Tag Archives: Efficient Supply Chain

The Hidden Costs of Email in Business Transactions [Free Guide]

It’s not just David Byrne that asked “My God, what have I done…? How did I get here?”

The guide to the hidden costs of email when used for business transaction processing

For me, there’s plenty of food for thought here at both a personal and a business level. Setting aside the former for the time being, it’s worth considering the latter –  especially if it’s hitting your profits.

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Extending the Supply Chain Management System

A recent change in California law now requires all businesses trading within the state with revenues in excess of $100 million to make their supply chain transparent, for easier verification that they are also complying with anti-human trafficking legislation. Businesses with lower turnovers are also required to make information about their staffing compliance to their customers who do breach the $100 million mark.

HandscuffKnown as the Transparency in Supply Chains Act, this new law is designed to reduce the use of illegal immigrants and slave labour within California and to help businesses identify points in their own supply chains where there may be an issue. As a result, companies are considering how to capture and store this information effectively.

To stay compliant, many companies have begun recording vendor reputation, employee hours and human-resources records in the supply chain management systems, and then making the information available to their supply chain partners. By sharing the information sensitively, businesses up and down the supply chain can see that their partners are not only compliant, but can prove it to the relevant authorities when necessary.

As Boeing found with their supplier portal, sharing information with suppliers and customers within the supply chain, significant efficiencies could be created beyond simply proving legislative compliance. The Transparency in Supply Chains Act has only been in force since January 1st and supporting systems and business processes are still maturing but eventually Californian companies will begin to recognise other benefits available through a more collaborative supply chain.

Information and resource sharing often helps to create a more efficient supply chain, but the politics and costs involved lead many such projects to fail before they even start. By forcing this change on companies, California’s new law will kick-start the collaborative process, which may well lead to further cooperation between affected companies, changing their future prospects.

Make Sure “Lean” Does Not Mean Inflexible

The wider financial crisis has forced many businesses to cut back in order to secure their future. Cost savings through efficiencies have been a high priority for many. Some of these cost savings have  initially been realised through reduced headcount but as the downturn continues and growth remains delayed, businesses are looking at supply chain effectiveness to maintain the downward pressure on costs.

Undoubtedly most supply chains will benefit from some degree of rationalisation and consolidation making good use of the cost savings that arise as a direct result. However when it comes to making cuts, it is very easy to get carried away creating a supply chain that is efficient but inflexible.

As we have discussed previously, uncertainties relating to the supply of raw materials and potential disruptions caused by natural disaster or civil unrest require a company to be agile in order to adjust to the unforeseen. If too many resources are stripped and the supply chain becomes so inflexible that there is no slack or room for adjustment, the results could still be catastrophic even in the face of tiny fluctuations.

Ultimately, your business will need to decide how best to adjust your supply chain, which parts to improve and which to remove whilst leaving your business in an operational state. The ERP system used to manage your supply chain will also need to be equally flexible and customisable to mirror accurately the changes in structure.

Using a period of rationalisation also allows decisions to be made that will define the future of the supply chain. Many companies are taking the opportunity to invest in strengthening their core systems; those tackling the challenge with a long term view are investigating off-site, cloud-based solutions with the capability to shift in line with the company’s own changing needs.

Celtrino’s own Smart Admin platform provides all the flexibility required to remain competitive regardless of the wider financial environment. To find out more, why not give us a call?

Supply Chain Management Improvements – Where does your customer fit in?

No matter what analysts say, vendors advise or your gut feels, improvements to your supply chain are a potential waste if they ignore the most important factor. If the benefits to your customer are not considered when implementing supply chain management improvements, you must ask yourself, why bother?

Although changes to the supply chain can make a business more efficient, reduce costs and raise employee morale, if the customer is not the overall beneficiary, your business may not actually realise any significant benefits. One of the first tenets is that the customer is king, thus they must be at the centre of everything you do, including innovations.

The Customer is King in the Supply Chain Management Improvements Process

Consequently any supply chain enhancement should go through planning from your business’ point of view and again from that of a customer. Try and define how the change benefits  your customer, and better still assign it a definite value. If you cannot, carefully consider whether you are implementing the correct innovation. An innovation that offers no value to your customers is probably not worth the investment required to implement it.

The demand for improved margins come from many different groups with shareholders leading the charge. Often many businesses choose to make efficiencies as a way of offering dividends rather than re-investing the savings for future development. Worse still these efficiencies often come at the cost of customer service. Any benefit to the customer in this situation is an afterthought, or even an unexpected side effect.

Customers who find that they are low down in their suppliers priority list are therefore right to feel aggrieved, especially if profits appears to be taking priority over their needs. In their position, why would they not seek out a supplier who appears to be more interested in them?

Supply chain management provides many, many benefits but if they do not offer similar advantages to your customers, can you really justify them?


Cloud computing, e-commerce and how automating your documents can save you big

“Supply chains that rely on paper-based purchasing, order and inventory reconciliation, and all-important billing and payments, are prone to error, are going to be subject to delay and query, and require a lot of labour to control (…)” Read on our ‘Battle of supply chains’ post.