Nobody wants to face the fact that their business may be in decline. With the explosion of new technology disrupting business—especially around the supply chain—organizations that don’t adapt will inevitably stagnate, but that doesn’t have to mean the end. By taking the right steps toward transformation, business leaders can mobilize their companies back to the top using supply chain strategies and solutions that reduce costs, increase profits and create sustainable processes that propel businesses into the future. Here are three steps for transforming your supply chain into a powerful engine of profit.
Step 1: Let Go of The Past
As technology disruptions fundamentally change business practices and consumer demands, existing strategies break down, leading to inefficiency, increased costs and ultimately, stagnation or decline.
The core of supply chain management in any business has always been the workforce behind the process, but in today’s fast-moving, always-on economy, your staff is most likely struggling to keep up. Outdated processes that rely on complex hand-offs, burdensome paper processing and human-led analysis of the supply chain result in both higher costs and risk. Long lead times and processing delays prevent businesses from getting product to market - either through distributors or direct sales.
Transformation means a commitment to letting go of what no longer works, enabling your staff through new technologies and empowering them to adopt new strategies that deliver products to market faster, with greater accuracy and a lower cost.
Step 2: Harness the Power of Your Data
Transformation solves big challenges around supply chain management. Specifically, data-driven, predictive analysis can help you improve cost controls, eliminate lead-time delays, reduce processing complexity and significantly improve dealer service levels and the overall customer experience. But first, you have to get clear on your current inefficiencies. That means detailed analysis of your data, identifying gaps and implementing processes to harvest, analyze and use your data to continually improve operations.
Data analysis can help you identify sources of complexity and inefficiency in your supply chain management. Companies that leverage data analysis have been able to:
- Cut lead times by stocking inventory closer to demand
- Reduce costs related to product planning and order management by relying on evidence-based predictive analysis
- Streamline credit, invoicing and collections for fulfillment customers
- Establish key performance indicators to continually measure progress and refine processes
Step 3: Partner Where it Makes Sense
With the right team in place, you can greatly increase your potential for transformation success. By partnering with modern supply chain management experts, you’ll identify areas of improvement faster and more effectively and you can also offload day-to-day activities and repetitive tasks—either on new technology processes or on a flexible workforce—so that your staff can focus on building your business and delivering value to your customers.
See supply chain management transformation in action
In our case study, “Smart Product Innovations Increasing Supply Chain Time and Cost Burdens,” you’ll see how Global Lifecycle Management helped one manufacturing company reduce costs, improve order cycle lead time, reduce complexity and greatly improve the dealer experience, including:
- Improving order-to-delivery note cycle time by 45 percent, realized on day zero
- Reducing the time required to deliver 99.5 percent of all shipments by two days
- Optimizing and improving cash-flow and order management, with better order tracking and ETA visibility
- Achieving faster-turning inventory and positioned their company for exponential profitability and growth
Additionally, the company was able to redirect several hundred dealers to Tech Data for day-to-day operations and contact, allowing the company to focus on marketing, selling and strategic development.
Read the entire case study to see what unique challenges this company faced, and learn how, with the help of Tech Data, they transformed from the edge of decline back to a place of certainty and profitability.
Read the case study here: http://bit.ly/tech-data-improved-lead-time-case-study-LI-conversion
About the Author
Chris Wright serves as the director of program and project management within Global Lifecycle Management, a specialized solutions business of Tech Data.