We all know how important the supply chain is to inventory management and overall business strategy. A lean supply chain saves money and improves customer satisfaction by cutting wait times for popular items. In summary, it gives you a significant competitive advantage over your competitors.
Conversely, inefficient supply chains waste resources; therefore, it's critical to prepare ahead of time to keep your supply chain as lean and cost-effective as possible. Here are some management strategies to help your suppliers, logistics providers, and internal staff operate better.
To improve your supply chain, start by evaluating your supplier connections.
Ineffective supplier–business owner communication leads to failure. So start by evaluating your supplier communication. Do they respond to your emails promptly? Do you readily understand each other? Or do you waste time repeating yourself?
Good vendors will respond quickly. You don't want to lose money on unsaleable goods because your vendor didn't respond quickly to a critical design change.
Your supply chain will be harmed if your supplier consistently under-delivers, under-ships, or otherwise fails to deliver on their claims. In that instance, severing relations with vendors that have proven to be liabilities is a straightforward fix—search supplier listings to identify a suitable manufacturer.
To optimise your supply chain, examine how quickly your suppliers can fulfil your requests. Stockouts occur when suppliers take weeks to produce an order, forcing you to reorder things sooner, increasing the risk of demand planning errors.
Operating a global supply chain with a supplier halfway around the world may not be efficient for a lean supply chain ordering small volumes at a time. If your demand forecast is off, a local seller may be a better choice.
Demand planning can increase supply chain efficiency if you don't use previous need data to estimate consumer demand. You need to be confident in your ability to work with your supply chain partners to ensure you have enough supply to fulfil demand.Integrated Business Planning can help your team analyse and prepare for your upcoming supply changes to support the business all year round, not just during peak holiday times.
Planning around suppliers and other elements like geography is also part of good supply chain management. For example, if you work with a Chinese vendor, you may need to organise your buy orders around the two-week Chinese New Year break. This ensures timely delivery and reduces supply chain expenses (because your products aren't sitting on an ocean-bound port).
Something that works well today may not function well tomorrow. Smart supply chain managers realise this and monitor important elements to identify weak places. Inefficient supply chain management can be immediately identified with inventory management services integrating supplier and logistics management systems. But you can also manually solve issues.
Examine your supply chain performance at least once a quarter. Look for any emerging trends. Has your company seen an increase in late shipments, unfulfilled orders, items, or poor quality? If so, track down the root of the problem. Once you identify the source of your issues, you may take steps to enhance your supply chain.