Implementing a supply chain within your company can set the stage for a higher level of productivity. However, it takes much more than simply setting the chain in motion. To ensure quality performance and ultimate levels of production, proper management is essential. Here are a few ways to enhance your business productivity with constructive supply chain management.
If nothing else, you need to take the time to standardize procedures. Consistency is key and if your process varies with each order, not only will your customers be confused as to what to expect, but other factions of the supply chain will be, as well. Take into account variables that will inevitably be part of the process and minimize their effects wherever possible on the overall system.
What works for one arm of your supply chain may wreak havoc for another. Take care not to set one against the other. Keep lines of communication open to see which processes can best benefit everyone involved to keep the line running smoothly. Create a collaborative effort so everyone understands methods and problems faced. Be clear in your communication of expectations for productivity and performance goals. Allow open dialogue to encourage problem solving as a unit and not as separate divisions.
Hierarchy of Importance
While some issues clearly need to be resolved for one branch of your supply chain, they may be mere inconveniences in another and placed on the back burner. Take the time to create a hierarchy of importance so everyone is on the same page when it comes to taking care of problems and understands why certain issues are taking precedence over others. Take note of issues that impair the chain as a whole and can impair efficiency and productivity. Outline the purpose and desired outcomes of your supply chain then make sure attention is spent working in areas that best accomplish those goals. Do not dismiss the elements that are considered highly significant to shareholders and factor those in accordingly.
Each section of the chain will have specific strengths and places where they can provide the highest amount of productivity. Grasp a full understanding of the core skills of your workforce to ensure each person is working within the branch where they can best perform and produce. Create an alignment with each link of the supply chain so employees can be moved into areas where their set of skills can be best utilized. Be concise in your descriptions of each sector as well as the expectations and goals so there is no confusion as to the element of focus that will be given with any particular job.
You can have the most skilled employees available but even the highest performers can often benefit from incentive plans. However, the first step in creating a worthwhile plan is to outline your goals for cost reductions, productivity and quality as well as customer service and then build a performance based plan to achieve these goals. Offer employees a baseline of strong training to ensure confidence and investment into their roles within the chain.
Improving the management of your supply chain can result in higher performance, happier customers and a better bottom line. Create the culture you want for your company by ensuring your supply chain works in a positive and streamlined manner.