How Reevaluating Your Supply Chain Efforts Can Lead to a Smoother Operation

When was the last time you reevaluated your manufacturing firm’s supply chain efforts? Engaging in this process can lead to smoother operations within your distribution centers.

Many companies still are stockpiling goods as they were when the coronavirus pandemic began. Therefore, the shortage of some raw materials is causing extended purchasing and shipping timelines.

As a supply chain manager, you should find more effective strategies to increase efficiency in your supply chain efforts. These strategies can help.

Implement These Tips to Reevaluate Your Supply Chain Efforts to Increase Efficiency in Your Manufacturing Firm’s Operations:

Update Your Supply Chain Technology

Update your technology to increase visibility to all parts of your supply chain. For instance, use cloud-based data management tools and streamlined communication channels to maintain contact with all parts of your supply chain through a supplier portal.

Reconsider Your Product Line

Evaluate your products and the raw materials used to create them. Then, focus on reducing your dependence on materials that are in short supply or subject to unexpected price changes.

For instance, the transition from a quantity-first mindset, where you want to produce as much as possible, to a quality-first mindset, where you produce only enough to meet customer demand. Also, eliminate overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) as a primary key performance indicator (KPI) to free up scarce raw materials to use in more in-demand products.

Reevaluate Your Inventory

Transition to a quality-first mindset to determine which of your products are most important and which can be manufactured quickly. Then, consider the inventory levels you should keep at your distribution centers based on the products that customers in the region are buying. Keeping these items near these customers frees up room in your other distribution centers.

Maintain a safe stock of the raw materials and critical components needed to create your most in-demand products. Also, stockpile these materials and components when you notice a price drop. Having more than enough on hand lets you manufacture products as needed without taking up excess space in your distribution centers.

Shorten Your Lead Times

If some of the raw materials you work with are difficult to obtain, your lead times can unexpectedly change. Therefore, you should use internal and external processes to shorten your lead times as much as possible.

For instance, you might invest in shorter or faster shipping routes to minimize the impact of delayed arrivals of raw materials to your manufacturing facilities or finished products to your distribution centers. You also could implement systems that increase the pace of assembling and moving products, such as a warehouse management system (WMS), conveyors, and soft or hard allocation.

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