Ask any successful business owner or manager (both in manufacturing and across other industries), and they’ll most likely tell you that a business’s supply chain can serve as one of its most crucial differentiating factors. Whether it be in relation to tech, auto, consumer packaged goods or otherwise, a well-structured supply chain can mean the difference between a business that thrives and one that falls apart quickly. No matter how well-structured your supply chain is, there’s always room for improvement.
Ready to take things with your organization’s supply chain to an entirely new level? Here’s how:
Get Your Employees Involved
Regardless of what your business happens to focus on, your employees are your lifeblood. Getting them involved in day-to-day supply chain affairs is not only a great way to improve the supply chain itself, but also employee engagement. Teaching employees how to best utilize a manufacturing ERP system, for example, comes along with plenty of benefits, and it comes at little to no cost of money or other resources—just time and patience.
Effectively Communicate Logistics with Suppliers
There are few things—if any—that can influence a supply chain more thoroughly than communication of logistics with suppliers. Whether it be a missed phone call, an email that falls into a spam folder or otherwise, logistical errors can very quickly derail even the most well-designed supply chains. ERP software can be a huge help in terms of keeping miscommunication with suppliers from occurring, though it’s not the only piece of the puzzle. Stress the importance of communication with your employees, especially if they’re important points of contact with suppliers.
Don’t Split Up Your Supply Chain
It’s easy to assume that you and your employees can continue to effectively handle multiple supply chains at once. After all, perhaps this is how things have been thus far, and the idea of change is something you’re not willing to entertain. No matter how you look at it, splitting the supply chain will do nothing but cause problems. Rather, you should implement one catch-all enterprise solution that incorporates the many different systems that you’re utilizing at the moment. When the supply chain is one single entity, a great deal of confusion begins to disappear.
Always Analyze Customer Interaction
It’s often assumed that the supply chain ends once a product has been delivered to stores and is available for purchase, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Improving the supply chain is all about analyzing how well-received a company’s products are by customers, which is why it’s important to analyze sales, interest and any other numbers you can get your hands on re: your organization’s products and services. Once you know where you stand, you can better determine the best ways in which to move forward.
Integrate the Sales Team
Sales and marketing often operate in a silo, which doesn’t really do anyone any favors. Rather, a sales team that operates without interacting with the rest of the supply chain will result in a number of disconnects, many of which can be enough to derail a product launch or another deadline. The solution can be found in integrating your sales team into supply chain management, which is another example of what can happen once you focus on breaking-up miscommunication issues.
Improving your supply chain can help to boost ROI, and it’s not hard if you go about the process carefully. Put in the work, and you’ll no doubt see the results you’re looking for.