There are numerous routes that can be taken when trying to improve supply chain management, but they are all based on a single truth: your supply chain is a strategic asset and needs to be managed like one. Whether you are a small, nimble company looking to expand into niche markets or a larger, mid-market business trying to lower costs, there are very real benefits to be had in finding ways to improve how your supply chain is managed. Fortunately, there are a few universal keys to this process that all companies can take to heart.
Focus on Efficiency and Sustainability
This sounds obvious, but it’s easy to let the need for an efficient, sustainable supply chain get lost amid a crowd of other priorities. Such mistakes are what lead to companies over-extending themselves or falling for faddish practices without realizing such approaches hurt the bottom line and can’t be maintained long term. Finding efficiencies and ways to streamline processes by saving time, manpower, and money can be done with a mix of regular evaluation, paying attention to physical conditions on the ground, implementing automation of supply chain functions, and numerous other methods. Sustainability is a matter of prudence and carefully assessing the long-term implications of any plan. While some risks are inevitable, you should always have a plan in place for sustainable growth and maintaining the infrastructure you already have.
Match Supply Chain and Business Line
The perfect supply chain is one that is efficient, fast, agile, customizable, and responsive. In reality, however, these traits tend to be mutually exclusive. Maintaining high speed and efficiency is only possible when processes don’t get slowed down by changes, for instance. There are also various skills involved when trying to manage supply chains that prioritize different elements. This is why it is important to accurately identify the most important supply chain priorities and organize the chain accordingly. If necessary, you could also try developing separate supply chains, each dedicated to different requirements and demands, but this is not always needed or advisable depending on size.
Improve the Flow of Information
Knowledge is power—and for supply chains, savings. Maintaining a high-quality and speedy flow of information between suppliers and businesses lets all parties stay on top of inventory needs and helps prevent over- or under-stocking of products, even amidst fluctuating periods of consumer demand. Closely matching inventory to customer needs is a key way to cut down on extraneous costs, so maintaining a constant flow of information is extremely valuable. Should any delays in the info appear, they need to be addressed promptly.
Make Technology Work for You
There are a plethora of technological options that can assist in supply chain management for your business. Take the time to carefully assess and compare your choices based on how well they serve a business of your size, how flexible they are, how well they can be integrated into other systems, and how they can meet the overall automation and information needs of your operations.
Harness Successful Supply Chain Management in Toronto and Beyond
Lean Supply Solutions is a 3PL fulfillment company whose operations are based around the Lean Methodology, a proven philosophy focused on eliminating any operations, equipment, or resources that are not capable of adding value to our clients’ supply chain. By striving to ensure that the right products are provided to the right customers at the right time, Lean Supply Solutions is able to offer consistent, predictable, and quality results. To learn more about the Lean Methodology, to outsource your supply chain management in Toronto, or to ask any questions, give us a call at 905-482-2590.