As your company grows, it becomes even more important that you consider the efficiency with which it's running. Small changes that were once good for the company may now be hindering its growth, and changes that were once considered large may now be insignificant. Below is a simple three-step process to help you to optimize your company's supply chain.
Step #1: Identify Problem Areas
It's easy to see there's something wrong, but it's harder to narrow down exactly what those somethings are. For most companies, the most pressing matter is how to lower costs while still providing customers with the best customer service experiences.
It's up to you and your team to identify your most pressing issues. Order the issues in degrees of urgency, and work down your list from most urgent to least.
Once the problem has been identified, it's important to break it down even further. Is there a particular reason this is no longer working? Is the solution as simple as tweaking what's already being done, or is a complete overhaul necessary?
Step #2: Test Your Theories
Testing theories can seem like a waste of time and money, but if you think about it, time and money is already being wasted due to outdated procedures. Take a step in the right direction by testing out the theories you and your team have come up with.
This step will require a lot of documentation and a way for results to be measured and understood. If you decide, for example, to make a change in suppliers, you'll have to compare costs, delivery times, and customer service quality. This can be done by getting quotes, talking with business contacts, and even switching over for a trial period.
Step #3: Implement Changes (Big and Small)
After problems have been identified and theories have been tested (and in some cases, tweaked), it's now time to implement the changes that have been found to be most beneficial. Implementation of these changes will require the work of your entire team, from workers on the assembly line all the way up to the CEO of your company.
According to Kevin O'Marah, chief content officer at SCM World, "Too little systematic talent development and too hazy a measurement system may be confounding our efforts and investments at exactly the time they are needed most." Your best source of how things are going with the new system in place is your workers. Listen to their concerns and take them into account. Periodically follow up to see how the new changes are going, and whether they have any concerns or suggestions for improvement.
Businesses grow and so must your ideas. Above is a three-step process that will allow you and your team to identify problems within your supply chain, test and tweak your theories, and, finally, implement them with the help of your entire team. Talk with a supply chain optimization company, such as LogicSource, Inc., for other ways you can improve.