4 Ways How A Supply Chain Consultant Can Create Competitive Advantage
In today’s competitive era, almost all the manufacturing processes have been automated. Though the economic options to manufacture your products are widely available. The key success factor of a business depends upon the competitiveness of its supply chain network. It plays a vital role in deciding the sustainability of a business. Supply chain elements such as warehouse layout, processes, inventory norms, logistics network and vendor management are key business elements which will drive your customer’s satisfaction rate. Sub-optimal management of any of these elements will impact how sales are serviced and hinder growth. Thus, businesses must have intensive experience and management skills to master in these factors.
Managing these factors in-house may seem cheap but requires a lot of resources and expertise in every field. Retaining the services of experienced supply chain consultants speeds up the optimization process. It also helps the organization to identify the best-fit solutions. From supply chain design to process optimization, a supply chain consultant will be able to provide all the solutions your business needs.
1. Better planning and execution strategies
Every business will have different strategies, as well as different challenges. Based on geography, product category, customers, and distribution, these challenges cannot be controlled. Businesses will need customized planning as well as execution to manage these nuances. Supply chain consultants bring value by having experience in solving problems in diverse situations. Some solutions offered could include planning of any new product launch, designing warehouses etc. Involving with a supply chain consultant ensures you get the largest of outcomes.
2. Implementation of the latest technology
To help businesses address supply chain complexities, new technologies have taken up. Such as WMS (warehouse management systems), Pick to Light/Voice, automation techniques, TMS (transport management system), RFID based tracking solutions, etc. Such technologies are readily available so as to save time, increase efficiencies and reduce errors. Yet, choosing the most appropriate solution is not an easy task for the businesses, as well as involves significant IT costs. With an understanding of your needs, and through awareness of the various solutions available, a supply chain consultant is ideally placed to help the business identify the most appropriate technology to get the optimal value.
3. Identification and resolution of your supply chain bottlenecks
Bottlenecks appear everywhere in your supply chain including warehousing, distribution, and inventory management. Bottlenecks could be due to sub-optimally designed or managed warehousing operations. Supply chain strategies and the resolution of your bottlenecks will bring you ahead from your competitors. This would refine your supply chain cost and improvise customer satisfaction rate
A supply chain consultant gains an understanding of your supply chain, analyzes the data to identify the bottlenecks, and comes up strategies to rectify the bottlenecks with minimal disruption or costs to your business.
4. Supply chain benchmarking
Supply chain bench marking helps businesses to check their supply chain operation, set the business targets and find out the gaps. Supply chain benchmarking can be done with metrics such as your order fulfillment rate supply chain cost, customer satisfaction rate, and vendor performance. A supply chain consultant works with your team to first identify the most appropriate metrics to meet your improvement objectives. If your supply chain is falling behind in any KPI, the supply chain consultant will design and implement the solutions to improve the outcomes.
We generally observe that businesses tend to feel satisfied with their current supply chains, with a belief that they can manage well without the help of a consultant. It is quite often they do not understand how an expert consultant can add value to their supply chain unless they engage one.
Hence if you are keen to add value to your business by managing your supply chain costs efficiently, adopting the latest technologies, or bringing in continuous improvements and sustainable business practices, we highly recommend that you engage an experienced supply chain consultant.