Top Innovative Ways to Streamline Your Supply Chain
Unless you handle every single step from resource procurement to stocking, there are likely places along your supply chain that you are a bit fuzzy about. Transparency might be a big buzzword in sustainability conversations these days, but it is critical for businesses to thrive as well. It’s time to streamline your supply chain. You need to know what your suppliers are doing, how they are doing it, and what they are doing to constantly improve in the modern world.
Knowledge is the first step towards better managing and streamlining your supply chain; following these next four tips is next:
Digitize Your Production Management
If you haven’t already moved to the cloud and found the best management software for your business and industry, now is the time. You can do so much with management software that can talk to itself, making it easier to streamline your supply chain process. You can automate inventory requests, monitor your supply chain, keep up to date with compliance requirements, and so much more.
For example, you can set up a system that allows your employees on the floor to keep track of how much product gets sold online. When stocks run low you can set up a task in your system that will either alert you to the low stock or automatically send out a new order request. This way you will never truly “run out” and can instead optimize ordering to reduce costs and waste.
Automate and Streamline Supplier Payments
Suppliers have tight margins just as you do, and in some cases even tighter because unlike customers who have to accept the price of your product, suppliers have to negotiate. Every client they have wants a better deal, which can be arranged but puts them in a precarious position.
Don’t exacerbate this by being late with payments or by being the client that gets payments wrong through admin error or worse, needs to be chased up for payments. Providing payments on time doesn’t have to be difficult; in fact, you can decrease your supplier payment workload by 80% just by using the right AP automation solution.
Audit Suppliers Regularly (Especially in the Light of Changes)
Your suppliers exist in a very delicate situation. Their clients are always endearing to lower costs, which in turn cuts into their bottom line. This means they might change who they get their supplies from, and so on. You need to know who is involved at every step of the way, or you might inadvertently get involved in a scandal you had no idea about. From poor quality raw materials, to illegal working conditions, and so much more.
By auditing your suppliers and knowing who is involved in each step, you can monitor your product for quality and cost every step of the way.
Stay on Top of New Technologies and Materials
That being said, you don’t want to marry yourself to one product or supplier. Keep your options open so that you can get involved with better materials or production methods. Give your current supplier the chance to make those upgrades themselves by all means, but know what is out there so you can better your business and streamline your supply chain.