Businesses constitute some of the fast-evolving and most dynamic systems today. This being the case, even the most dexterous managers must take their time to repurpose their conventional supply chain strategies to be in tandem with the business dynamics. Customers have an all-time-high need to have their orders delivered with speed and efficiency. Admittedly, meeting these demands can be a challenge, and there occurs a great need to reassess every stage of the supply chain planning approaches to ensure that the business brings the product to the market with the required speed and the ultimate effectiveness at hand. That’s why this article shares techniques that will aid to improve the supply chain strategy for your business.
- Work on the supply chain visibility– one of the latest and the greatest promising trend in the supply chain is supply chain visibility. This is the ability to track a product component on transit throughout the time, from release to delivery when you collect it. The success of your supply chain largely depends on whether it is visible. You can improve your business by making your business process visible to your supplier to help him understand your situation in real-time. With the supply chain visible to the supplier, he is better placed to respond to your current situation accordingly and plan to fulfill future needs. Supply chain visibility is not only externally advantageous but also internally. With the visibility in place within your supply chain, your members will respond instantaneously to your clients’ needs and prevent dead stocks as well as back and forth within the supply chain.
- Embrace automation and good management- as part of improving your supply chain as a manager, you need to automate the process where it counts and put in good management strategies. Automating warehouse processes or pushing your suppliers to do so can impact the supply chain in measurable ways. While you might be adept and curious at doing this, you must converse with the warehouse managers, planning teams, and higher-ups to ascertain that automation processes like robotic technologies will be ideal for the business. While talking to them, be sure to ask them significant questions and do all it costs to determine and communicate whether your business’s current situation would suit their plans.
- Involve the business’s IT department- as crucial as it is, many supply chains do not fully engage their IT departments and only involve them when the current business has something going awry or when the business is planning on implementing new software. As a manager who wants to scale new heights for the business, you need to do things differently and take the unconventional direction. Instead of engaging these experts only when things seem to be going wrong, open new opportunities to streamline your business by periodically contacting and engaging the IT department. Ask the department about software changes that would improve processes when the company implements them. Stay ahead of the rest by making use of these folks’ holistic understanding of supply chain changes and business dynamics.
- Repurpose your in-house training- in the course of the supply chain operations, you may notice that you are having issues pinpointing the business’s efficacy. If that is the case, it might mean one thing; there is something amiss with your supply chain’s in-house training. At this point, peering internally and specifically on the in-house training programs and seeing where the problem is will be the game-changer. You can do this by arranging meetings with your supply chains departmental heads, more so the ones responsible for the business’s manpower. While running these meetings, pay keen attention to the training procedures and materials at hand, and ascertain that they are productivity-focused, result-oriented, and up-to-date with the general business and supply chain dynamics. Additionally, take time to assess the supply chain morale as it directly impacts the people who put hard labor into the business.
- Work on a comprehensive project plan- since supply chain efficiency is an ongoing process as opposed to a one-and-done thing, a comprehensive project planning template is imperative to the business’s success. Such a good plan will be critical in keeping you on track with the defined objectives, determining communication channels, working on distribution strategies, and serving as a framework to fulfilling the supply chain’s goal. Even when you need to improve the supply chain projects or identify risks and opportunities that inform real-time decisions, a comprehensive project plan will help you. Besides, the supply chain’s project plan is the needed focal point of reference for all the business initiatives you might want to execute as a manager. Put a good project plan for the business. You will be able to ascertain your decisions and investments and ensure that they are in line with the business’s supply chain goals as well as the broader corporate vision.
- Evaluate your suppliers- since the supply chain process starts with the suppliers, you must assess the supplier relationship with the business. In evaluating your suppliers, the first thing you would need to do is assess your supplier’s communication with your business’s supply chain team. For instance, when you send the supplier email, does he respond, and if he does, how long does he take to respond? A supplier’s response is critical as it influences pivotal design changes within the business. The other thing to look at is the supplier’s reliability. If your supplier is the type that ships orders late and defies them, you likely will lose out on the business’s revenue. The last thing to check is the supplier’s speed. If you don’t check out on this, your orders will be late, and you will be running on dead stocks every other time.
As a manager, your key concern is to improve your supply chain strategy and be in tandem with the business dynamics. This involves a lot of work and resources, but it is worthwhile. The article has discussed key techniques that, if applied, will greatly impact the supply chain. The strategies touch on the internal business (supply chain employees) and the external business (suppliers).