Insights & News

Want to Build Your Company on a Foundation of Excellence? Make Supply Chain Design Just as Important as Product Design

Astronaut painted across multiple shipping containers

Posted On August 17, 2018

Imagine manufacturing a motorhome. You are building a space your customers will think of as a second (or even first) home, so you want as many of the typical comforts of a standard house as possible. Your motorhome will need a nice bathroom, with enough room to shower and get ready. Your motorhome will need a comfortable bed that justifies all the money your customer spent on the vehicle, when they could have just used Priceline to find a hotel room where the sheets have a high thread count, and someone else has to clean up the mess. Your motorhome will need a useable kitchen, capable of preparing meals better than the ones your customer can buy on the road.

In other words, a significant amount of design goes into manufacturing a motorhome. If you’re building a motorhome, you need to anticipate problems and challenges your customers may experience when using your product.

Of course, that’s true no matter what your company manufactures. Gym equipment manufacturers cannot just build a bench press—they need to anticipate how users will interact with their product. How much space will the bench press require? How wide should the rack holding the barbell be? How will users raise themselves off and lower themselves onto the equipment?

No matter what your company builds, design matters. Anticipating future challenges is crucial to your success. Design failure can be difficult or even impossible to overcome. A manufacturer with a reputation for building motorhomes with nonfunctional kitchens or bench presses that won’t accommodate the average user won’t be in business for very long.

The same is true for designing your supply chain.

You need to design a supply chain that anticipates and mitigates potential challenges. You need to treat designing an effective, efficient, and visible supply chain just like you treat designing a useable product. Product design and supply chain design are equally important. A poorly designed product delivered on time is a good way to put your company out of business. At the same time, having a great product that doesn’t make it into the hands of distributors, retailers, and customers because of a poorly designed supply chain is an equally effective way to put your company out of business.

In 2018—when survey after survey shows customers expect a great product delivered as fast as possible as cheaply possible—great product design and great supply chain design go hand-in-hand.

Fortunately, the Flat World family of companies (Flat World Supply Chain, Flat World Hospitality Management, Ram International, Ram Custom Crating, and Prologue Technology) and our team of supply chain, logistics, shipping, and transportation-management professionals are here to help you create the supply chain that will ensure your customers receive their well-designed products in a supply chain built on a foundation of excellence.

Companies don’t come to dominate their market simply through great product design. Whether you’re selling motorhomes, gym equipment, chairs, beds, or iPhones, the path to dominating your market in today’s economy is built on product design and supply chain design.

The Flat World family can’t help you design the product that will dominate your market.

But we can help you design and execute the supply chain that will put your product in the hands of your customers in a way that exceeds even their highest expectations.