A supply chain is only as strong as its weakest link. To develop one that works for your company, you need to take a lot of things into account. That’s not as easy as it might sound, so here are 5 supply chain management tips that will help you streamline your SMC and be ready for 2019.
1. Don’t Rely on Just One Supplier per Product
“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” is a really nice saying and more than applicable here. You should never rely on just one supplier per product. No matter how good they are or how good of a raport you have with them, there is always a chance that something will go wrong.
For instance, perhaps you have a supplier in a country overseas and that country gets hit with a natural disaster or war. In that case, they will be unable to deliver your product. This is why you need to have a plan B or a backup supplier.
2. Integrate Supply Chain Management with Other Systems
Adding an integration layer to your SMC, will allow you to share vital information between systems owned by yourself, your partners, suppliers and finally customers with much more ease and efficiency. As every transaction goes through a number of systems, such as finance, ERP, manufacturing and sales forecast, integrating it will make things quicker.
3. Be Sure to Train Your Personnel Accordingly
Don’t assume that your employees will know exactly what they need to do. Often, you’ll be in a situation where you are introducing a new software suite or welcoming a new team member and you won’t be able to just point them in the right direction and say “go”.
Don’t think of internal training as a waste of time. Think of it as an investment instead. By investing a little time and effort here, you’ll be saving a lot of time and money in the future.
4. Use the Latest Technology
Stuck in the stone age? Don’t be! Look at all the successful supply chains companies use today. They all use the latest technology to help them handle their inventory, logistics, manpower and more. So, while you’re stuck there, doing things “the good, old way”, they are using the latest technology and software to be miles and miles ahead of your company.
In other words, if you are still using spreadsheets, stop. You know how we talked about the weakest link in the supply chain management? Much too often that’s the humans and their guesswork. Good technology can help you eliminate that (guesswork, not humans, of course).
5. Make Sure Your Business and Supply Chain are in Perfect Alignment
Your supply chain should take top priority in your business. Unfortunately, too often the upper management has other things in mind and forgets about the supply chain. A good supply chain manager is there to remind them and to put them back on the right track as far as an effective supply chain goes.
Do you have any other supply chain management tips that you’d like to share? Let us know about them in the comments below and don’t forget to sign up for a free Purchase Order Plus trial and improve your PO processes.