Supply Chain Best Practices
These days, there is an extraordinary amount of pressure placed upon supply chain managers to keep costs low and still produce results. The challenges they are up against don’t allow them to just improve what systems already exist. It’s essential for them to transform their operation and adopt new methods and supply chain best practices that will help streamline productivity.
The question is, how do most supply chain managers overcome these challenges? Exactly what are the traits of an efficient and productive supply chain? Many successful, leading industries have implemented these supply chain best practices:
- The Supply Chain Team Should Be Properly Aligned.
In order to maximize effectiveness of your supply chain, it’s absolutely crucial that this step is taken. It could be as simple as adding more proficient managers in each business unit, or as complex as building a more centralized operation. It depends on the company and the industry, but most businesses have used a combination of these strategies. It’s important to staff the supply chain adequately and managers who have excellent relationship and communication skills.
- Utilize the Right Technology.
Often times, companies choose technological advances which help them achieve efficiency without modifying their workflows and processes. It’s easier to assess the processes that need improvement, then choose the technology that’s appropriate for those improvements. Whatever technological system they put in place, should improve their supply chain management. Using technology to can create great benefits, like an efficient purchase-to-pay process, for example.
- Make Sure to Build Alliances with Suppliers.
Supplier relationships will help make your supply chain, as long as you maintain the well. In fact, both parties should work together to enhance the buyer/supplier relationship. The primary objectives of an effective relationship with suppliers should be:
- Strong relationship with good communication
- Both parties must develop continuous goals of improvement
- Implement mutual performance measurements
- Establish a solid platform for conflict resolution
- Use Collaborative Strategic Sourcing.
Every successful supply chain manager should use collaborative strategic sourcing – it’s a strategy which produces outstanding results. Collaboration means your customers are actively involved in the decision-making process, and provide essential feedback in functional areas. Using this approach can result in lowering costs, streamlined processes, and higher response rates to customers’ changing needs.
These strategies alone do not always work for every business, but applying them wherever you can will at least improve efficiency and productivity. All of these supply chain best practices can help improve your supply chain, but for those companies who need additional support, hiring a third-party service for more assistance would be the best option.
AECI has spent years supporting supply chain management teams and our reverse logistics specialists provide turn-key solutions that are customized to your company or industry. Our global procurement strategy will enhance your existing processes and help to optimize your bottom line by providing a strategy for cost reductions and enhanced internal operational efficiency. AECI’s procurement strategy can complement your organization and improve your overall procurement performance. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you achieve your goals.