How Do We More Effectively Drive Innovation Through Our Supply Chain?

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Today’s customers expect so much more. Customers want the ability to easily order a desired product/service, they want to receive the product/service when they want it, and they want the purchase price to be reasonable as compared to their personal budget. Customers don’t care how their wants and desires impact your organization. In today’s business climate, if you don’t provide what they want, they’ll simply go elsewhere. This can create a tough spot for organizations because they are often dealing with increasing costs for actual materials as well as figuring out how to reduce production/service/delivery times and reduce/eliminate rework, waste and scrap, etc.

Here’s some good news. Effectively driving innovation through your supply chain provides your organization with a distinct advantage. It allows you to provide your customers with the product/service they want, in the timeline they expect, and at an desired cost. Every organization is different, but an effective supply chain management strategy can be paramount to an organization’s success. Some important areas to review within a supply chain strategy are vendor partnerships, distribution management, technology, outside server providers and integration.

Creating vendor partnerships allows organizations to work with a smaller number of vendors or service providers. Usually this is a contracted relationship. The organization agrees to purchase a specific amount of product/service from the vendor/provider and the vendor/provider reciprocates by implementing continuous improvement solutions in order to provide best quality product/service with appropriate and agreed upon cost to the organization.

Distribution management is the system an organization uses to manage its entire distribution network from packaging, inventory, warehousing, supply chain, and logistics.

Determine how you will use technology in order to manage your supply chain. Smaller organizations can create relatively simple systems, while larger organizations may need to implement a more sophisticated system. Integration focuses how you are going to manage your supply chain with vendors and various departments within your organization.

So, if you want to effectively drive innovation through our supply chain …

  • What vendor partnerships will you create? With whom?
  • Does distribution management make sense for your organization?
  • How will you use technology to manage your supply chain?
  • How will you integrate the changes?

Innovation is strategy and process that is never ending. Organizations who embrace innovation will the charge forward to success and profitability!

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