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How SAP Business One Builds a Resilient Supply Chain for SMEs

Published: Apr 10, 2024  |   | 
Resilient Supply Chains

External forces or disruptions compel small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) to revamp their processes and build a resilient supply chain. These sudden or slow forces can bring positive or negative impacts on businesses but supply chain resilience can help companies keep things in control. In other words, we can consider the supply chain resilient if it can withstand external forces as strongly as possible enabling SMEs to run their processes smoothly.

In this post, we will discuss resilience in the supply chain and supply chain disruption with its impact. We will also dig deep into the process of building a resilient supply chain and the role of SAP Business One in making it. Let’s start with the basics.

What is Supply Chain Resilience?

Today's dynamic and fast-paced corporate world demands a smooth flow of goods and materials for growth and success. This is where the concept of supply chain resilience comes in. Supply chain resilience refers to the ability of your supply chain to absorb disruptions, whether natural disasters, political unrest, or economic fluctuations. A resilient supply chain can adapt quickly, minimize delays, and ensure your business continues to operate effectively in all circumstances.

Factors Contributing to Make Supply Chains Resilient

Several factors contribute to building resilient supply chains. One of the important factor is diversification. This means avoiding reliance on single suppliers or transportation routes. Spreading your network across different geographical locations and vendors creates buffers against unexpected obstacles.

Secondly, investment in technology plays a crucial role. Real-time data analytics provide valuable insights into potential issues, allowing for proactive planning and adjustments. Finally, establishing strong communication and collaboration with all partners in the supply chain is essential. By openly sharing information and working together, businesses can anticipate and respond to challenges more effectively.

Let’s go through some key benefits of resilient supply chains.

Benefits of Resilient Supply Chains

More Efficiency

Companies can invest more in innovation and growth by minimizing risks and disruptions. A Bain and Company report has revealed that companies that had prioritized investment in supply chain resilience had shorter product development cycles up to 60 percent.

Enhanced Productivity

Resilient supply chain technologies boost overall productivity. A 2020 McKinsey survey revealed that supply chain leaders worldwide have seen productivity gains thanks to resilient systems, and 93 percent of them plan to prioritize investments in supply chain strategies.

Reduced Risks

Complex and globally dispersed networks are inherently vulnerable to supply chain disruptions. Resilient technologies provide real-time visibility across the entire chain, allowing businesses to optimize processes, adapt logistics, and mitigate risks.

Here we have mentioned the concept of supply chain disruption. Let’s understand this concept with its impact on SMBs.

Boost Your Production Efficiency with SAP Business One Solutions for SMEs

Supply Chain Disruption and its Impact

A supply chain disruption is any event that interrupts the smooth flow of goods and services. This can happen at any stage ranging from raw material extraction to final product delivery.

Types of Supply Chain Disruptions

Talking about its types, we can consider-

  • Natural disasters like floods, earthquakes or hurricanes.
  • Geopolitical issues like trade wars or regional conflicts.
  • Internal factors like labor strikes, supplier issues, or IT system failures/downtime.
  • Man-Made disruptions like hacking or malware attacks and transportation issues.
  • Demand-related challenges like demand volatility and inventory shortages.

All these disruptions have significant impact on businesses irrespective of industry sectors.

Impact of Supply Chain Disruptions on Businesses

Disruptions can be short-lived or cause long-term problems, they are either sudden or slow. The impact of disruptions depends on the severity and the company's preparedness. These disruptions can have a significant impact on businesses. They can lead to product shortages, delays in production and delivery, increased costs, lost sales, and customer dissatisfaction. In severe cases, disruptions can even force businesses to shut down temporarily or permanently.

A resilient supply chain can minimize the impact of disruption. Here is a step-by-step guide to building a resilient supply chain with best practices.

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Building a Resilient Supply Chain

If you want to establish a supply chain with the necessary resilience against various disruptions, here is a step-by-step guide you can use-

1. Risk Assessment

Identify potential vulnerabilities across your entire supply chain. This includes analyzing your reliance on single suppliers and outdated technology.

2. Diversify Network

Mitigate risks by spreading your materials across multiple suppliers and locations. Consider factors like cost, reliability, and proximity when selecting alternatives.

3. Technology Assistance

Implement advanced technologies for inventory management, transportation tracking, and communication to ensure visibility across the chain.

4. Build Partnerships

Foster open communication and collaboration with all partners in your supply chain. This includes suppliers, distributors, and logistics providers.

5. Contingency Plans

Create a plan for how you will react to different types of disruptions. This might involve having backup suppliers, alternative transportation routes, etc.

It is also beneficial to follow best practices for bringing resilience to a supply chain.

Best practices for building a resilient supply chain

Building a Resilient Supply Chain

Focus on Flexibility

You should design your processes and systems to be adaptable to changing circumstances. This allows you to quickly adjust to disruptions.

Invest in Innovation

Continuously explore new trends in technologies and strategies to improve your supply chain's efficiency and resilience.

Prioritize Sustainability

Building a sustainable supply chain can also contribute to resilience. This means you can consider factors like environmental and social responsibility.

Regular Reviews

It is better to assess your supply chain's performance regularly and update your resilience strategies as needed.

SAP supply chain management can help companies build reliable and resilient supply chains. Let’s understand the vital role of SAP Business One in making your supply chain resilient.

Role of SAP Business One in Building a Resilient Supply Chain

SAP Business One (SAP B1) acts as a feature-rich and user-friendly tool for businesses aiming to build resilient supply chains. Here's how it helps:

How SAP Business One can help build a resilient supply chain

SAP B1 provides a centralized platform for managing all supply chain data, offering real-time insights into inventory levels, supplier performance, and potential issues. Moreover, the system facilitates seamless communication with suppliers and partners, fostering collaboration and information sharing. This enables joint planning, faster issue resolution, and quicker adaptation to changing circumstances.

SAP Business One solution can automate routine tasks like order processing and inventory management to free up resources and enable companies for better planning. This results in smoother operations and quicker response times during disruptions. Finally, the built-in analytics tools of SAP B1 empower businesses to identify trends, predict potential issues, and make data-driven decisions for supply chains.

Key features of SAP Business One for supply chain resilience

Some of the top features related to SAP supply chain management are-

  • Inventory Management
  • Supplier Relationship Management (SRM)
  • Forecasting and Planning
  • Business Intelligence (BI) Tools
  • Companies across various industries leverage SAP B1 to enhance supply chain resilience. Here are several real-world examples of SAP Business One implementation-

    A manufacturing company uses SAP B1 to diversify its supplier base and identify alternative sources for raw materials, mitigating risks associated with single sourcing.

    A distribution company utilizes real-time data from SAP Business One to track inventory levels and anticipate potential stockouts, allowing it to adjust purchasing plans.

    SMBs can gain a significant advantage in building a robust and resilient supply chain with the help of SAP B1.


    Supply chain resilience plays a crucial role in minimizing the impact of various types of disruptions. Companies can follow best practices and consider important steps for making their supply chains resilient. It is better to opt for a SAP Business One solution for keeping your supply chain resilient and gaining various benefits. Hope this guide will help you build a resilient supply chain for your company.

    Silver Touch enables SMEs to leverage the benefits of SAP Business One to minimize the impact of disruptions and build a resilient supply chain. As an official SAP Partner and end-to-end ERP consulting services provider, we assist companies in making the most of robust SAP solutions. Do you want to know more about our services? Simply send us an email containing your requirements or ask for a free demo at sap@silvertouch.com and we will contact you soon.

    FAQs For Supply Chain Resilience

    What is supply chain resilience?

    Supply chain resilience is the ability of a supply chain to handle disruptions like shortages or delays, and keep your business running smoothly.

    How can I assess the resilience of my supply chain?

    You can identify critical points in your chain like single-source suppliers and analyze their vulnerability to disruptions for assessing the supply chain’s resilience.

    How can technology support supply chain resilience?

    Real-time data analytics can give you insights into potential issues and help you plan for alternative suppliers or routes.

    What steps can I take to improve the resilience of my supply chain?

    You can diversify your suppliers, build buffer inventory, and invest in establishing strong communication with all partners.

    How can Small and Mid-sized Enterprises (SMEs) enhance their supply chain resilience?

    SMEs should focus on building strong relationships with a few reliable suppliers and consider collaborative planning with larger companies.