chain network design software. 

These programs allow you to input data and information about your business. The software then uses the information you provide to generate network designs that will work best for your business.   

Even better, you’ll be able to identify potential bottlenecks and issues by examining those designs before deciding on the best option for your company. As your company’s needs change, you can update the information in the program to reassess your current supply chain network design. 

If it can be improved upon, you’ll know what changes need to happen to streamline your operation. 

Once the network design is finished, will it work indefinitely? 

Yes and no. Your supply chain network design is built to help your business work efficiently. This means it’s going to be able to withstand some changes and challenges without requiring extensive modifications. 

But your business is dynamic, and even the most efficient supply chains are rarely ever stagnant. This means you’ll need to consistently monitor your system for problems, backlogs and issues. As soon as you identify those problems, you’ll want to look at other supply chain network design models from others in your industry and see how they’re working. 

Remember, you can always borrow aspects of other designs and incorporate them into your network. Just because one specific supply chain network design worked for your business for several years doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for your business as it grows.  

Those changes are a sign that your company is progressing and growing. But, the only way to keep up with those changes is to evaluate your supply chain design consistently.   

By doing so and being willing to make changes, you’ll be able to grow your business in the long run. 

Creating a comprehensive supply chain network design is possible 

You don’t have to figure out the ins and outs of creating a detailed supply chain network design on your own or struggle to master complicated software that doesn’t truly help your business. Become an Avetta member today to get access to our unparalleled demand and supply planning resources. 

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