Considering supply chain models to optimize your processes

March 8, 2022


While disruptions in the supply chain are expected to continue, finding ways to remain competitive will be essential. Automating processes, utilizing a centralized data platform and coordinating team members are structures that are quickly being adopted to keep pace with demand. However, it’s equally important to employ the supply chain model that will be most effective for your business to optimize your operations. With all of the different options available, it can be difficult to determine what practice will be best, but a better understanding of these models can help you find the right fit for your business.

Here are six supply chain models to consider to keep your company at peak performance:

1.  The fast model
If your business involves products with a short life cycle, this might be a suitable option for you. The fast supply chain model is built for responsiveness and emphasizes the competitive advantage of the first adopter.

2. The continuous-flow model
The continuous-flow model, on the other hand, is designed for efficiency. This is a classic model that works best for companies producing the same product repeatedly, with little variation. High levels of efficiency are often reflected in low product prices. However, it’s significant to note that the continuous-flow models rely on supply and demand stability. If customer demand is unpredictable, then a more responsive model will be needed.

3. The agile model
This model is most fitting for small batches of products and organizations that deal in specialty items. With a greater focus on expertise, as opposed to automation, this additional value often translates into higher prices.

4. The efficient model
Best suited for hypercompetitive industries, this model should be utilized when efficiency is a necessity throughout the process. This means product pricing is a prevailing factor, as similar customers may have difficulty differentiating value proposals. With the efficient model, accurate forecasting is critical to keep pace with competitors. However, a report from Invesp found that 57% of businesses have poor visibility across supply chains. It’s best for organizations working in these industries to utilize advanced software to ensure efficiency and improve oversight along the way.

5. The custom-configured model
This is essentially a combination of the agile and continuous flow models. The custom-configured model is higher-touch by necessitating a quick turnaround for small batches of products. If you have lengthier production times than the product configuration itself, then this is typically an effective model to follow.

6. The flexible model
The flexible model is a fitting option if your business plans to navigate high volume demand with periods of low demand. However, to implement this model effectively, the right tools, such as automation and improved forecasting, are a necessity.

According to a report from Zippia, 57% of companies believe that supply chain management gives them a competitive edge. However, if your management process and supply chain model aren’t the best fit for your organization, you’re less likely to reach this competitive advantage. It’s critical to determine the model that will be most effective for your business to maintain efficiency and optimize your processes moving forward.