All supply chain managers need to dedicate time for reworking the efficiency strategies they have in place as the business climate evolves and their company grows. Today, customer expectations are higher than ever before – especially when it comes to things like fulfillment speed. This means every moving part of the supply chain should be assessed carefully and continually monitored to ensure the product is brought to the market with effectiveness and speed top of mind.
Improving supply chain efficiency can be challenging. However, this does not mean that your business must invest in expensive upgrades or overhaul your hiring process to make an impactful change. In some cases, all it takes is increasing awareness, focusing on training, and looking to the future to improve or achieve goals. Keep reading for more information on how to build an efficient strategy for any supply chain.
Any supply chain manager who knows what is going on in the industry has heard the phrase supply chain visibility more than a few times. This phrase refers to the company's ability to track all product components as it moves from the supplier's hands to yours.
It is possible to promote better visibility by providing your suppliers the capability to check your inventory in real-time to ensure they understand your situation – you can use this to help fulfill future demand. On an internal basis, it allows key members of the team to access the most important details about your current counts, which may help create a strategy without risking excessive back-and-forth conversations.
Giving your customers, colleagues, and suppliers visibility will remove pressure related to communication and future inventory planning.
Automate and Manage
Implementing automated components in your warehouse, or pushing your suppliers to take this step, may not make sense for all businesses. However, taking this step can help increase efficiency in an impactful and measurable manner.
To help determine if warehouse automation, including the use of innovative robotic technologies, is right for your company, you need to have a meaningful conversation with your planning team, managers in the warehouse, and executives. Be sure to ask the right questions about the future and engage in good communication to determine if the business's goals are viable for the business based on the processes being used.
If you decide to make changes, be sure to monitor and manage the automated parts continually. Usually, this requires additional education and training for suppliers, planning teams, and warehouse managers. While it may not be a direct part of their original job description, warehouse managers need to ensure that automated aspects of the process are working effectively.
Engage the Business's IT Department
In many situations, the IT department is only consulted by management when it comes to implementing new software, or if something is not working with the current system. Rather than just reaching out to these individuals in "emergency" situations, check in with them about possible changes to the current software that may help to streamline and improve the existing supply chain processes. The individuals in your IT department have a deep understanding of the various changes happening in the field of supply chain management. As a result, they may be able to help you stay ahead of the competition.
Assess the Training Processes You Use
Are you finding it difficult to determine where the efficiency issues lie in your processes? If so, it may be time to look at the in-house training you provide. Do this by meeting with the department heads to see where changes or improvements may be made.
Improving Supply Chain Efficiency
Improving the efficiency of your supply chain is something that takes time and effort. It is also something that requires ongoing thought and consideration. Using the tips and information here, you have a good outline of what you need to do to ensure your supply chain operates efficiency and that your business continues to grow.