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Five ways to streamline your supply chain
09-26-2018

To remain competitive in the global marketplace, it is essential for organizations to continuously improve their supply chain and reinvent it from the ground up. Streamlining and analyzing the supply chain can result in more efficient, flexible, and profitable operations. This also enables companies to respond to market changes more quickly while boosting their overall efficiency, in turn leading to reduced costs and time-to-market. Moreover, the rising customer expectations, increasing globalization, and the advances in technology have made streamlining the supply chain more important than ever.

By implementing current technology, businesses can gain access to new markets, revenue streams, and integrated supply chains to maximize business potential in the complex marketplace. However, having a highly complex supply chain can put a strain on the business operations, while a streamlined supply chain can ensure that the right product is at the right place at the right time.

There are several new ways to rationalize the logistics of reaching the market every day. Let’s talk about the top five ways companies can streamline their supply chain and build a strategy to make the supply chain more efficient:

  1. Review and optimize the supply chain process: Structure the processes and workflows by making technology work for you. Review the processes that need improvement and pinpoint where problems occur along the process. This will enable you to select the best technology that fits your goals and also take surgical action to further reduce costs and pass the savings to the customers.
  2. Improve supply chain visibility: Gain clear views of your supply chain by taking advantage of the tracking options that can help you wipe costs as well as pour revenue to the bottom line. Monitor and track shipments for every stage until the end destination to be more informed regarding potential delays. Stay up-to-date in case of any unforeseen circumstances. Supply chain visibility leads to effective risk management and proactive decision-making. More importantly, it helps companies gain the metrics and data to improve and control the processes.
  3. Integrate the supply chain: Integrate the information from all sources to improve the efficiency of your supply chain. A single transaction usually touches many systems, including manufacturing resource planning systems, financial systems, ERP, and an organization’s CRM. And in most cases, this data also needs to be shared with parallel systems that may be owned by suppliers, partners, or customers. The traditional data integration method using file uploads and manual or batch updates is rather time-consuming and prone to error. By adding an information layer, companies can automate the way the information flows and also share this information more quickly and easily.
  4. Automation is key: Leverage artificial intelligence (AI) as a supplement (and not as a replacement) that can help push the necessary manual tasks to machines. Implement automated components into a warehouse to increase efficiency in a measurable manner. Companies can also use AI to automatically generate invoices and send it to the purchaser’s department from the supplier’s department. Assess if the use of robotic technologies is the right fit for your business and if it fits your current goals. Use real-time data and spend analytics to gain a complete picture before and after sourcing, for supplier selection, market analyses, and supplier performance to reduce risk and build strong connections.
  5. Eliminate duplicate data: The in-house systems developed over the years can be complex, inflexible, and difficult to integrate with the newer systems. Therefore, it is necessary to remove the duplicate data entry processes, which can save time and hours and also result in easier maintenance. Instead, focus on data entry that improves customer service and speeds up the information flow.

As the wave of new software and the developments in existing technologies continue to expand, they also give way for the disruption to be minimized whilst boosting brand perception and keeping the costs low. The essential first step to successful optimization is having a better understanding of the supply chain process. Improve the accuracy of schedules and demand forecasts and optimize the production lines in a flexible and profitable manner by streamlining the supply chain process.

Talk to us to learn how we can help you optimize and simplify the supply chain process.

Meet the Author

Rajendran headshot

Rajendran Nair

Chief Marketing Officer
Rajendran has over two decades in enterprise software in roles ranging from development to product management to marketing. He was most recently at Rootstock, the leading ERP for Manufacturing on the Salesforce platform. At Rootstock, he was responsible for driving topline, streamlining sales and marketing operations, and substantially increasing market awareness including favorable positioning in four major analyst reports.
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