Insights & News

In a Moment of Uncertainty, Focus on the Fundamentals of Your Supply Chain

Stacked shipping containers forming an arch

Posted On May 21, 2019

Visit any supply chain or logistics news site right now, and you’ll see the same few words, repeated over and over: tariffs, trade wars, and China. Big, heady, important stuff.

The bad news?

There is nothing you can do to influence world events this big.

Your supply chain will have to adapt the changes lawmakers and regulators enact, just like it always has.

The good news?

There is a lot within your supply chain you can control. Here are three of them:

1. Increase visibility.

At the beginning of the year, consulting firm A.T. Kearney published a list of the four most important trends in supply chain management.

Second on the list?


Shippers and customers should know exactly where a shipment is at any given moment. Maximum visibility allows shippers to identify and eliminate problems within a supply chain. That visibility is especially essential as shippers rely on the multimodal supply chains often required in an increasingly urbanized world.

You can’t write the trade policy that would most benefit your business. That is out of your hands.

But you can increase visibility within your supply chain.

2. Step up your packaging game.

Before you ship anything, make sure your packaging can stand the test of the road. Or the ocean. Or the track. No matter the mode, the precious cargo within that packaging stands the risk of taking a beating.

And if your packaging isn’t up to par?

“We work with our clients and advise them on the packaging requirements for their product(s),” said Julie Lynch, Freight Claims Specialist at Flat World Supply Chain. “That way, we can avoid future claims and business disruption that result from a damaged shipment.”

3. Integrate supply chain-management software into your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

Over the past year, Flat World Supply Chain has worked with several clients to integrate our shipment execution software into a variety of ERPs.

When we partner with clients to do that, we aren’t fundamentally changing their ERP or accounts payable software.

Instead, we are connecting the dots and increasing visibility between their shipping department and the other systems the company uses.

Connecting the dots between your shipping department and the rest of the company is an innovative step that makes your company and your supply chain stronger—and is wholly unaffected by events outside of your control.

Growing a company is a little like raising a family:

There are some things you can control, and some things you can’t control. The trick to success is laser-like focus on the things you can control, and the mental discipline to avoid noise that is often little more than hyperbole and distraction.

That’s what we do here at the Flat World family of companies: We help our customers improve the supply chain components they can control. Like increasing visibility, improving your packaging game, integrating your TMS with your ERP—along with offering the best truckload (TL), less-than-truckload (LTL), freight forwarding, custom crating, and hospitality project management solutions available anywhere.

Skip the headlines—or, if you don’t skip them, at least remember this:

Continuously improve everything you control.

That’s how you craft a supply chain built on excellence.