What challenges do you see when you look at your Supply Chain?

If we ask this question, we are sure to receive all kinds of answers, naturally depending on whom we ask, which company they work for, and what role they perform for that company. Nevertheless, there are quite a few aspects that turn up again and again, and – believe it or not – there are solutions to most of them.

Here, we present some of the most common challenges, as well as our recommendations for what you can do to deal with the situation.

Which ones do you recognise?


Just thinking about customs issues makes my stomach churn

Customs manager …? Well, it’s pretty much down to me because no-one else wanted, or was able, to take it on. I usually work with other things, but I take care of this too – to the best of my ability. But I’m often worried deep down that we’re not doing it absolutely right. Because how can I keep track of all the HS codes on our pro...

What’s happening with my incoming deliveries?

Incoming deliveries are my biggest headache. When will they arrive? What will they contain? Have I planned sufficient staff to receive them? If it isn’t the production division crying out for materials, it is the sales department being hounded by a customer. How can I know which shipment contains precisely that specific gadget? ...

We spend too much time tracking deliveries to customers

All these calls about where the deliveries are right now! How can we answer all the questions in detail? When the carrier has picked up the goods, he’s the one who knows where they are at any time, right? Of course we want to help our customers enjoy a better experience, but it’s tough when we don’t have any information. ...

The case of the eternal delivery monitoring

Our three biggest challenges are delivery monitoring, delivery monitoring and delivery monitoring. First of all, we barely have time to do it – which is perhaps our biggest problem – but when we do manage it, it usually involves us chasing after our suppliers for confirmations. And then we have a group of suppliers who are highly skilled, bu...

Why can’t I book all transports in the same system?

Far and away my biggest worry has to do with all the different ways there are for us to book transports. On the one hand, we have our usual flows, but then there are far too many customers that have to have their bookings made through a specific carrier, so we have to book via the respective carriers’ websites. It takes far too much time, and ...

Getting lost in the transport agreement jungle

I work with all our agreements with our suppliers – including our carriers, and this is where I get a bit lost. After all, I’m a specialist in electronics, not fuel supplements, MAUT, demurrage or whatever else it’s called. So every year when I check over our transport agreements, it feels like I’m in over my head and I just get lost str...

Do you really need a degree in logistics to check a transport invoice?

First of all, I have no idea what the transport ought to cost. There are so many supplements and exceptions, and then they vary from one carrier to the next. Today, I check that the invoices are for roughly the same amount as last month, and that none of the transports is ridiculously expensive, but I’m aware that you should actually take a cl...

How can I choose a carrier that performs well from the perspective of sustainability?

We’re being encouraged to book more sustainable transports, and we would love to do so, as it feels like the right thing to do. But how can we know which option is best? Today, we choose the transport solution based primarily on price, although lead times are naturally important when things have to move fast. But how can we compare carriers on...

How can I measure how good my suppliers are at confirming orders and delivering on time?

Measuring supplier performance … there’s a hardcore challenge. There’s a lot of grumbling going on about how bad our suppliers are, but I’m pretty sure this is just a feeling, and that it’s not supported by facts. In spite of this, I don’t have any kind of tool for following up on their performance properly, which means I can nei...

Complaining about a transport – is it even worth the effort?

Our products are of the slightly more fragile type. Even though we try to pack them as carefully as we can, you can generally bet that something or other will end up broken. So what do I spend my days doing? Dealing with one complaint after another. And the complaints process seems to be designed to drain your energy as you work through it &#823...

It takes forever to distribute transport costs to the correct units internally

In order to gain better control of our transport costs, we decided a while back to consolidate all costs at our head office unit, which means that all invoices land in my inbox. That’s all well and good, but I then have to distribute the costs to all our different sites and subsidiaries. I don’t think I’ve got it right even once. Either a ...

It just doesn’t feel right to leave transport out of our sustainability report ...

It’s time to prepare our sustainability report, and we really ought to include transport as one of the parameters we report, considering how much impact this has on our business. But on account of a lack of reliable data and our inexperience with the area, we feel really unsure of what to do, so we’ve simply left it out so far. ...