Your supply chain is a network inside your business, where raw materials become products before they’re packed, shipped and end up with the customer. Therefore, in modern businesses, this can be a complex process, which is why supply chain management is so important. Improving your supply chain efficiency can save money and waste, and ensures that you can meet your deadlines, so here are some ways you can identify areas that aren’t up to scratch.
Using up to date technology
There are a number of ways that technology can be used within the supply chain to help with efficiency and tracking. For example, RFID – Radio Frequency Identification has been used in supply chains for many years so you can follow products throughout the cycle, and this can often help you identify inefficient areas. Software such as the range at weaveability.com can also help you at various points in the supply chain, cutting admin costs and making processes like purchase order management easier. The right software eliminates the need for paperwork and filing, which means you can cut admin costs and easily keep track of things.
Reviewing how you work with suppliers
If suppliers are underperforming, then your manufacturing process will suffer. It’s vital that you regularly evaluate whether they’re meeting Service Level Agreements (SLA), as delays have a knock-on effect. Learn about supplier relationship management, as this will help you track, review and deal with poorly performing suppliers.
Quality is essential in the supply chain. You should work out the cost of creating an item, then look at how much you’re losing due to wastage and scrappage because of problems with supplies or manufacturing. If you have a cost recovery system in place, then you can encourage your suppliers to be more accountable and sort out their own processes.
As your company expands, certain processes will need to be automated in order to cut down on admin time. For example, automatic purchasing makes it so much easier to keep the correct amount of stock, and this could be something that could potentially take up a lot of time if you had someone do it manually. Many businesses use automation to reduce paperwork, cut down on friction, and fulfill orders faster, so it could help you improve productivity and profits.
Encourage information sharing
Making your processes more transparent helps you work closely with clients to come up with new solutions. Using collaborative software helps you to share information such as supply chain metrics, look for inefficiencies together, and finding innovative ways to approach supply chain management. It can sometimes be difficult to juggle working with suppliers at one end and customers at the other, so feedback is important both ways at every step.
Your supply chain is the backbone of your business, which is why it’s worth investing to make it more efficient. Newer technology is making it easier than ever to not only identify where things aren’t working but also give you the communication tools you need to work with suppliers, retailers, and others to get the results you want.