In my previous blog I discussed some of the supply chain management principles used in both 3PL providers as well as for trips to the back country. It is useful to consider some guiding principles for Supply Chain Management Strategies. They act as a reminder so that the proper effort is exerted. They are the checks and balances of Logistic Supply Chain Management. Every decision, change, or idea should be judged against these principles to ensure that the criteria of the principles are met. For those with an extensive familiarity with Supply Chain Management Strategies, these principles become second nature. For those who are still developing that level of experience, I advise thinking in terms of the following:
Planning: Planning is the most critical aspect of any logistical event. Complete plans must be made to cover all likely courses of events. Furthermore, contingency plans should be made for the most likely problems, such as inclement weather or a participants health issues. Planning effort should be given to what-if scenarios. What if we can’t cover the distance due to inclement weather, do we have time on the back end to make up for a lost day? Finally, planning should include numerous decision points that act as balances against possible drift. This keeps the trip streamlined, promotes momentum, and ensures good anticipation.
Efficiency: Every resource and the way it is used must produce the maximum positive impact possible. Resources that are used infrequently, such as luxuries, will burden the expedition and make logistical management slow and unresponsive.
Effective: There has to be a reason for every logistics effort, and this reason has to promote the success of the trip or enable an objective or goal that will promote overall success. There is no point in pushing many resources at an effort that will have negligible positive impact on the expedition. Every resource and the way it is used must have an effective impact on the progression of the expedition towards its conclusion.
Simplicity: In times of stress or difficult conditions, a simple logistics plan is more likely to survive than a complex one. In project management terms, this simplicity can be achieved by identifying a critical path with as few links as possible. Effort should be made to achieve this critical path.