Supply chain management is often a very scientific affair. Tactically there is always a lot of focus on analysis, modelling, scenario testing and impact assessment. Operationally, the focus is often inward looking and dealing with the day-to-day problems. Here we offer a few tips on broader supply chain issues that may sometimes be forgotten.
Relationships are Crucial
If we didn’t list any other tips, this one alone is worth its weight in gold. When it comes to managing your supply chain, relationships are everything. This means every relationship that is integral to your supply chain needs conscious and thoughtful management, from customers to suppliers. If you can understand each party and the pressures and constraints they face, then their partnership will be increasingly valuable to you. This requires excellent communication and a nurturing-networking approach. Also take the time to understand all of your supply chain relationships on a global scale. This way, if there’s something like a natural disaster, or a regime change, you know exactly how your supply chain will be affected.
Understand Your Place & Your Competition
With the constraints and demands on our everyday working life it is all too easy to focus solely on your own chain and not think beyond its bounds. This is short-sighted and doesn’t put you ahead of the competition. You need to understand your competition so that efficiencies can be reflected in your own chain, and so that you can ensure your supply chain excels in it’s weakest areas.
Stay Ahead of Technology
Technology is a constantly changing beast for everyone, but when it comes to the supply chain, harnessing its power is essential. Stay ahead of the game with the best offerings of Supply Chain Management Software, as well as tracking and mobile technologies that can make streamlining, accounting, and measuring the metrics seamless.
Manage the Metrics
Measure metrics and don’t be afraid to use them. The most effective supply chains are the most efficient ones. Measure every aspect of the chain and then use the information to hone the chain. Likewise, ensure you understand the nature of how the metrics impact different aspects of the chain and the cascading effects of one aspect on another.
Exchange Rate Gurus
Getting the best from your supply chain means understanding and working with exchange rates. It’s not enough to leave it to fate. This is especially true in the current supply chain marketplace where exchange rates aren’t yet settled in the Brexit-Trump landscape. You cannot hope to remove the effect of the exchange rate, so you must manage it.
Keep the Customer at the Forefront
When managing the chain and the demands it entails, don’t forget the importance of the customer. Never lose sight of what is important to them and to track their expectations and wants.
Get the Experts on Board!
The above tips will help you to focus your efforts on the key areas in supply chain management. Nonetheless, sometimes it pays to bring in the experts. The return on investment you’ll see by improving efficiencies in your supply chain are well worth it. Paul Trudgian have industry-leading supply chain consultants, ready to take on the hard work of developing the supply chain for you.