How a company handles its supply chain is one of the most crucial and influential factors to the success it can have and the amount of revenue it will have at the end of the fiscal year. Therefore, they must take measures to make sure they don’t commit common supply chain mistakes that can hurt them in the long run. Additionally, a company can have the best technology to keep track of the different processes within the supply chain, but there is a factor that can hurt it the most: the human factor. Yes, humans can have the most influence on a company’s supply chain. David Kiger is here with some insights on where and how people can affect the success or failure of the supply chain of a company.
At the company level
Here is where humans have the most direct impact on the supply chain. There are many things a company does with its employees that can cause an impact on the supply chain.
1 . Working conditions
This may be the most important factor when it comes to taking care of the supply chain. Employees need comfortable spaces and setups that will allow them to do their job without being exposed to serious health hazards. Whether it’s at the administrative or the operational level, all employees you have optimal working conditions. Uncomfortable employees can easily make a mistake in an order, in quality control, packaging, or in delivery. These are all mistakes a company cannot afford to commit. They have a direct impact on the bottom line.
2 . Incentives
One of the best things a company can do to keep employees happy is to have a set of incentives according to performance. Incentives can motivate employees to do a better job throughout the supply chain. Here is where someone might say, “But a lot of employees don’t really care about incentives.” What these people fail to realize is that those employees who often earn the incentives on a constant basis show commitment to the company and that fact alone can lead to a promotion in the future. Promotions and the possibility of growing in the company ladder are incentives in themselves and great motivators.
3 . Gratitude and appreciation
Telling employees that you are grateful for the work they do goes a long way towards company morale. Happy workers make fewer mistakes and have more sense of belonging. Showcasing your best employees shows that the company values the contributions and effort that they make. A small word like “Thanks” can have improve how employees go about their job, that’s something worth considering.
At the consumer level
4 . Satisfying consumer needs
A supply chain is only as good as the demand it can fill. Consumer demands are mainly related to the needs they express. If a company is not up to date with the market trends in its industry and it does not take steps to keep up with their products or services, then you can bet to see a decrease in the amount of orders they receive. A great example of this is Kodak’s bankruptcy a few years ago. They failed to adapt to the current market and they paid a hefty price. Markets change, trends change, and needs change. Companies who don’t change as well are sure to fail.
5 . Customer service
Customers will not always be satisfied with a product. They may make the wrong order. They might have received a faulty product. For a number of other reasons, consumers might need to get in touch with a company’s customer service line and how a company handles it can influence the supply chain. How so? A great response to a customer’s complaint or query shows the company cares and values their consumer’s opinions and that they strive to make sure customer satisfaction and expectations are always met. This, in turn, can help create loyalty and in the future, it could bring in repeat business and recommendations from current customers. In other words, a company can end up having more repeat and new orders just by treating their customers with respect. The opposite is sure to happen if customers are disrespected or ignored when they contact a company looking for a solution.
Supply chain management is a delicate issue. There are so many things that need to work together in order for the process to have success. While there is a technological aspect that can influence the supply chain’s overall efficiency, humans still play a huge role in making sure everything runs smoothly and that everyone involved in the supply chain gets what they want. Companies must make sure that employees are comfortable and motivated and that their customers’ needs are satisfied. A little drop of unhappiness at the corporate or consumer level can have a huge ripple effect on how much success a company has across the supply chain.