4 Tips for Supply Chain Management Success

Supply chain management is an important part of many businesses and its efficiency is essential to the organization’s financial success and customer satisfaction. If done correctly, it helps an organization reduce costs, streamline processes, manage the workforce and increase customer service quality. However, most organizations in this volatile market, fail to understand the need to change and upgrade their supply chain tactics, which in turn, results in a waste of time, money and effort.

Are you looking for ways to turn your supply chain more lucrative? Then, below are 4 tips that will help you attain success in your supply chain management efforts.

1.     Get into Cycle Counts

It’s surprising how many companies still rely on quarterly and annual counts instead of cycle counts. Yet, the benefits of doing regular cycle counts are:  it is less disruptive operationally, less resource intensive and it helps identify warehouse process issues, sooner than later. An easy way to implement a cycle is to count all your pick locations at least once per week where, typically, you need the greatest accuracy.  Another method is, to use ABC Categories based on sales volume. ‘A’ category products account for 80% of your sales, ‘B’ products represent the next 16%, and ‘C’ represents the final 4%.  Count all your A’s every month, B’s every 6 months, and C’s once every year – adjust your count frequency based on inventory turns.  It is best to not let a product turnover too many times before cycle counting it.

2.     Get Mobility as in Real Time Data

Real Time Data means, collecting the data and uploading it to your inventory system at the point of transaction and this means using mobile technologies.  Today, there is simply no excuse from a cost or choice perspective.  Supply chain managers today can choose from traditional ruggedized handheld terminals to consumer devices like smartphones and tablets. Also, keep on the lookout for Cloud-based solutions based on BLE (Bluetooth low emission) Beacons, this is truly progressive technology and promises to light up the supply chain to levels of visibility never thought possible. 

3.     Get Connected

It is no longer sufficient to only track inventory within the four walls of your distribution center. Therefore, many best in class supply chains are investing in electronic technologies to enable communications and to allow tracking a product with key suppliers and customers.  The supply chain of the future will become the DC of the future.  Communications will compress supply chains and this will give distributors and retailers the ability to deliver products to your door the same day it’s ordered no matter your location. No supply chain can afford to be an island. The internet is the greatest supply chain for data on the planet.  Not contributing to or drawing from it, means, you will be left out on the vast majority of purchasing decisions

4.     Get Frugal

Get rid of the paper.  If you want to be more cost efficient, drive out the paper first and operations will be a lot easier to streamline.  And as the business grows you won’t have to buy more filing cabinets!

In this volatile market, where competition is running rampant, it is crucial to charge ahead, embrace and adopt the change to stay profitable. We sure hope these tips help you ensure that your supply chain management helps your organization achieve its financial goals.

If we missed out any tips or if you feel you have tried something that helped your organization achieve supply chain success then please share in the comment section below.