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Supply chains, much like every aspect of business, are not protected from challenges. Mishaps can, and will happen, especially if you are not prepared for them. A breakdown within a supply chain can be extremely damaging, so it’s best to mitigate issues and plan for recovery in a proactive manner. In the spirit of being prepared for the worst, here is a list of the most common issues that plague supply chains around the world.

Ignoring Data

Data analysis is at the heart of every successful enterprise. Before a product hits the market, it is tested, data is collected and then analyzed to make sure it will hit the market with some traction as planned. Supply chains are no different. The sheer amount of data collected on a daily basis is a gold mine to your operation. Picking through the data can help maximize profit, expose problem areas, and identify areas for improvement. Neglecting the data is a huge disservice to yourself simply because it holds the necessary information for optimizing how the job is done.


Each and every company is only as good as the talent they bring on. If you have not properly identified the vital skill sets and experience levels needed to perform the job, you have not set the bar high enough. Demand excellence from the employees you bring on because they are going to be the ones helping you achieve corporate goals. Additionally, there needs to be protocol and methods in place for developing the talent at your disposal for future management.

Lack of Transparency

Demand transparency from the very beginning all the way to end of your supply chain. If you’re not aware of where raw materials come from, the steps the product takes along the way, or where the final destination is, you could be losing out on efficiency opportunities. Additionally, if there is a problem with the raw material supplier, but you don’t have a whole lot of information on them, it makes it that much harder to fix.

Poor Partner Relationships

Lastly, and probably the most important area, is partner relationships. You should develop and maintain excellent relationships with every partner, supplier, and shipper you work with. A supply chain can only work as well as each moving part will let it. Solidifying a strong relationship with each and every entity along the way makes everything run much smoother. These partnerships also put you on the same page for quality control and overall performance.