6 Steps to a Superb Supply Chain…

Despite what many supply chain experts claim, there is no one key to supply chain success.  A superb supply chain doesn’t rely on a miracle ingredient, but rather a cross functional mix of factors.  Here are our six steps to a superb supply chain:

Step One: Quality

Quality management often has a bad name due to the perception that it leads to documentation overload and excessive box ticking.  However, modern quality systems do not require box ticking for the sake of it, only documentary evidence where your business requires to function.  The process of implementing and continually validating and improving a quality system helps to build and spread the knowledge of how your supply chain actually works throughout your business.

Step Two: Visibility

Visibility of the supply chain means different things to different people.  This is often dependent on an individuals role.  Defining what does (and does not) need to be visible, when and to whom is crucial.  Too much data can lead to overload, firefighting and paralysis.  With too little information we may miss current issues and the opportunity to adapt for future scenarios.

Step Three: Process

Streamlining cross company processes is the next great frontier for reducing costs, enhancing quality and speeding operations.  For this step to be successful understanding the processes involved is critical.  A supply chain solution installed by software experts that just mimics what you currently do is not usually the best answer.  Time must be taken to understand the whole supply chain in terms of what information is really needed and processes must be defined as well as the inter-relationships between them.

Step Four: Communication

The ability to communicate up and down the supply chain with customers and suppliers with speed and accuracy increases confidence, which, in turn, enhances decision making to give your supply chain the competitive edge.  FuturMaster’s personalised visual working environments combined with exception based reporting gives your people the tools to communicate effectively and with confidence.

Step Five: Responsiveness

The need to plan demand and how it will be fulfilled needs to fit to the day to day reality of shorter product life cycles and increased customer expectations.  Responsiveness is crucial for supply chain success and the ability to respond is always considered in S&OP solutions built in FuturMaster.

Step Six: Culture

One element that is often overlooked when building an effective supply chain strategy is culture.  A clear vision and can do culture with authority and responsibility at the correct levels is needed to free people to make and implement decisions that will enable increased service levels and customer satisfaction.

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