The supply chain is the system of individuals, activities, resources, and information that come together and undertake the process of moving products or services all the way from suppliers to the client. The effectiveness of the supply chain is directly proportional to the success of a company, and there are few other aspects in a company’s inner workings that can so strongly affect the direction in which the organization moves when working towards the accomplishment of their goals.
Today’s global economy applies a great deal of pressure on organizations and subsequently on their supply chain, and this is due to a new generation of customers that are more demanding, that understand their worth and that are privileged with an unprecedented view of the market at a level that has never been seen before in history.
Today’s customers are not only aware of what they want, but also have the tools and the knowledge to find the best way to get it, and that is why having an effective supply chain hasn’t been as challenging and as necessary as it is today.
When it comes to finding strategies to boost the performance of your supply chain, there is no such thing as a universal solution to disentangle all problems because no two supply chains are alike, and even if a strategy is the correct one given the situation, one must also consider the costs that it may incur and what they mean when it comes to profit. At the same time, you shouldn’t be discouraged by thinking that solutions are all expensive and complex since there are some things that can be done with a small amount of effort and resources involved, that can give you great results.
Today in David Kiger’s Blog, we want to talk about some of the best and most simple strategies that a company can implement to significantly boost their supply chain effectiveness.
Look for expert advice
Bringing someone on board who understands these types of processes and can optimize the way operations run and find shortcomings in the current practices. An expert doesn’t necessary needs to be looked at as an extra expense against the budget, but instead as an important investment towards making things better each time. Consultants can also work as liaisons with suppliers and help your organization secure better deals in products and services. Another important reason to hire outside help is to aid companies to navigate in the sometimes complex processes of foreign imports and exports, and when you are working at a location overseas and you need a local to help you understand and comply with regulations and laws.
It doesn’t matter in which industry your organization works, building rapport and good relationship with all members and influential agents of your supply chain is a great place to invest time and resources. Building a favorable relationship with your suppliers can be something as simple as treating them with the respect a partner deserves and letting them see that they are part of the simple and not simply subordinates with a mission to accomplish.
There are considerations to keep in mind when you have to relate to people from other cultures because more often than not, they will have a different way of doing things and understanding those differences can go a long way towards building better relationships with members of your supply chain.
Positioning inventory strategically can go a long way when it comes to saving time, using your resources in more effective ways and making the work of your people a lot easier. Inventory positions include considerations like the allocation of fast moving items closer to shipping stations and having packing materials close by so movements are minimum and better utilized. Picking practices are also greatly benefited when inventory positioning is done strategically and thinking about this activity. Is worth remembering that warehouse activities and more specifically picking, amount for a great deal of the total percentage of actual work being done in the supply chain.
Visibility is key
Cloud-based services are great tools to maintain visibility in shipments and to always know where products are and when they are due to arrive. Having this information will allow you to properly deal with customer concerns and to react in a way that allows you to anticipate issues and stay ahead in order to fix them.
The use of the latest technology will always be something that becomes less of a luxury and more of a responsibility as the market grows and evolves. New solutions are being developed everyday in order to help the supply chain adapt to the changes of the market and to be able to more effectively meet the demands of customers. Staying behind means allowing your competitors who are surely using these technologies, have the upper hand, something that no business can truly afford.
* Featured Image courtesy of Breakingpic at Pexels.com