The 3 A’s of supply chain: Aligning your business in Nigeria

Having an efficient supply chain could be what separates your business from your competitors. The overall efficiency of your business not only depends on how efficient you run business but how integrated your supply chain is. As your business grows, it is important to remain cognizant of your entire supply chain and how efficient it is, relative to your business. Along each step of the way, you want to by aligning your business in Nigeria. Now that you understand your supply chain and understand the flow of your supply chain. The next thing you’ll want to figure out – how agile, adaptable and aligned your supply chain is. These are the three A’s of supply chain – Agility, Adaptability and Alignment.


Agility

The market in Nigeria and other African countries are very dynamic. Consumer demands change frequently and the supply of inputs for your product fluctuate due to several factors. This can make business very unstable and unpredictable. This is why it is advantageous to have a very agile supply chain. A supply chain that can be rearranged to meet the short-term changes in demand and supply will give your business the competitive advantage and the flexibility to absorb the shocks that came from such a dynamic market. For instance, if you depend on certain agricultural products as inputs to your process, how agile is your supply chain when your main suppliers experience a long stretch of the dry season which inherently makes your inputs scarce. Is your supply chain agile enough that you can quickly source your product elsewhere?


Adaptability

Agility can be thought of as the response to short term changes while adaptability is the response to long-term changes. The adaptability of a companies’ supply chain is what provides a company with long-term sustainability. With the proper strategies in place, a company can adapt to huge shifts in the market. These shifts in the market could be permanent – for instance – change in global competition, permanent shift in consumer awareness, new location for sourcing raw material. With such changes, a company that does not adapt its supply chain can suffer from gradual demise as they lose their competitive advantage over time. By sticking with archaic supply chains, the company is not adaptable enough to stay competitive. Companies that foster adaptable supply chains structure themselves for long-term sustainability and growth.

Adaptation can be tough, but it’s critical in developing a supply chain that delivers a sustainable advantage ~ Hau Lee

Check out our interviews with Stanford Graduate School of Business Professor. Hau Lee, a leader in supply chain management and innovation.
Alignment

The weakest link in any supply chain defines the chain’s ultimate performance. If one member of the supply chain focuses only on maximizing its own interests, and if those interests are not aligned with the objectives of the entire supply chain, then the overall chain’s performance will be less than optimal.

Smart companies have therefore devised relationships and contracts that align their partners’ incentives with their own interests to maximize the chain’s overall performance. It starts with sharing information and knowledge to form the foundation for a deep supply chain relationship. Through information-sharing all members of the supply chain can properly understand each partner’s interests and incentives. By aligning these incentives, an optimal supply chain is developed that provides long-term optimal value for each partner along the supply chain.

So as you think about your supply chain and how products, information and finance flow through the supply chain, you should also make sure that your supply plan is agile, adaptable and properly aligned to reap the benefits of a Triple-A supply chain.

 

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Nifemi Aluko

Engineering. Business. Music. Life

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