Efficient vs. responsive supply chains

If you are looking to make improvements in your company’s operations, C Tek has a key suggestion, which is to take a look at the supply chain that you are using and make any changes if necessary. Using the right supply chain is critical for efficient business operations. In addition to helping your company function more efficiently, the ideal supply chain will minimize the amount of waste that is produced in the manufacturing process. Two types of supply chains that you may use are efficient and responsive. C Tek explains both to help you decide which supply chain is best for your business.


What is a Supply Chain?

A supply chain is a management system that directs the flow of products and services. The supply chain is an internal means of production, but it also applies more broadly to the network that exists between a company and its suppliers with the end goal of distributing a final product to consumers. The supply chain contains a number of parts, and each part of the system needs to be as efficient as possible to avoid excess waste.


Efficient Supply Chains

One type of supply chain that a company may have is an efficient supply chain. An efficient supply chain is concerned primarily with efficiency as its main focus. An efficient supply chain strives to do more with less. Ultimately, an efficient supply chain aims to maximize output and maintain a minimum level of input. A company can achieve efficiency by outsourcing and cutting costs. An efficient supply chain generally aims for some kind of reduction, which may include reducing hours, effort, and resources in addition to costs. When implemented correctly, an efficient supply chain is often beneficial for companies, as it leads to instant gratification and satisfaction for customers. Suppliers are also more likely to maintain connections with a company that has mastered an efficient supply chain.


Responsive Supply Chain

Another type of supply chain that companies use is a responsive supply chain, which is also referred to as an effective supply chain. An effective supply chain can be viewed as a holistic approach to production and distribution. Efficiency is one aspect of an effective supply chain, but it is not the entire focus of the system. Instead, a responsive supply chain is more flexible and operates with the ability to change and adapt to changes in the surrounding environment, which may include both expected changes and unforeseen events such as natural disasters. The ultimate goal of a responsive supply chain is to make customers happy and meet consumer demand, which is achieved by being sensitive to the customer’s needs and changing the production process as necessary in order to meet those objectives.


Can You Use Both Supply Chains?

While some companies find success using just an efficient supply chain or a responsive supply chain, most companies find that using a combination of the two is a happy medium. Efficiency is essential for a company’s operations in order to avoid high operating costs and to minimize waste. However, a supply chain must also be responsive in order to quickly adapt to customer demands at the present time.


Achieving a Supply Chain Balance

Many companies are turning to technology to help implement an efficient supply chain, responsive supply chain, or both. Technology can help integrate and consolidate data, and it can also track customer demands. Technology can also identify potential risks that may affect a supply chain, which in turn helps management assess the risk and respond accordingly.


While the type of supply chain your company uses is a personal choice, you can always ask the helpful staff at C Tek for advice on improving or changing your supply chain for maximum success.