Global supply chains can be trickier to plan for than domestic ones; it's harder to contact people, to ensure everyone is working on the same thing and towards the same goal. While this can be a time consuming process, there are plenty of shortcuts you can take to make sure time spent on planning as part of a global supply chain can be minimised.
Use communications technology
Advancements in technology have afforded us a number of ways to contact anyone, anywhere, quickly and cheaply. If you need to contact someone overseas then using an online application, such as Skype or Google Hangouts, is a good option. Using these apps, you can send an instant message if you have a brief question or make a call if you need to discuss something more thoroughly. It's also an ideal way to conduct meetings with several people overseas as these communications apps often have a conference call function. Using this, you can also share presentations and video if you need them to support your discussions.
Create shared documents
You generally don't have the luxury of chatting face to face when working as part of a global supply chain, so you need to find other methods to ensure you are all on the same page. Keep documents on work that needs to be done and share them among the supply chain; this allows you all to keep an eye on specific tasks and who is in charge of doing different jobs. There are a range of applications out there that can allow you to share documents and edit them in the cloud.
Set shared goals with manageable time scales
To get your global supply chain to work at its best, you all need to work towards shared goals. Deciding on what these goals should be is something you need to discuss all together. It is important, also, to put a time scale in place so that you all reach the end point in a reasonable amount of time. Be careful not to set time scales that are too restrictive as this can hold up work for different people and potentially disappoint your clients. Talk to each other to find out what is a reasonable time scale for different tasks to be completed.
KSF Global are specialists in international sourcing. If you need help finding what you need on the global market, contact our team.