Optimize Supply Chain to Grow Your Business!

Optimize Supply Chain

Supply chains are what keep businesses alive in today’s modern age and as such we must optimize Supply Chain. Without materials or tools that you need to run your business then you’re going to be in trouble.

So it makes sense to make your supply chains as best as they can be.

But how exactly do you optimize your supply chains without causing problems?

A Short Guide to Optimizing Your Supply Chains

Optimizing your supply chains is no easy task. You’re going to need to take into account a number of things that could cause problems during the optimization and after the optimization. Either way you’re going to need the full cooperation of your staff and external sources for it to work. So to help you do that, we’ve put together this short guide of how you can optimize your supply chains

Modernize Your Methods

Technology is something that we have the benefit of using in today’s day and age. Especially because each day brings new tech that you can use to your advantage. This includes optimizing your supply chains. 

You have devices that can locate and track packages while also letting you communicate with your supplier from hundreds of miles away, and more efficient modes of transport for your supplies in the form of hybrid vehicles and drones. Another great advantage is using technology to identify trends and adjust production at your business accordingly. You’ll have more information at hand to make sure that you can make knowledgeable decisions with the right tech.

Don’t stay in the stone age when it comes to your supply chains. If you do try to avoid upgrading your aging tech then it would take you an entire era of unnecessary hard work and toil to grow your business.

Do What You Do Best and Outsource If You Can’t 

One of the most important things to remember in business, is that you’re not going to be able to do everything yourself. No matter how hard you try, you’ll end up falling flat in some regards to your business. You might try to manufacture and create a specific part you need for a one off project, but is all that time and effort really worth it? 80% of the time it isn’t. This is where outsourcing comes in.

Outsourcing at its core is a great practice for businesses and a great way to optimize your supply chain. Outsourcing means that you don’t have to waste unnecessary time, money, man power and space on something that you can have someone else do for a much cheaper cost. You might be wondering how this helps your supply chain and are thinking that this just adds another supplier in the chain. The answer is simple. 

It may be an additional supplier in your chain, but that will be far more manageable than going through a massive amount of effort yourself to organize your business around the manufacturing of that one product or part. Simply focus on what you can do at your business and have things that you can’t be outsourced.

Make Sure That Your Staff Are Part of The Process

One of the most important parts of running a large scale supply chain is to have your staff be part of the process. There is one clear advantage to making sure that they’re part of optimizing the supply chain. This advantage of the fact that they’re going to be in contact with it more than you will be.

They’ll be more aware of this than you will be because of the nature of their jobs. They’ll be using and transporting the supplies rather than doing paperwork like you will be. Your staff will also be working on specific parts of your business process rather than overseeing everything. This gives them the edge when it comes to noticing what could be optimizing in the supply chain.

One way you can use your staff to your advantage is to do regular reviews. You can ask for suggestions that could lead to upgrades and improvements to your supply chain. Another great way to get the info you need is to have staff dedicated to specifically finding ways to optimize your supply chain. A great way to do this is to hire competent staff from staffing and recruiting agencies like Point One Recruiting.

Optimize Your Inventory Management 

Inventory management is just as important as your supply chains. Where else would your supplies go other than to production or your inventory? In order to better streamline your supply chain, you’re also going to want to streamline your inventory management process. 

Keeping inventory sitting there while new stock is always coming in would lead to an overflow and can be a problem for most supply chains as you have to unclog your inventory. You might also encounter the exact opposite where you’re running out of supplies to satisfy the demand of a certain product. You might even encounter both problems at the same time.

One way to counter this is to make sure that you keep an eye on the trends surrounding your business. This is something that we said earlier that can be done with using modern technology. The main reason that this can help your supply chain is that these trends will dictate which products will be more popular and will need more attention and which ones aren’t that popular anymore. 

Pick Your Suppliers

In supply chains, there are always two entities: the supplier and the receiver. These two are responsible for negotiating the terms of the supply and most of the time, you’re going to be the receiver. One of the most important things to do is to make sure that you carefully choose the supplier you’re getting supplies from. The main reason you want to do this is to make sure that you’re getting the most bang for your buck.

You’re going to have to make several hard choices along the way, like whether you want to opt for a supplier who is closer or one who is further but provides better quality products. Another is to choose whether to stick with an older and more trustworthy supplier or a new one who is providing similar services and products at a cheaper cost or closer location. These are just some questions you need to ask yourself when deciding on how you want to proceed with your supply chain. 

It Isn’t Easy But It Can Be Manageable

With this short guide, you have a great framework of what you need to do to better optimize your supply chain. Good luck out there and don’t let yourself get bogged down by your business.

Optimize Supply Chain article and permission to publish here provided by Roel Calatin at pointonerecruiting.com. Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on March 18, 2020.