Published Wednesday 26th June 2019

There are few things in the supply chain as important as quality and compliance control. Often the cornerstone of any successful business, manufacturers, distributors and many other sectors must ensure their products and services deliver consistently for consumers.

Quality and compliance are such fundamental parts of the business process that they can often go unnoticed, even by companies themselves. Over time, this leads to an undervaluing of the procedures in place, which can result in mistakes. In the modern business environment, quality and compliance are becoming more important than ever before, forcing businesses to re-evaluate and future-proof their processes against market trends and consumer pressures.

The Digital Market Puts Pressure on Business Quality

Business markets today are, in many cases, almost unrecognisable to what they were a decade ago. The way people do business has transformed, which means that company procedures must change with it, or risk being left behind.

The biggest transformation for many markets has been the emergence of e-commerce. The digital world has made an impact across products and services, from retail to construction, opening new avenues for increased competition. Customers, now more than ever before, can compare products and services on a range of factors, such as value, quality and convenience. Overall, digital e-commerce has vastly increased pressure on businesses to maintain quality levels up to the competitor’s standards. The digital age has made quality control vital not just for those in charge, but across the whole business.

Another result of the digital revolution over the last decade has been the rise of social media. Facebook, for example, has grown from under 10 million users in 2004 to over two billion last year. According to the Digital 2019 report by WeAreSocial and Hootsuite, in the UK, 67% of the entire population use social media. People are frequently discussing topics and voicing opinions in these public spaces and businesses seek to be a part of the conversation. In that way, social media has become an invaluable tool for businesses growth; however, it can also work against them.

If quality and compliance for a product or service are allowed to slip, the affected customer will frequently voice their displeasure online. In a hyper-connected world, this can have a severe effect on companies. The growth of social media has made quality and compliance more important than ever before. This importance is particularly real for major businesses who may not have direct control over every inch of the supply chain operation.

Modern Supply Chain Management

It is clear that in this new business environment, led by digital developments, companies have to ensure their quality and compliance are up to standard. More important than that, however, is the consistency which is necessary to ensure that no product or service, however small or distant, is allowed to fall foul. The digital age has raised the bar, and all businesses should be prepared to upgrade their current best practices.

For many companies, the best way to consolidate their supply chain operations is the inclusion of modern technologies. Whilst digital has transformed the way people interact, it has also created opportunities across the supply chain to improve communication, minimise risk and create further efficiency.

There is a range of technologies now available that can help streamline and secure supply chain operations, all the way from manufacturer to distributor, or head office to provider. One of the biggest emerging developments is blockchain, the future of manufacturing according to many experts. When utilised effectively, this technology can provide unparalleled accountability across a supply chain, allowing for more consistent and thorough checks on quality and compliance. Another development that could have a huge impact is artificial intelligence, which can deliver much more consistent performance when compared to human-led operations. By taking advantage of these new tools and many others, such as the internet of things, companies can revolutionise their compliance control for the digital age.

Expense Reduction Analysts are specialist cost reduction consultants. Here at ERA, we have experts with years of experience across a range of industries who can provide a thorough evaluation of your current supply chain practices. Our specialists work in a variety of cost areas, from distribution and warehousing to utilities and packaging, and can work with your team to streamline your procurement strategies. If you are interested in creating capital to upgrade your supply chain, why not speak to our team today and see what savings we could create?