Efficiency is key to keeping customers happy. If you’ve seen recent complaints from your customers, it may be time to re-examine how well your supply chain actually works. Often, even small tweaks can make things run smoother and more efficiently. A good supply chain is not only good for your customers, it also makes life simpler for employees (and for yourself).
Methods of Improving Supply Chain Efficiency
You’ll find a wide range of methods to boost the efficiency of your operation, but the following methods will have a major impact. When you have a well-designed supply chain process, you’ll see an increase in sales and good reviews.
1) Employee Training
Build employee confidence and abilities through proper and thorough training to see significant improvements in your company. Employees who have received full training are better at avoiding mistakes. They are also more likely to prevent security breaches and will be better prepared for the tasks required of them in day-to-day work.
Ideally, your training process will be streamlined to ensure everyone is learning the same thing the same way. This means less room for errors and any mistakes or deviations from the standard processes will be easy to spot..
2) Open Communication
Constant communication between suppliers, employees, and leaders is essential if you want to keep things running smoothly. Even if this is not the norm for the other companies you work with, you can train your employees to reach out frequently. This will allow you to know exactly when something goes wrong or is delayed and will let you adjust accordingly.
Plan to review the processes on a regular basis, as well. It will quickly become obvious if there are any issues that need to be resolved. You’ll also notice when the changes you make, even minor ones, are having an effect if you are checking and tracking everything.
3) Know Your Performance Metrics
It’s impossible to improve if you don’t know how well you’re doing. This requires careful tracking of your performance metrics. If you know that you provide X amount of product in Y amount of time, this gives you a baseline to start from. When production drops due to something you’ve changed, then you know it needs to go back to the way things were. Likewise, if you change something and you see an improvement, you know to keep doing that.
It is a simple concept and easy to collect the data, but it’s important to actually look at it on a regular basis. It may be beneficial to chart the various performance metrics you wish to track, such as sales, profits, and repeat customers.
4) Only Change One Thing at a Time
When you change multiple factors at once, you’ll have no idea which one was the factor that improved sales and efficiency. For this reason, it’s best to make one change at a time. Don’t switch suppliers and implement a new training program on the same day, for example. You need to see exactly what works so you can implement more tweaks like the one you’ve just made, or you can add it to another supply chain you’re managing.
5) Automate as Much as Possible
The vast majority of supply chain mistakes are the result of human error. Wherever you can automate things, you reduce the amount of errors that can be made. Where it’s not possible to automate things, you should be sure to create very specific protocols to follow, as this should also reduce or eliminate most mistakes.
6) Choose the Most Efficient ETLs
Your ETL pipeline is responsible for managing and integrating data across multiple sites and various systems. When you select an ETL solution for your business, check that it can integrate with a variety of applications. Even if you don’t currently use those applications, it is possible that you’ll expand in the future. It’s easier to continue with the pipeline that your employees are used to than to switch to a whole new system. Use ETL tools proven to give the best results, according to their history.
Improve your supply chain efficiency to shorten delivery and processing times and keep your customers happy. You’ll also face fewer issues when it comes to inventory management, all of which should result in higher earnings. In short, your supply chain is essential for the growth of your business. Increase the speed, decrease the mistakes, and your entire company will improve.