The supply chain is constantly changing for all industries. With the introduction of new technologies, innovative systems and the ever-changing demand of products, companies have been forced to change how they manage their operations and logistics to suit. These have all collectively contributed to the increased importance of having a smooth flow of management to ensure that the supply chain is working effectively.
Your supply chain can be one of your best strategic resources and, if utilised properly, it can help you to grow quickly and efficiently. However, often we see areas in companies where it can be optimised even further to help take the business to the next level.
Here are some of our best practices for making your supply chain management the best it can be. By optimising your flow with some of the below recommendations, you could grow your business in more ways than revenue.
Healthy Supplier Relationships
Communication is the key to everything in business and it should be at the forefront of any strong supply chain management system. Having good, healthy relationships with your suppliers is an important indicator that you are aiming to get the best out of your chain. Communication should occur regularly and should aim to be two-way so that both partners feel they are receiving a benefit. Having strong communication and relationship dictates value in each other, allows you to measure performance better and gives you a better opportunity to resolve any conflict that may arise.
Optimise Your Inventory
In business, reducing costs can sometimes be both necessary and difficult, but it doesn’t have to be the latter. Utilise your supply chain by consistently looking into your inventory quantities and where you can optimise them to save costs. When it comes to storing hold stock, it can become costly quickly as they sit in the warehouse with nowhere to go at that present time. By working on your ability to forecast and plan demand where possible, or even use a JIT (Just-In-Time) system, you can streamline this process and reduce costs dramatically.
As we’ve discussed previously, technological advancements give us the opportunity to better our business, whether it’s quickening processes or bringing certain elements in-house rather than outsourcing. By reviewing the technology, software and programmes that are used in your business on the regular, you could potentially save hours of work and therefore money. However, it’s important that you don’t rely on these technologies alone. Only review processes that are lacking and then see if there are any software solutions to suit.
Establish Green Initiatives
The world that we live in is being forced to become more socially responsible by introducing friendlier procedures to counteract the damaging effects industry have had on the planet. If a company is wanting to survive in the long term, it’s important that they begin to plan and implement sustainable and ‘green’ procedures for their business. Buyers are becoming a lot more environmentally aware when it comes to their purchasing decisions and may often purchase when hearing something positive in regards to the environment and the social responsibility of a company. By creating greener processes alongside a desired and positive workplace, you are on the right path to success.
These are only a small selection of tools that can help you optimise your supply chain management but this is only the beginning. You can discover more ways to optimise your processes via our collection of AIAG Books, Publications and Standards. The Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) are a group of professionals within the industry who aim to help with the streamlining of various industry processes, such as your supply chain management.