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How to Maintain Flexibility in Supply Chain Strategies

There are over 32 million small businesses in the United States. With so much competition in every industry, it’s crucial to take every opportunity to ensure your company’s longevity.

This is particularly true when considering supply chain management strategies. Proper supply planning can go a long way when it comes to avoiding issues you may have otherwise encountered.

We’ve created a brief guide that has the key information you should know. Let’s explore the types of supply chain management you can take advantage of.

Continuous Flow

This model focuses on efficiency. It’s great for creating stability in high-volume environments. Manufacturers who produce many of the same products on a regular basis will find this to be a great option.

Having such a high level of efficiency allows manufacturers to keep prices low. In many cases, the continuous flow model will help you maximize your sales numbers.

Fast Chain

Sometimes, companies prioritize responsiveness over efficiency. Manufacturers that change their product lines frequently should consider the fast chain model.

For example, businesses might focus on taking advantage of trends. Since trends change so often, the manufacturer should flood the market before it loses popularity.

You can take this model to new heights by developing trends on your own. This will allow you to exponentially increase your performance. This is much easier said than done, though, and you’ll also need a stellar marketing department.


Businesses that leverage the agile model often work with specialty items. It’s specifically designed to deal with smaller batches of products. In practice, this means less automation and more expert knowledge.

This has the advantage of creating additional value, allowing for higher prices. It’s worth noting that this model isn’t meant for high-volume production. It simply isn’t sustainable in this scenario.

Efficient Chain

As the name implies, this model focuses on end-to-end efficiency. Production forecasting is crucial to get the best results. Raw material prices have a strong influence on how effective this model can be.

Labor shortages, delays, and material shortages often make using this model difficult. This is particularly true in a post-COVID world.


There’s a chance your business needs something more specific than a traditional model. This is where custom configuration steps in. It allows you to establish unique production and assembly setups.

Common examples include builds that focus on limited production or prototypes. In practice, this can be thought of as a combination of continuous flow and agile models.


This model attempts to leverage the best attributes of the other models. It aims to accommodate stretches of low demand and reacts to periods of high demand. To work, it requires the right infrastructure.

Automation is key when it comes to maximizing flexibility. Having access to a broad list of professional suppliers is also necessary.

Maintaining Adaptability

No matter what supply chain management strategy you use, it’s essential to maintain adaptability.

You’ll need to be comfortable identifying areas of concern and making the appropriate changes. It’s also important to have insight into approaching issues. For instance, you could forecast demand shortages and adjust your model to accommodate them.

Or, you could adapt to meet a surge in demand for a short time. Common disruptors include price changes, lead time, and natural disasters. Put simply, there is no shortage of obstacles you can face. Stay ready for the ones that come your way.

Getting Started

Working with a professional is one of the best ways to improve supply chain flexibility. They have the tools and resources to ensure you start on the right track.

They can also assess your current strategies and reconfigure them. This goes a long way when it comes to maximizing performance.

When looking for someone to work with, consider what other clients have had to say about their experiences. Were they satisfied with the results? Did the firm maintain professionalism throughout the process?

You should also consider their pricing structure. The last thing you want is to encounter financial surprises.

The company you choose should be easy to get in touch with. They should also seem interested in helping you meet your goals.

Finally, look at examples of their past work. This will provide valuable insight into what you can expect. As long as you do your due diligence, you shouldn’t encounter issues.

Best Practices

There are certain steps you can take to avoid common problems with supply chain management. Keep these in mind when moving forward so you can make the most of them. Listed below are some of the most notable.

Stay Compliant

It’s crucial to always remain compliant. Breaking regulations can come with costly fees and penalties.

In some situations, it can even affect your brand integrity. This can make it difficult to scale your business in the future.

Assess Risk

Assess the risk of the supply chain model you use. Ideally, you would choose one with maximum output and minimal risk.

This isn’t always possible, though. If there isn’t an option with minimal risk available, have a contingency plan in case things go wrong.

Utilize Automation

Automation is key when it comes to hitting peak efficiency. This can eliminate menial tasks and streamline your workflow. Train your team appropriately so they can implement automation as often as possible.

Leverage These Types of Supply Chain Management

Having the right strategies in place is crucial when it comes to maximizing your chances of success. Understanding the types of supply chain management can help you hit the ground running and keep you competitive in your industry.

Get in touch with a representative at Shield Works Precision Manufacturing today. Our professional team can assess your needs and help you get the best results.