A Comprehensive Guide to Supply Chain Mapping

a person is putting pallets in a container using a forklift.

Supply chain, warehousing, distribution, and other logistical processes have always been fundamental to the success of any business. As a manufacturer, you must ensure that your products are promptly distributed to warehouses and suppliers. Retail stores heavily rely on prompt deliveries to keep up with the rising consumer demand.

Businesses that don’t pay adequate attention to their supply chain process end up wasting a lot of money and experience inefficiency within their distribution processes. Your aim should always be to implement effective supply chain management procedures that result in improved customer satisfaction and a lower cost of doing business.

An important part of the overall management process is supply chain mapping. This is the process of documenting information across business units, suppliers, and other stakeholders involved in a company’s supply chain. It helps create a global map of their supply network.

Now, technology is heavily influencing the entire supply chain process, and there has been an increased focus on supply chain visibility and risk monitoring. As a business, you should consider using modern supply chain mapping tools to paint a big picture of your entire network. However, before doing that, let’s look at some important aspects of the supply chain mapping process.

a forklift in a warehouse.

Why is SCM Important?

Supply chain mapping should always be considered an important part of your overall logistical processes. It allows you to create robust strategies to resolve any issues that may arise during the supply chain process. You can adequately handle any supply shortages, order discrepancies, or an unexpected surge in demand.

Supply chain mapping also helps you understand the costs, time frames, and risks surrounding the supply chain process. Such information will help you make informed decisions and stay ahead of your competition.

How to Map Your Supply Chain

Now that you’ve understood why it is important to carry out the supply chain mapping process, it is time to do it. You should consider getting an expert SCM consultant to help create a robust SCM strategy. Having said that, if you choose to do it yourself, it is a five-step process.

a person is standing on loading equipment.

First, you need to identify the relevant stakeholders who are important contributors to the production, storage, distribution, and other aspects of your supply chain. Document everything using supply chain mapping software. You can refer back to the document at any point if you face any trouble during the process.

Second, you need to understand the relationships between the stakeholders involved in the supply chain. To maintain effective communication, you can ask your first-tier supplier to join your supply chain mapping process.

Your first-tier suppliers can then encourage the second-tier suppliers to join the process, and so on. Each entity will provide information on what they sell, their buyers, and their suppliers. As your map extends, you get a holistic view of the market, identify bottlenecks and eliminate them to streamline processes.

The third step is to establish cost and timings. You must determine the costs and time frames involved in every aspect of the supply chain. Ask questions like which business functions are the most and least important. Check how much value each process adds to your supply chain. The ones adding the least value should be improved, and the ones providing the most should be further optimized and fine-tuned.

an aerial view of container shipments.

The fourth step is to acknowledge the risks associated with each stakeholder you rely on for your materials, processing, and distribution. Identify any unseen risks that can disrupt your supply chain process and aim to mitigate them. Any miscommunication should be promptly addressed to avoid any disruptions. The last step is to track the flow of data and information throughout the supply chain. There should be prompt data entry for every aspect, such as order details, shipments, and returns.

Benefits of Supply Chain Mapping

Now that you know how to create a supply chain mapping process, it is important to learn how it can benefit your business. You can identify areas where value is added or lost and improve those aspects of the supply chain process to improve productivity and efficiency. SCM helps you plan ahead of time and mitigate risks that can disrupt your entire supply chain process.

By mapping out your supply chain network, you can strengthen the chain. Establish good relationships with suppliers through clear and effective communication and make them part of the decision-making process. Identify any gaps in communication and work to mitigate them to ensure transparency within the supply chain.

SCM can also help you streamline and speed up your processes through robust analyses of all the stakeholders involved in the process. You can identify areas of delay and focus your resources on fixing them. Supply chain mapping provides a holistic view of the logistical side of your business and helps you discover elements that can hurt your cash flow and profitability.

How Can PREDIK Data-Driven Help?

It can be hard to carry out a holistic supply chain mapping process without the help of an expert intelligence company that can provide you with the necessary experience and expertise to carry out the process.

If you’re on the lookout for quality big data solutions and a company that can help you build transparent and traceable supply chains, check out the services provided by PREDIK Data-Driven.

The big data analytics company has helped businesses to predict and prevent potential disruptions and risks in their supply chain through a data-driven and geolocation approach. Their supply chain risk monitoring tools and software help provide transparency in a multi-tier supply chain and improve planning, procurement, and compliance management.

They also provide predictive analytics tools, real estate data analytics software, market intelligence software, Geomarketing analytics software, customer analytics software, and more. Get in touch with them today for more information.

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