Transportation Network Scalability and Flexibility: The Key for Managing Freight Market Disruptions

Transportation Network Scalability & Flexibility

When companies have robust transportation network scalability and flexibility, they are able to move through disruptions that may impact the freight market. Those can be anything from the current pandemic to natural disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes. It’s inevitable that a variety of events can occur that will slow or affect the supply chain. But preparedness is the key to any company’s success in moving products forward, especially as peak season approaches.

The Challenges of Limited Transportation Network Scalability and Flexibility

When there is limited transportation network scalability and flexibility in a company’s supply chain or freight market management techniques, there is also little opportunity to work with and overcome problems. Additionally, one area of the network can lead to problems in other areas and a cascade of issues that continue to pile up.
Not only does that result in significant issues to the company’s ability to provide what their customers need in a timely manner, but not having good transportation network scalability and flexibility can also result in long-term issues because it takes time to resolve problems. When the supply chain becomes backed up while an issue is cleared, there then becomes a period of catching up. According to MIT Sloan Management Review, “Disruptive risks tend to have a domino effect on the supply chain: An impact in one area — for example, a fire in a supply plant — ripples into other areas.”

Improved Responsiveness Begins and Ends With Scalability and Flexibility

The more a company embraces transportation network scalability and flexibility, the more responsive it can be to move its supply chain forward. That means more customers are getting what they need with fewer delays and a lower level of hassle. It also means that the company does not have to remain focused on problems for an extended period, get past those problems, and overcome exceptions. Instead, the business is able to return to routine operating procedures more quickly.

Response times matter, and that’s especially true for making sure customers are getting what they are expecting even when there are disruptions in the freight market. With transportation network scalability and flexibility, customers get what they need, vendors can keep providing products, and companies can operate more normally even when their competition may be struggling. That can make a big difference in who pulls ahead in market share and on which companies’ customers rely.

Best Practices to Maximize Supply Chain Scalability and Flexibility

To manage and maximize transportation network scalability and flexibility throughout the supply chain, supply chain leaders must consider these best practices, which include:
  1. Getting prepared ahead of time when potential problems are noticed on the horizon. Preparedness includes recognizing risks using data to understand what is and is not likely to result in delays.

  2. Stabilize supply chains that are not close to or within directly affected areas. While this may work for many disruptions, it’s essential to recognize further the scale and impact of broad disturbances, such as COVID-19.

  3. Explore more flexibility with employees and operations schedules. Increased operational flexibility, such as improved optimization of dock schedules, will reduce the rigidity of response.

  4. Choose software and automation solutions to keep your business moving forward. Remember that automation is only as good as the insights and effects provided. So be sure any automation efforts reflect the need to create an adaptable, agile supply chain.

Boost Network Agility With the Right Solutions Partner

The level of transportation network scalability and flexibility that a company has available is essential. And that can make a significant difference in whether that company can move through problems and issues it might face during a freight market disruption. Supply chain leaders ready to address transportation network scalability and flexibility issues within the company and be more prepared for the future need a better solution.

see what Mercury Gate’s solutions can offer

Carla Zubko
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