For many supply chain managers at wholesale, distribution, and manufacturing companies, simplifying the supply chain can be a difficult task. An efficient and effective supply chain is fundamental to the success of these types of businesses, and the key to ensuring their efficacy is their simplification.
In this article, we outline three key ways business owners can simplify their supply chain for maximum productivity.
One of the biggest drawbacks of many supply chains is that many key operations and processes are carried out manually. Especially for larger, more complicated supply chains, manually tracking data about inventory and more can quickly lead to errors and subsequent delays or disruptions to the supply chain.
Instead, business owners should look into automating their processes. For example, rather than manually counting stock with the pen and paper method which is prone to error, invest in an inventory management software to count stock accurately and quickly. This will prevent time wastage caused by human error, and in turn, will make it easier to dig up data on any particular item at any given time.
Automating processes like this will help you to streamline and simplify your supply chain for maximum productivity.
Cleaning up stock rooms
A simple but often overlooked task that can drastically simplify your supply chain is ensuring that your stock rooms and warehouses are tidy, organised and easily accessed. Larger companies with large amounts of inventory will find that keeping warehouses and stock rooms well-organised and, if necessary, labelled, can help to simplify the process of getting the product to the customer.
But no matter what size your business is, organising stock will have its benefits. By ensuring your sock is stored neatly and is easily accessible, when it comes to fulfilling customer orders your packers will be able to locate the items quickly and efficiently, and this will improve the customers overall experience. As Colin Albrecht, senior director of supply chain with Charter Communications, says: “When you trip over stuff, it affects process flow.”
Invest in third-party logistics
As a company grows, so does its inventory, and so does customer demand. In turn, this puts pressure on the supply chain, which can become more and more complicated with the growth of the company. In this situation, many business owners may like to consider third-party logistics (3PL) to manage supply chain functions, including things such as transportation, access capacity, and technology capabilities.
A simple supply chain may be the key to unlocking the potential of your business. By following some of the tips discussed, business owners can reduce the “clutter” to make room for efficiency, effectiveness and productivity.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.