6 common supply chain errors

The most common supply chain-related mistakes are similar to those in all industries, and the healthcare supply chain is no exception, according to CoFounder, a publication focused on startup companies. 

According to CoFounder, the six most common errors are:

  1. Ignoring supply chain data. Data is generated every minute, and analyzing data on transactions, pricing agreements or material cost is essential to determining how to make better business decisions, according to CoFounder.

  2. Too much product handling. Reducing costs is one of the top priorities for any supply chain leader. One way to reduce costs is to reduce how many times products are handled between the supplier and the customer, according to CoFounder. Every time a product is handled, there are equipment costs, damage costs, labor costs and more. Around six or seven times is the "sweet spot" for how many times a product should be handled, CoFounder said.

  3. Choosing too many partners. Launching a new product with multiple suppliers isn't a good idea, according to CoFounder, as it can create unneeded complexities that increase risks. This could also slow down operations and cause more problems than it solves.

  4. Failing to plan for business disruption. Companies must be prepared for any kind of disruption, CoFounder said. Regularly performing an analysis of your supply chain network is key to managing risk. Factors outside of a company's control, such as natural disasters or cyberattacks, pose a threat to supply chain operations, and companies must have plans to prepare for such instances.

  5. Lack of cyber and physical security controls. Many security breaches occur because of a lack of intellectual property security measures, according to CoFounder. To avoid security breaches, companies must take measures such as using a secure file transfer protocol. Accountability protocols should also be in place to track any product activity and to track who is responsible for the product throughout the transit process.

  6. Failing to create effective vendor relationships. Price is not the only factor that should be considered when negotiating with vendors, according to CoFounder. Companies should also consider performance and customer service. Finding a vendor that not only offers the right price for your company but is also willing to be a partner and offer a range of solutions is vital.

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