Running an efficient supply chain means delivering the right product to the right customer at the right time at the best cost. Making this goal of efficiency a reality can seem daunting but can be accomplished with these must-know tips.
1. Hire a Local Expert
Global supply chains typically rely on subsidiaries around the world to keep up with the high demand they experience. It is in a supply chain’s best interest to employ someone in those areas that knows the local culture, tradition and most importantly, language, to ensure operations run smoothly. Such an ally, who knows the ins and outs of a foreign country and the trends of the local market, is essential in creating efficiency in a global supply chain. Their knowledge of local rules and regulations will also help avoid issues that would otherwise cause time and profit losses.
2. Build Relationships
Building relationships is vital to the success of any business. We continually strive for exceptional customer relationships, but it’s equally as important to create a good rapport with your suppliers, as well. As suppliers can affect your business in a variety of ways, from the quality of components that effect a company’s end-product to the timeliness of production, supply chains need a reliable supplier. Building a good relationship with a supplier is as easy as paying on time, giving accurate lead times and keeping the supplier updated on changes that affect them. Suppliers will appreciate these simple acts and be more willing to cooperate in emergency situations.
3. Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket
Almost as important as building relationships with suppliers to an efficient supply chain is having back up suppliers in the event of a supplier dropping the ball. In a perfect world this would never happen, but mistakes and disruptions do occur, so having a Plan B that can handle orders on short notice is essential to having an efficient supply chain that can roll with the punches.
4. Invest in Inspection
Investing in quality inspection that takes place before products enter the logistics phase of a supply chain is a great way to improve efficiency. Catching imperfections and damaged products before they are shipped out saves both sides of the business time and money. By always delivering products that are built to spec, the enterprise is less likely to have to accept returns or waste time fixing a mistake that should have been caught before it left the building.
By careful planning and putting in to practice these tips, a supply chain can run like a well-oiled machine.