In a stable and predictable world, supply chains would be relatively easy to manage. Businesses could order only what they needed, and from the most affordable suppliers – without taking any other variables into consideration. Ordered materials would always arrive on time, and companies could go about their operations without giving their supply chain another thought.
If only we lived in that world. Pandemic restrictions, changing norms of international trade, geopolitical conflicts, climate disruptions, and other external factors can leave businesses without crucial supplies in an increasingly complex economy.
Our recruitment agency in Bangkok and Singapore has seen countless companies struggle with these difficulties, causing major production delays which are in fact often preventable. Adapting to today’s VUCA world requires a modern approach to supply chains, which is best implemented through detailed project management.
How project management can help
Solutions to modern supply chain problems fall into two broad categories – strategic and technological. In terms of strategy, the practice of diversifying suppliers geographically can help companies avert catastrophe if their main supplier goes dark. Of course, this added flexibility comes with a cost, as a more complex supply chain puts a heavier administrative burden on supply chain managers.
That’s where technology comes in. Automation, digitisation, AI, robotics, and metadata analysis can speed certain processes along, detect supply disruptions instantly, reroute shipments when needed, and more – all while helping supply chain managers perform their duties more easily.
Yet these systems are highly advanced, and require careful implementation. A focus on project management can support this effort in the following ways:
- Risk management – By anticipating obstacles and determining backup plans in advance, this feature of project management helps ensure smoother operations under all circumstances.
- Resource management – By refining internal inefficiencies and planning for needs like employee training and system maintenance, this approach helps organisations do the best with what they have.
- Roles, responsibilities, and staffing management – By clearly delineating each employee’s function within their team, this practice enables productive synergy even when personnel are working from different locations.
Applying the necessary changes
Each of the above elements of project management must also be implemented correctly if it is to have the desired impact on operations. We recommend focussing on the following techniques to accelerate internal improvement:
Scheduling and planning – Companies should always be thinking two steps ahead of where they are, while simultaneously monitoring progress toward current goals. Realistic planning efforts can increase efficiency, while leaving room for flexibility if external conditions change.
Quality systems – Lowering SKUs, reducing unnecessary packaging, reorienting business efforts toward higher-performing products and services, switching to hybrid work models, and other resource-maximising approaches can help businesses stay on track toward their long-term goals.
Communication – Good management is, at bottom, about leadership. Reinforcing a positive internal culture has always been important, but is doubly vital in a remote or hybrid working environment. Personnel perform better when they feel part of a community they like and believe in, and company leaders must communicate at a consistently high level in order to maintain such an environment.
The success of such efforts is within reach, but requires real expertise. Connexus recruitment agency in Bangkok and Singapore can help companies in all sectors adapt effectively to an uncertain future. Contact us today to get started.