How Supply Chain Managers Solve Challenges & Drive Efficiency

Supply chain managers rely on technology and visibility to solve current challenges.

Supply chain managers’ roles have never been more critical or more challenging. In an era where global logistics intertwine with technology, economic shifts, and now, the significant “Great Resignation” labor movement, the demands on supply chain managers intensified.

The responsibility to maintain seamless operations despite a shifting workforce highlights the need for innovative solutions. One such solution, standing out as a tool of adaptability, efficiency, and continuity, is the transportation management system (TMS).

In this blog, we look closely into the evolving role of supply chain managers, the challenges they face, and how a robust TMS, like MercuryGate’s platform, can be the linchpin to sustaining value in these turbulent times.

What Role do Supply Chain Managers Fulfill ?

A dedicated supply chain and/or logistics manager is at the heart of every thriving business, often described as a company’s linchpin. Their pivotal role involves increasing operational efficiencies and managing complex logistics and supply chain strategies. As the business world accelerates, these supply chain managers stand at the forefront, fostering relationships with vendors, distributors, and stakeholders, ensuring a seamless flow of goods and services.

7 Roles of Modern Supply Chain Managers

Supply chain managers’ roles evolved beyond traditional expectations. Supply chain managers and logistics managers play many roles, wearing many different hats, such as:
  1. Strategic Planners devise and execute long-term strategies to ensure an efficient and cost-effective supply chain.
  2. Relationship Builders cultivate relationships with stakeholders, vendors, and distributors to ensure seamless operations.
  3. Data Analysts harness the power of data to derive actionable insights for effective decision-making.
  4. Risk Managers anticipate potential disruptions and formulate strategies to mitigate risks and ensure business continuity.
  5. Talent Developers recruit, mentor, and retain top talent to drive supply chain excellence.
  6. Negotiators secure the best terms and conditions to ensure profitable and sustainable operations.
  7. Technological Innovators embrace the latest tech advancements to integrate innovative solutions into the supply chain process.

4 Challenges Facing Modern Supply Chain Managers

In the past 10 years in supply chain and logistics management, we have experienced rapid technological advancements and shifting market dynamics. The explosion of complexity, volatility, and technological change management pushed forward an array of supply chain challenges:
  1. Keeping Up with Technological Innovations: With a plethora of systems like Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), Transport Management Systems (TMS), and Enterprise Resource Planning systems (ERP), supply chain managers must stay updated and integrate these tools effectively.
  2. Addressing the Talent Gap: The great resignation wave intensified the talent shortage in the supply chain sector. According to Modern’s “Talent and Labor Study,” as published in Logistics Management, “Less than one-third (32%) believe their companies are “highly prepared” to handle their workloads with current staff. Most (62%) however, are in the middle, saying that they are “somewhat prepared” to handle demand with current staff. Another 6% admit they are not very or “not at all” prepared. These stats indicate the need for supply chain managers to not only recruit efficiently but also foster continuous skill development among existing team members.
  3. Harnessing Big Data: The surge in data generation requires logistics managers to quickly analyze and harness insights to inform decision-making and strategic planning.
  4. Managing Business Pressures: With increasing demands from businesses to optimize costs and ensure profitability, supply chain managers often find themselves under intense pressure to deliver results.

Sustaining TMS Value Amid Global Supply Chain Labor Shortage

As we discussed in our recent webinar, “Sustaining TMS Value Amid The Global Labor Shortage,” The Great Resignation thrust many businesses into uncharted territories.

A vast portion of the global workforce is opting for voluntary resignations. This labor force exit ushers in challenges like understaffing, amplified training costs, and a profound loss of accumulated expertise. Add the impending retirement wave of the Baby Boom generation, and global supply chain operations face a tangible threat to continuity and efficiency.

In these more volatile times, sustaining value in your Transport Management System (TMS) becomes critical. Here’s how MercuryGate TMS supports continuity in your business:

Knowledge Preservation through Standardization

With the risk of losing vital expertise, the need for a standardized system is crucial. MercuryGate TMS offers an extensive best practice model derived from real-world user stories and expert insights. This model ensures that essential knowledge is embedded within the system, reducing the impact of workforce changes. By integrating best practices into your system’s General User Interface (GUI) and processes, the TMS ensures that the workflow remains consistent and efficient, irrespective of personnel shifts.

Ensuring Continuity with Automation

As organizations grapple with workforce fluctuations, automation serves as a lifeline. Scheduled Reports, for instance, guarantee that crucial data reaches the right stakeholders without manual intervention. The TMS provides Dynamic Rulesets (DRS) – a suite of powerful automation tools activated by specific triggers. These features minimize manual processes, ensuring operations run seamlessly even with a leaner team.

Adaptable Scaling for a Changing Landscape

The dual challenge of the Great Resignation and the retirement of an entire generation demands a TMS built for scalability. MercuryGate’s platform, anchored by its configurable enterprise hierarchy, is tailored for this purpose. This structure not only allows businesses to adapt to growing needs without escalating costs but also promotes the reusability of configurations, data, and business processes. It’s a design philosophy centered around adaptability, ensuring that the TMS remains resilient and responsive as the business environment evolves.

Supply chain and logistics management is not just about navigating challenges; it’s about turning them into opportunities. By harnessing the features of MercuryGate TMS, organizations can weather the storm of global labor shortages and emerge more streamlined, efficient, and adaptable.

Calculate your potential Saving While Using an enterprise TMS

Stymie Labor Shortages with a TMS That Augments Supply Chain Manager Workflows

With the Great Resignation sweeping across industries, businesses face the dual challenge of retaining expertise and ensuring seamless operations. However, with challenges come opportunities. Leveraging a robust TMS, businesses can navigate tumultuous times and position themselves for greater efficiency and adaptability in the future.
Ready to future-proof your supply chain operations?

Dive deeper into how a TMS can be your ally during disruption. Watch a replay of “Sustaining TMS Value Amid the Global Labor Shortage.”

You’ll see how MarcuryGate’s Smart Transportation Platform helps you transform challenges into opportunities for growth and innovation.

Learn how TMS sustains value during a labor shortage.


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