3 Ways to Optimize Your Supply Chain Strategy

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Think of your supply chain as your company’s engine – the smoother it runs, the more effective your business will be. Most companies realize this, but accomplishing it is a bigger challenge. Supply chains aren’t vastly improved overnight. It’s a process that requires time, resources, and the right professionals who can help shape and drive your strategy. But if done the right way, your organization will be able to master its processes, save costs, and mitigate wastes like a well-oiled machine.

Here are three ways to ensure that your supply chain strategy will achieve optimal effect and maximum benefit.

Align it with your business needs.

Aligning your supply chain strategies with corporate objectives will ensure that the organization aims for the same goals. Having leadership support could also eliminate potential barriers that might hinder your strategy. Consider establishing a governing supply chain council that includes your supply chain leader, executives, business unit leaders, and other influential people in the company. 

It’s also important to consider how your supply chain is structured. Some companies prefer having supply chain professionals in different business units, whereas others use a centralized approach. Some companies even combine both methods for greater effect.

Remember that data is king.

It’s crucial to understand how your processes tick. Companies need to know what’s performing well (and what isn’t), how effectively inventory is being tracked, and what type of return on investment they’re getting. The key to gathering this information is sufficient and dependable data.

Data analysis has come a long way over the years. Businesses no longer need to manage their supply chains in tiers. Data enhancements now allow companies to manage their processes from end to end, often in real time. To manage everything effectively, many companies govern their entire supply chain through one leader. This person is often responsible for overall performance management and establishing improvement projects across an organization. He or she should also build a data-driven operation with a team that can search unstructured data for risks and opportunities.

Your IT team should also be on board. Ensure that they can support any technical resources that will help you make analytical decisions.

Embrace the right technology.

Technology can do wonders for any supply chain, but only when used properly. Many companies adapt workflows and processes to their software rather than select a service that best fits their needs. This could encumber the data your company needs to make proper business decisions. Get as much useful information from your technology as possible. This will help you achieve greater efficiency, including a more productive purchase-to-pay system.

Many businesses use a purchase order management tool to help streamline their operations. This makes it easier to manage delayed or missed orders and better assess metrics. This type of system will also give you extensive visibility to your entire supply chain, making it a worthy investment and a savvy strategic move.

It's worth the effort.

Optimizing your supply chain strategy will take time, but taking the right steps will get you there much faster. Leverage a comprehensive team of experts and executives, get the most out of your technology, and don’t forget that data rules. These actions will nurture improvements that will impact your bottom line in the best of ways.