Organisations are constantly facing new business challenges, undergoing profound change and being asked to shift direction in order to meet new and tougher customer expectations more than ever before.

We believe it is supply chains that compete, not Individual companies. The success and failure of supply chains are ultimately determined in the marketplace by the end consumer. Getting the right product, at the right price, at the right time to the consumer are not only the keys to competitive success, but also the keys to survival. Customer satisfaction is crucial for consideration when attempting to establish an effective supply chain strategy.


Supply chain issues are increasingly demanding. Production and distribution networks are increasingly complex and global. At the same time, risks across the supply chain have increased, and improved transparency is critical to the coordination of effective responses.

Here are three ways organisations can improve their Supply Chain:

1. Make your Supply Chain effectiveness a priority.
Supply chains are rarely aligned to support the business strategy. Functional teams often have competing priorities of supply and demand. The result can be lost sales, write-downs and discounts, the additional cost to ship and warehouse excess inventory and obsolete stock.

Technology giant Apple, has had the best supply chain in the world for the last four years. Why? When it comes to technology such as smartphones, tablets and laptops, inventory depreciates very, very quickly, losing 1-2% of value each week – Tim Cook – Apple CEO said: “inventory is fundamentally evil” he says. “You kind of want to manage it like you’re in the dairy business. If it gets past its freshness date, you have a problem.”

2. Incorporate your supply chain function into your core business strategies.
Marketing should tell you what your customers value most from your service, how those needs vary among customers and what will differentiate you from your competitors. Understand the Sales & Operational planning, alongside Demand and Forecasting. Meet the teams that work in these functions. Understand the challenges.

Whether the strategy of your business is offering customers a superior service, a better product, or reduced cost, ensure your supply chain is helping to deliver the key points of that strategy. Get your teams communicating more effectively so procurement is talking regularly across departments. Let there be visibility and clarity.

Good communication means that your supply chain and product-development functions can find ways to create innovative products that suit the needs of all those customer groups while keeping overall costs under control.

3. Keep innovating your supply chain

Change is constant. You cannot afford to keep still.

The times of managing the supply chain in separate tiers is over. Sophisticated data analysis enables companies to manage supply chains end-to-end and, in industries such as retail, almost in real time.

Appoint a single leader with responsibility for end-to-end performance and for delivering improvement projects across tiers and traditional functions such as marketing, manufacturing, and procurement. Make sure your supply chain organisation combines operational excellence with strong analytical capabilities and data driven, cross-functional decision making. Create analytical teams to support decision making and identify hidden risks and opportunities in unstructured data. Ensure your IT function is supporting them with nimble applications and platforms that enable collaboration and analytical decision making.

……….and make the time to develop skills , knowledge and expertise through training courses and attendance at thought leadership events to keep up-to-date with the latest research on best practice.

Supply Chain Academy can deliver efficiency in your global supply chain. As a resource for this industry we provide:

• Open & Bespoke short courses developed by leading Supply Chain experts at all levels
• Organisational Development using Insights® Discovery –personality profiling, which enhances personal team, leadership & sales effectiveness communication
• Techniques to ensure the learning that has been applied in your organisation demonstrates a real ROI
• Consultancy to improve your performance, profitability and customer experience identifying hidden costs and wasted resources

Our experienced experts help you:

• Improve quickly as our courses are focused on the practical application of new skills to your job
• Think and adapt to become self-reliant, self-aware and confident of success
• Develop, using the latest work-based learning techniques to become a more effective manager or leader.


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