Getting Your Product to the Customer Faster and More Cost-Efficiently with Supply Chain Management

Posted : 02/27/14 11:36 AM

Beginning in the 1990’s, with the advent of increasing customer baselines by pursuing the global market, innovative and progressive companies began formulating more cohesive and defined supply chain management techniques. Being able to meet quality, cost and delivery commitments while still satisfying end user requirements, took on global ramifications for companies interested in staying competitive in the world marketplace. There are many factors that influence getting your product into your customers’ hands in a more effective, timely and cost-efficient manner. To begin at the beginning, begin by involving your key suppliers in the improvement of your supply chain management. Probe methods to involve key suppliers in the early phases of the process; explore ways to maximize the product, cost, quality and speedy delivery to your end user. Next, utilize your own purchasing department and encourage initiative in finding ways to shorten time to market and cost reduction among every person on your staff. Encourage your acquisitions department to keep the flow of incoming raw materials maximized to support production. Encourage new product development ideas. Establish a “commodities group” to manage the collection of parts and suppliers on schedule. Broaden your new product development efforts. Try to reduce the time a product is “on the drawing board.” Combine the efforts of engineering and operational specialists, purchasing agents and developers, and work toward better communications among all in new product design, development, and distribution. Another boon to effective and efficient product delivery is technology. Being able to track and monitor the delivery of your product means you are able to maintain better control of your operations. There are cloud-based supply chain software options available that improve management, inventory control, and collaboration of products in your system. This software also enables you to create a flexible distribution network map to help you keep track of changing marketing conditions. Transportation management software can help you track your carriers’ locations, delivery times, and potential delivery problems, such as road construction, weather, and other hindrances to timely deliveries. Purchasing, learning, and utilizing effective software programs can help to decrease delivery time, improve order fulfillment, and enhance communications. You can also improve control of your inventory, increase accuracy in orders and fulfillment, and adapt to changes in supply and demand more effectively. Today’s global market and the ever-changing and improving technological revolution can be a challenge to your success. By putting technology to work for you, and exploring logical, consistent improvements to your supply chain endeavors, you can expand your operations to encompass and embrace today’s global customer base.