Today’s manufacturing supply chain operations are impacted by efforts to modernize the manufacturing process. These initiatives include automation, integrating cloud-based technologies, incorporating data management tools, and more. Depending on your individual needs as a business, you may need to work with a third-party provider to provide you with these new supply chain management tools and services. Whatever decision you make to scale your business growth, here are some different ways you can optimize your manufacturing process.
Tips for Modernizing the Manufacturing Supply Chain
Focus on Areas that Need Work
There’s no point in spending time improving a process that already works well. Instead of focusing on minor improvements, spend time on innovations that are advanced enough to make a big difference in terms of efficiency and savings. Be prepared for overhauls that will impact your future, instead of inventing solutions that aren’t needed.
Don’t Buy More Than You Need
You may think it’s safer to purchase more materials than you or your customers need, especially if the price is right. However, the cost of storing these extra materials will increase over time. If your customer demand happens to shrink, you will be stuck with inventory you cannot use.
Keep Customer Satisfaction a Priority
As you focus on production rate, don’t forget about customer satisfaction. Speed is very important, but not at the expense of quality. Fast production without a control on quality will impact your customer reputation, branding, inventory flow, and goodwill across the supply chain.
Embrace Flexibility and Ask for Help
Forecasting and budgeting are important, but so is the marketplace. Talk to your vendors and customers about how you can improve or what they appreciate about your business. Monitor your social platforms online as customers write reviews. Read reviews on your products, and check comments on related articles, too. Do what you need to do to get a better understanding of what your customers think of you and how you can do better.
Developing and Optimizing the Supply Chain
Invest in a Cloud ERP
Cloud technologies have been implemented into the supply chain to manage processes better. Cloud enterprise resource planning, or cloud ERPs can make manufacturing operations more efficient, especially when your supply chain works from multiple locations. You can reduce IT and related expenses by outsourcing this element of the supply chain. There are many benefits to incorporating cloud ERPs. It provides increased visibility and standardization, provides real-time supply chain oversight, and makes planning shipments and inventory levels simpler and more accurate.
Focus on Customer Satisfaction
Today’s customers’ decisions are increasingly influenced by the how competitive the price of offers is, the desire for a seamless experience across all channels, an easy returns process, and the ability to receive the product as soon as possible. They also expect real-time visibility into the order cycle and tracking to know where their shipment is at all times until it reaches their door. By offering them multiple purchasing methods and delivery flexibility, you can meet their needs and make your customers happy. To keep your customers shopping from you and trusting you, you will need a supply chain network that is flexible, fast, and profitably responsible.
Improve Inventory Management
By optimizing your supply chain, especially by working with a 3PL provider, you can improve inventory management, fulfillment rates, and product availability. The technology available from these providers allow for more opportunities to collaborate, record and analyze data, and test for optimality in all areas.
Monitoring the Processes
Monitoring your supply chain processes may be too much to handle on your own as your business quickly grows from your focused marketing and sales efforts. In a case like this, a 3PL provider can help you and provide you with full visibility into their services to give you peace of mind and insight. They can provide the technology and software you need to have control over your manufacturing processes. This kind of relationship with your 3PL provider can provide you with the following benefits:
- Improved efficiency in operations by implementing automation
- Increased accuracy by reducing human errors
- Improved quality of products and reduced costs associated with rejects, returns, rework, and defects
- Visibility to understand and control processes before they become expensive problems
- Better use of resources with predictive performance modelling
Get Help Managing Your Manufacturing Process with LSS
There are endless benefits of using either a single software system or a 3PL provider with their full inventory of services to manage all your supply chain operations. More brands have achieved higher operational improvements from working with a 3PL partner than those who haven’t. In fact, the high standards and expectations of customers’ demands means 3PLs need to make a better effort on behalf of businesses like yours to meet their needs. Working with a 3PL partner who provides these solutions can be a time and cost-saving way for you to reap these benefits.
Lean Supply Solutions can help you if you are looking for a 3PL company with the latest technology. We make ourselves aware of the rising trends in the logistics industry and always strive to stay up to date. We commit to being aware of our clients’ operational challenges as they arise and help them get the most out of their supply chain processes. Our 3PL, packaging, and supply chain management can streamline your processes for better success, and by striving to ensure that the right products are provided to the right customers at the right time, we can offer consistent, accurate, and quality results. To learn more about outsourcing to our 3PL distribution team, or to ask any questions, contact us today.
Any business that works in logistics knows of the supply chain transformation that technology has caused. Technology provides unparalleled access to information about what makes supply chains run efficiently, and how optimization and automation can give suppliers a competitive edge in their industries. This incredible level of innovation has led to the creation of the digital supply chain, which is managed by automated system and web or cloud-based solutions. This new supply chain gives businesses the advantage of better collaboration with their suppliers, shippers, and other third-party resources for success. Here’s what you need to know about the evolution of digital supply chain management and how you can get started.
What Is a Digital Supply Chain?
A digital supply chain is built upon Internet-enabled capabilities that improve system integration, connectivity, and information management. Unlike the hybrid model, which uses a mix of paper and IT-enabled processes, digital supply chain management is strictly online. The goal of this system is to enable better insights into the supply chain to boost efficiency, do away with waste, and gain better profits. Companies that use the digital method can move resources, assets, people, and inventory where they need to be faster and make transportation proactive and reduce manufacturing risks. The digital supply chain can monitor data such as inventory levels, consumer interactions with products, carrier locations, and equipment in real-time. GPS tracking, radiofrequency identification (RFID), barcodes, smart labels, wireless sensor networks, and location-based data are all parts of this next-generation supply chain solution.
Technologies That Support Digital Supply Chain Transformation
IoT & AI
The Internet of Things (IoT) has changed how companies can ship materials from the factory to the customer. Sensors are used along with a specific software to track shipments and their conditions at any point in time. This technology remedies problems such as delivery time, climate change, supply and demand, and more. As for artificial intelligence (AI), it can increase profits and productivity, streamline processes, and manage supply chains.
Big Data Analytics
Data comes in from every possible source, but big data needs to be analyzed to be understood and communicated. Various models of analytics provide valuable suggestions to vendors and manufacturers about how customers purchase products. The supply chain is therefore streamlined to avoid many supply chain conflicts.
This distributed database holds records of digital data and makes them resistant to tampering. It secures the supply chain process by tracking a product at each point from manufacturing to the customer. As it tracks all the events in the chain, potential roadblocks can be checked and resolved quickly. Blockchain provides purchase process automation, improved customer engagement, streamlined operations, connectivity, security, transparency, auditability, and more.
As manufacturing demands increase around the world, the need for better connection and communication increases. Technology has allowed businesses to connect with others around the world to reach scale and efficiency at a lower cost. Products are now developed for global markets and materials are sourced from global suppliers. This access and flexibility makes the supply chain smoother and works in favour of both the vendor and the consumer.
Smart robotics can eliminate low hanging manual processes in distribution centres such as picking and packing. This technology can enable businesses to automate certain processes individually to reduce the complications that come with company-wide automaton. Individual areas of automation will improve warehouse management and lead to a more productive supply chain.
Seeing and understanding the activities and events of your partners is one of the advantages of the digital supply chain. End-to-end visibility allows for optimization with multiple key partners.
Cloud-based transportation management systems (TMS) allow vendors to connect with the systems of other companies within their transportation network. This allows both parties to see what factors affect the success of their deliveries, costs, and overall performance. This visibility allows companies like yours to create strategies that eliminate or reduce waste (money, resources, time, etc.) and create a system that is efficient.
3D printing is changing the supply chain industry. It works by printing materials or product pieces, layer by layer and combats situations like demand-supply mismatch. Originally, this technology was extremely expensive but the increased accessibility to hardware, software, and raw materials has driven down the cost. Today’s suppliers are now better able to use this technology to maintain their inventory and meet customers’ needs.
Outsource Your Digital Supply Chain Management with 3PL Provider, Lean Supply Solutions
A growing business cannot be properly managed on your own. Most companies who excel with the digital supply chain outsource their processes to a third-party provider while they continue working on sales and marketing. A 3PL provider can help you manage your operations so you can focus on making your business and brand more accessible to your online shoppers. They provide many, if not more, of the advantages above, so you save time and money and speed up your success and revenue. If you’re looking for the right company to partner with, Lean Supply Solutions is the answer. We rise to the challenge of meeting our clients’ needs through our services which include product fulfillment, warehousing and distribution, e-commerce fulfillment, warehouse pick and pack, and order fulfillment. Lean Supply Solutions can offer consistent, accurate, and quality results. To learn more about outsourcing to our 3PL distribution team or to ask any questions, contact us today.