The Backorder, April 17 2024

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In this week’s edition of The Backorder:

  • Tesla develops revolutionary car manufacturing process
  • The Dos & Don’ts of managing supply chain risks
  • Insights from a water management solutions manufacturer
  • Job opportunities from Calvin Klein, Rocket Lab, and more

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In supply chain headlines

  • Tesla to launch never-seen-before production process. The new “unboxing” technique for building electric cars from the inside out – significantly reducing reducing costs and increasing production speed – could change the industry for good, writes Electrive.
  • Easter lifts UK retail sales despite wet weather. Thanks to the extra food shopping over Easter, total retail spending in March was 3.5% higher than it was in 2023, according to the BRC.
  • China and Russia pledge to work together despite US warnings. An agreement between the two nations to maintain “industrial supply chain stability” comes just days after US Treasury secretary warned Beijing against supporting Moscow war effort. Read more.
Tesla car manufacturing process

Managing supply chain risks: Dos and Don’ts

✅ Walk your supply chain. Seeing is believing; conduct an in-person investigation into the processes powering your supply chain – for example, visit your manufacturer’s factory. Look for opportunities to make things more efficient and cost-effective for you and your suppliers.

❌ Don’t be afraid to outsource time-consuming tasks. Letting go of control is hard. But often the best way to build a risk-proof supply chain is to leave it to the experts. Third-party manufacturers, fulfilment services, and procurement teams can be infinitely helpful in reducing your administrative time (and stress).

✅ Track supplier performance to find areas for improvement. It’s vital you measure how effective your suppliers are at meeting the terms of their contracts. Conduct ongoing supplier risk assessments and track key vendor performance metrics such as  on time in full (OTIF) rate, order cycle time, contribution margin, and order accuracy.

❌ Don’t neglect cross-training and upskilling for your staff. Unless you come from the year 3000, most of your employees are probably human beings. That means there’s a risk they’ll fall ill, break an arm, or (even worse) take a vacation. Upskilling and cross-training staff will help you mitigate these risks, ensuring there’s always someone available that can do what needs doing.

✅ Bring all your sales channels under one roof. Multichannel integration is essential for companies selling goods across different sales mediums. Streamline crucial processes such as order fulfilment, inventory management, accounting, and business reporting by introducing software that can synchronise all your important data. 

❌ Don’t rely on one supplier for your critical stocked items. All your eggs + one basket = bad idea. To protect your business from risk, a multiple supplier strategy ensures there’s always another option in case of supply chain disruptions, stockouts, or AWOL suppliers.

Using data to prevent leaks – Meet Dan Simmons

Dan Simmons of Quensus

We recently spoke to Dan Simmons, Technical Director at Quensus, Nottingham, UK, to find out what life’s like for a water management solutions business in 2024.

In your own words, what does Quensus do?

“Quensus provides tailored, end-to-end enterprise water management solutions. Our British-made products – utilising IoT – connect water meters and valves to an online management service, allowing remote monitoring and control globally. We specialise in leak detection, notifications, and automatic shutoff for residential and commercial properties.”

To what do you attribute your success so far?

“Overcoming challenges, particularly in scalability and market awareness, has been crucial. We’ve addressed this by strategic partnerships, targeted marketing, and continuous product refinement.”

What are your top 3 tips for running a healthy business?

“1) Prioritise customer education, ensuring clients understand the value of our solutions. 2) Foster innovation, continuously refine products to meet evolving industry needs. 3) Strategic partnerships: collaborate with key players for mutual growth.”

Do you have any content recommendations for our readers?

Construction Insider: A reliable source for industry-specific updates, trends, and valuable business advice. And Nick Kolenda – Psychology & Marketing: Leveraging the intersection of psychology and marketing for a deeper understanding of consumer behaviour and strategic decision-making.”

On the lighter side…

operations meme

Who’s hiring?

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Oliver Munro - Unleashed Software
Oliver Munro

Article by Oliver Munro in collaboration with our team of specialists. Oliver's background is in inventory management and content marketing. He's visited over 50 countries, lived aboard a circus ship, and once completed a Sudoku in under 3 minutes (allegedly).

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