Top Five Tips for Accelerating Supply Chain Velocity

 It’s more imperative than ever for today’s leading companies to accomplish greater results with fewer resources in less time.  With time-tested principles, such as honesty, integrity, timeliness and quality, here are the Top Five Tips for Accelerating Supply Chain Velocity.

  1. Scrutinize Sourcing Activities. When sourcing key materials and services, consider total value instead of unit price. Total value may include the proximity of a provider to key locations, quality assurance processes, demonstrated past performance, contracted performance penalties, consistency of quality or reject rates, among other factors. It may also include provisions for turnaround times, expediting fees and service-level standards.
  2. Continuously Improve Your Systems. When deciding to replace or enhance systems, find quick-hit projects or low-hanging fruit. For larger projects, put together an incremental improvement plan instead of trying to do everything at once. Seek opportunities where incremental value can be added every 90-180 days. Avoid big-bang implementations taking 12 months or longer. Don’t let years or even months pass without implementing improvements, as small as they may be.
  3. Increase Fulfillment Flexibility and Reduce Cycle Times. Establish fulfillment operations that are flexible and adaptable to meet changing market demands. Reduce cycle times from the source to the customer by streamlining each step in the process, beginning with order release, to picking, to shipping, then the transition (delivery) to the customer.
  4. Replace Your Inventory with Data. Stockouts represent lost opportunities, and excess inventory robs capital from other important and lucrative possibilities. Balance these issues by using data to replace inventory. In other words, think just-in-time not just-in-case.
  5. Seek Out Smaller or Niche Vendors. Big companies grew from small companies that started out being highly successful at doing what they do. When evaluating solutions, look beyond the 800-pound gorillas. Smaller, lesser known suppliers can be more nimble and may be more willing to creatively meet your needs in a short timeframe.