5 keys to supply chain management success

The modern supply chain is a growth function for businesses — when it is working right.

old chain
Mark Schellhase (Creative Commons BY or BY-SA)

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As technology has spun forward, so has how supply chains work and the best practices to manage them. Below are five keys to supply chain management success in the age of the internet of things (IoT), cloud computing and hackers looking to get at the same customer data that is driving your business.

1. Create a glass pipeline

Doug Farren, managing director of the National Center for the Middle Market, calls this the holy grail of supply chain management, “having visibility all the way through the supply chain, from the raw materials that go into the product all the way to the end customer user,” he said. That’s the case no matter what the product, be it a car, medical device or trendy gadget.

This isn’t a new concept, Farren says (adding he studied it in undergraduate and graduate school), but no less important — or challenging — to achieve because of all the partners and parts involved in supply chain management. But “as technology evolves, it’s much easier to get this type of information and share it,” he said.

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