Supply chain management is easily one of a business’ greatest long-term expenses. Moving raw materials and finished goods requires several players, all of which add up to the total monthly expenses your business needs to account for. Cutting costs in your supply chain is an option; but, you want to ensure you make the right calls and don’t sacrifice quality for cost.
When looking for areas of improvement in your supply chain, ask these questions first:
- Which supply chain partners and systems add the most value to my company?
- Which provide the least value?
- Can any of these partners or systems be replaced by a more efficient alternative?
Your entire supply chain must be analyzed to see where you can cut costs in day to day operations. Consider making the following changes in your supply chain system to better accommodate your business’ growing needs and demands:
Utilize space better.
Improving your supply chain starts in-house. Are you using your inventory space properly? Are you stocking and storing products efficiently? Making these changes to your warehouse or storefront can help you ship products faster and reduce costs caused by inefficient inventory management.
If inventory is taking up too many of your resources, talk to your suppliers about JIT (just in time) ordering. This can be a good way to reduce the inventory you keep on hand, so you always have enough, but never too much.
Inefficiencies and mistakes happen when too many players are involved and trying to coordinate. Automation technologies, whether they involve tracking, reducing human labor or communicating with your suppliers can solve these issues.
Automation in supply chain management is especially important during product development stages. The longer it takes for your product to travel from one point to the next, the longer it will take for it to reach the market. Supply chain management professionals can help you automate your systems to reduce human labor costs and minimize mistakes. They help streamline processes so you don’t have to wait for the resources you need in product development stages.
It is very common to outsource aspects of your supply chain for quicker turnaround and product or resource delivery. However, you need to choose carefully who you work with, and how much of your operations you outsource to a third party.
Your logistics provider should be transparent throughout your relationship. A lack of transparency causes more problems and will cost you even more in the long-term.
Finding the right contract manufacturer to add to your supply chain is critical to more efficient operating systems and bringing your products to market.