The Shift from Supply Chains to Supply Networks

In the 40 years since the term, “Supply Chain” was coined the nature of supply chains and how they operate has slowly been shifting.

Supply chains used to be very linear, often making use of only one or two dedicated service providers at every link in the chain.

Over the years we have seen this change with companies adding more service providers, manufacturers, etc. in order to accompany the varying demand of the growing global market.

A new term was coined, “Demand Response Network” and it describes the, “Supply Chains” of today much more accurately. We have moved away from the old, “Chain” and find ourselves firmly in a growing global network of manufacturers, transporters and other service providers.

The shift towards network thinking has enabled us to contend with the challenges of varying demand, unforeseen disruptions such as raw material shortages and even a worldwide pandemic.

The future of the supply chain is not linear, it’s a decentralised network growing on a global scale and it’s already here.

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Bag in Box Solutions, Packaging Waste and CIBC’s (Collapsible Intermediate Bulk Containers)

One of our clients in the food manufacturing industry previously made use of bag-in-box packaging solutions to transport liquid products to their clients.

These solutions create immense amounts of waste. In addition to waste, manufacturers incur unnecessary costs by having to pay people to fold and pack these boxes every day.

In our opinion, there’s unnecessary waste associated with these solutions:

1. Multiple 20 litre, or other sized, carton boxes for every delivery
2. Plastic wrapping to secure these boxes to pallets

With the exception of the pallet that carries these loads and can be reused a handful of times, manufacturers are making these packaging materials the problem of their clients who have to find a sustainable way of getting rid of them.

The 1000 litre CIBC makes these issues redundant by making use of a reusable, plastic secondary packaging container and a 100% recyclable inner liner that acts as your primary packaging.

The CIBC plugs right into your production line, requires no dedicated staff to prep for filling and reduces the amount of waste that ends up on your client’s site.

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The Drawbacks of Wooden Pallets

The Drawbacks of Using Wooden Pallets

Speaking with clients in the food, pharmaceutical and other manufacturing industries, they mention a few recurring headaches:

1. Wooden pallets are regularly in need of repair due to harsh working environments

2. They are not consistent with regards to quality

3. They can harbour bacterial growth which make them unsuitable for use in hygienic production areas

4. Once wet, they degrade quickly and become hazardous

5. Splinters and nails in pallets often cause damage to the products and raw materials that they carry

Plastic pallets eliminate these issues and are suitable for use throughout your supply chain.

Feel free to contact us if you’d like to know more about how plastic pallets can reduce headaches and improve your supply chain.

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CIBC’s (Collapsible Intermediate Bulk Containers) and Seasonality

Spending large sums on supply chain assets such as flowbins is a headache many manufacturers grapple with, especially within seasonal industries where assets are not used year-round.

We often find that at first clients like the idea of owning their own assets, but assets that are not being used turn into liabilities and only cost the owner warehousing space and money.

With a rental structure clients can order and return CIBC’s as their needs change and save on large capital expenditures.

Taking it a step further with a rental transfer structure, clients can send raw material in CIBC’s to the next link in their supply chain and along with it, the responsibility of paying the rental once the units are received.

Smartload SA