Supply chain 6 October 2016

Make supply chain efficiency your priority with these top tips

Warehouse robots can improve supply chain efficiency by around 800 per cent.

The constant and quick-changing macroeconomic cycle results in business owners from various sectors having to strengthen their supply chains. Marketing lead at GSM Barcoding, Graham McCarthy, reveals the best ways to boost supply chain efficiency.

In addition to the intricacies of the modern supply chain, several other factors contribute to a general need to prop them up.

Shifts in demand, disruptions to both supply and transport, and new regulations increase the complexity of an already intricate system.

Having an efficient business model that redesigns the supply chain according to modern requirements is essential.


Supply chains are focal aspects for businesses, and there is a growing need to ensure all aspects of supply chain management comply with environmental requirements to obtain long-term benefits.

Competitive advantages are by-products of a sustainable supply chain, creating opportunities for businesses who embrace it.

A fleet composed of green fuel vehicles, for example, will allow your business to save on logistics costs – you may require an initial investment consisting of modifications to your existing fleet or purchasing new vehicles. Environmentally friendly businesses often have a green “advantage” over other businesses.

Effective communication

Excellent communication skills are vital for any part of your business, and essential for a functioning of the supply chain. Communication guarantees an increase in productivity. You will spend less time clarifying tasks, and your employees will focus on completing them instead.

Improved communication includes suppliers and customers – it’s the foundation of a successful business. Giving suppliers an insight to every step of your business plan will allow for better inventory management, and you are able to forecast future needs using innovations and other information your suppliers provide.

Similarly, having an open stream of communication with customers is key – your customers provide you with real time feedback on your products and services, and an accurate evaluation of changes you need to implement.

Improved stock control management

The new industrial revolution – the so-called Industry 4.0 –  is characterised by the existence of a “smart factory”, capable of easily managing all systems due to the Internet of Things (IoT), ensuring smart devices and technology being connected.

By investing in software capable of efficiently controlling your stock, your supply chain is easily and promptly controlled. Computer control allows you to access data at every level and step of the manufacturing and delivering processes.

Robots in warehouses are capable of improving efficiency by around 800 per cent. With Industry 4.0, these robots will be pre-programmed with all the information needed to ensure your business runs smoothly. As human error is removed from the equation, robots will be almost completely accurate in their performance.

Technology is increasingly more important to provide real-time tracking so that both distributors and consumers know where products are.

Improved chain supply management guarantees business-wide satisfaction, with your employees feeling heard with effective communication. Automation and technology innovation improve supply chain efficiency, and increase your business’s profits.

Graham McCarthy is marketing co-coordinator at GSM Barcoding, providing barcoding solutions through integrated systems and technology.

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