Supply Chain

Small business suppliers can be like a house of cards

house-of-cards

Does it ever feel like your supplier network is held together like a house of cards? Would your business survive if one or more of your key suppliers went out of business overnight? If your small business is dependent on your suppliers then you need to take the time to understand the risks of doing business with them.

Small businesses are extremely susceptible to supplier risk due to their size and financial strength.  One failed risk of your suppliers can be the difference between success and failure.  Take for example a local restaurant, partnering with a local farm to supply the organic produce.  What happens if that local farm goes out of business?  How quickly can you get them replaced and at what costs? Your whole menu many need to change as well as the pricing.  A new supplier could add tremendous costs due to transportation, less negotiation power and less capacity. The financial impact could be devastating to a small restaurant.

Supplier risk is an area that is often talked about at large companies, but difficult to implement at small businesses due to the complexity and lack of expertise.  Most small businesses don’t have all the resources available to comprehend all the issues that can interrupt your supplier deliveries. Here are three areas small businesses should be address when considering partnering with suppliers:

  1. Financial strength – just how viable is your supplier financially? Partnering with suppliers that are financial unstable is equivalent of adding another bottleneck in your company. These suppliers are unable to fill your requests timely and can cause lost sales due to their inability to fill your demands.  This can be a huge constraint to growth if you allow it.  Due diligence is key here.
  2. Quality – small businesses are often at an extreme risk due to supplier performance. Lacking key resources likely results in completely being dependent on the quality performance from their suppliers. But how often are they able to investigate these suppliers? How confident are you that your suppliers can maintain a high level of performance over time? Watch closely for the warning signs such as quality failures or late deliveries.
  3. Location, location, location – just like real estate, the closer your suppliers are to your small business the better. Transportation costs and times are shortened when partnering with local suppliers. Political issues, weather delays and fluctuations in fuel help to minimize the risk impact due to local suppliers. Shorter delivery times also allow for decreased inventory further minimizing your risk. There are very few downsides to being able to work with local suppliers.

These are just a few of the areas small businesses can use to lower risk in their suppliers.  Of course, there are many other factors that can affect small businesses such as natural disasters, economics, labor strikes, political issues, currency values, technology and social media to name a few. While it is impossible for small business owners to investigate every factor that can create risks, it is best if you invest your efforts into the areas you can control.

If you know of any small business owners that could benefit from a risk assessment of their supply chain please email info@atssoutherncal.com for more information.

Question: have you ever had any suppliers negatively affect your sales?

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Leveling the playing field

This week’s supply chain article is presented by guest blogger Michael Rogers of 4 Way Logistics.  Michael and 4 Way Logistics provide industry leading transportation solutions for small companies to large businesses.

Arm wrestle

Businesses are competing against each other regardless of their size, potential and capacity. Often the small sized businesses are at a disadvantage when facing a larger competitor. This edge allows large scale companies to offer more services at a lesser cost while maintaining their desired profitability. So how can a level playing field be established as far as business competition is concerned?

Large logistics firms make news as they work with huge shippers. Meanwhile, other logistics firms are serving small and mid-size clients with results that can be even more profound. The reason this is possible is a 3rd Party provider can use their technology and leverage in the marketplace to level the playing field. It can give smaller companies the same transportation advantages as their large competitors.

These transportation advantages effectively include freight management, warehousing, carrier selection, pricing analysis and negotiation, technology, market expertise and risk management. These functions are vital to all manufacturing concerns in order to make their products readily available for their customers. If handled by a third party supply chain management company, the services are not only bundled intelligently and take advantage of the provider’s expertise in all areas of the transportation process (as it is their core competency and most likely not that of the company utilizing their services).

On top of this, the transportation advantages from third party supply chain management companies not only reduce costs, but streamline processes and optimize procedures. This cost effectiveness eventually translates into higher profitability for the company. In other words, the small business concerns get a chance to compete with the large scaled businesses on more equitable grounds with similar services provision involved.

By turning over their logistics details to someone who specializes in this field, business owners eliminate time-consuming responsibilities. They don’t have to worry about keeping track of the effectiveness of carriers. They need not invest in transport software, which now has an expected life cycle of about 18 months before something more robust is available. They don’t have to keep constantly on top of regulations and trends. They can keep their eye on what’s most important – their business.

There is a saying applicable to this type of strategic alliance – “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Small businesses have the power to alter the playing field in their favor. It is not size that puts them at a disadvantage but rather the resources available. By outsourcing the logistics concerns to supply chain management companies, they are able to devote more time and effort towards the core business functions and thereby focus on things that are central to their profitability.

Outsourcing logistics functions can also help in expanding business realms beyond the conventional borders. By partnering with the right logistics provider, a small/medium size business can work through an intricate distribution strategy. This allows the company to grow and compete against the large scaled enterprises effectively and efficiently. This gives all businesses the level playing field to showcase their true potential across all ventures.

5 reasons why procurement outsourcing works for small business

Hat trick

A hat trick for small business owners translates into wearing every hat in the company sooner or later.  Wearing all these hats creates strong emotions for owners from hope and accomplishment to frustration, fear and anxiety. There is nothing like having to wear every hat from CEO to janitor in the same day.

What you quickly realize is that time is the most precious commodity and you never seem to have enough of it.  The reality is that you only have so many resources no matter what your size.  You know in your gut that staying focused on your core competency is what will ultimately help you become successful.  Unfortunately, there are many other tasks outside of your core that requires your time too. Procurement is likely one of those tasks and in most cases, people do their best to ignore procurement challenges. I often hear from small business owners that they have a solution in place that has been working for years and causes no problems. Most of these same owners do not realize they can get the same service levels or higher at a reduced costs.

Procurement outsourcing for small business is designed to help the small business owner take advantage of many of the strategic benefits larger companies have been using for years.  According to KPMG, nearly 75% of all large companies plan to increase their use of outsourcing.  Entrepreneur.com recently stated “Entrepreneurs have long seen outsourcing as a strategy reserved for big business, but technology has made it a more accessible tool for small businesses.”  Times indeed are changing.

Here are 5 ways procurement outsourcing is helping small businesses succeed:

  1. Accesses to expert talent – most small businesses have very limited procurement support that is usually a shared resource to other departments. Procurement leaders know there is an expected large talent gap coming soon due to baby boomers retiring and small businesses will feel the pain as they have limited resources to attract talent. Procurement outsourcing solves this problem by allowing access to industry experts on demand.
  2. Risk management – adding additional head counts for small business is a major risk due to the fluctuations in business. More employees mean more risk.  Having procurement outsourcing reduces risk since you get the benefit of the service without the additional overhead expense.
  3. Access to strategic partnerships – any small business can use additional purchasing power, but how can you create negotiation leverage on your own? This is a huge benefit to using procurement outsourcing.  There are strategic alliances in place to provide immediate savings across many goods and services that most small businesses are already using.
  4. Competitive advantages – using procurement outsourcing allows small business to tap into competitive advantages most of your competitors are not using. Creative solutions come from collaboration with the supplier network which is exactly where the procurement outsourcing lives. Exclusive distribution, new product development, inventory solutions, packaging, and financing solutions are all areas that can help to separate small business from the competition.
  5. Cost savings –using best practices helps to drive cost savings and it can even come through existing solution providers without the additional overhead costs. Needs change, technology changes and services from providers are constantly changing but most contracts remain in place costing small business huge amounts of money simply because they don’t address these changes. In many cases, procurement outsourcing even pays for itself through cost saving splits creating no risk for the small business owner.

There has never been a better time for small business to take advantage of procurement outsourcing to develop best in class solutions that can that can help separate you from the competition and increase your cash flow.  These principles apply to virtually every industry. Procurement outsourcing allows small business owners to access many benefits larger companies use without the risk.

If you know any small business owners that can benefit from procurement outsourcing please email info@atssoutherncal.com for more information.

Question: have you seen procurement outsourcing projects make a positive impact for companies?

Remembering our military supply chain

Arlington cemetary

Memorial Day in the US is a time for us Americans to remember those who gave and risked their lives for our freedoms.  In observance of Memorial Day, there will be no article, but instead a salute to the men and women gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Since this is a supply chain blog, I thought it was best to remember those in the military supply chain.  Logisticians do their best work behind the scenes and away from the battlefield but they play a vital role to the success on the battlefield.  Today my salute to them is remembering their work by posting my 5 favorite military logistics quotes:

“Gentlemen, the officer who doesn’t know his communications and supply as well as his tactics is totally useless.”
– Gen. George S. Patton, USA

“You will not find it difficult to prove that battles, campaigns, and even wars have been won or lost primarily because of logistics.” – General Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Forget logistics, you lose.”
– Lt. Gen. Fredrick Franks, USA, 7th Corps Commander, Desert Storm

“Logistics … as vital to military success as daily food is to daily work.”
– Capt. Alfred Thayer Mahan, Armaments and Arbitration, 1912

“Amateurs talk about tactics, but professionals study logistics.”
– Gen. Robert H. Barrow, USMC (Commandant of the Marine Corps) noted in 1980

Tank in C17

On behalf of a grateful nation, thank you for your service.

What can business learn from Moneyball?

Money ball

Brad Pitt once brought to life the importance and value of metrics when he portrayed Billy Beane in the movie Moneyball.  “Sabermetrics” as it is widely known today has really changed the way scouting in baseball was performed.  It elevated the process from tribal knowledge that had been in place for over 100 years to analytics that could measure performance creating a contender out of a small market team.  Just like Sabermetrics, almost all companies today use some sort of data analytics to measure performance.   But just how effective are those measurements and where did they come from?

When used properly, metrics work to support strategic initiatives and provide feedback to all stakeholders regarding the performance of the group quickly and effectively.  However, when they don’t they just become another number.  They quickly become irrelevant and people will just tune out.

Here are 5 ways to make sure your metrics are relevant and adding value to your organization:

  1. The metric fits into higher strategic goals

All metrics must align with your strategic focus.  Every metric created must support the higher goals of the organization.  No metric should be created without it fitting into the bigger picture.  Any metric not in proper alignment quickly losses value and can becomes irrelevant.

  1. Ownership

Metrics must have the proper ownership within the organization so that the individual/group responsible can have as much control over the process as possible.  It is unrealistic to hold anyone accountable for areas outside of their control.  Positive changes cannot be expected by individuals without the ability to change the dynamics of the input.

  1. Simple data

Making the metric as user friendly as possible is the best method.  The most useful data is when everyone can easily understand it and interpret the data instantly.  A great example of a simple metric is in the airline industry and on-time departures.   This is simple, to the point and everyone can easily relate to it.

  1. Publish regularly

However you designate the publication time, make it relevant. Whether it is weekly, monthly or quarterly, the measurement should be on time and relevant.  Data ceases to become relevant if it is outdated.  There is not much relevance to reading old news.

  1. Don’t be afraid to adjust

Keep in mind that not every metric is set in stone. I recently was asked the best way to measure fill rate for a distribution company.  The simple answer is that how you measure is irrelevant if your customer base disagrees with you.  Never forget to check with your customers. They will certainly have an opinion of your performance and how you should measure it.  Ultimately, keeping your customers happy is the goal. Don’t be afraid to get their input.  If your customers disagree with your metrics then you end up looking like you are out of touch.

While there is no denying that effective metrics help guide companies to higher performance, the development of the metric itself can be more about trial and error than pure science.   Constant improvement is the goal in any organization and metrics are no different.  Keeping your metrics, strategy and customer satisfactions in alignment takes constant adjustment.  Relevant metrics are often a work of art in the end.

If you or anyone you know would like more information regarding the use of metrics in their organization please email info@atssoutherncal.com.

Question:  What are some of the most useful metrics you have used?

The next level in the supply chain

Man in tunnel_light

It is time for supply chain professionals to shed some light on how things are made. Global economics can be a double edge sword.  It has the power to increase sales exponentially, but on the other side it has the power of to corrupt and abuse just as easily.  Business today demands companies continually look to make goods and services more cost effective or lose market share. It’s that simple in many cases.  We consumers love getting a great deal, but what’s the real cost in terms of the supply chain practices.  The fact is we know very little about those practices.

Companies that purchase goods and services have a responsibility to understand what practices are really going into their products they sell.  Due diligence in the supply chain can be daunting but worth the effort.  Languages, cultural differences, laws, business environments and many other factors play important roles in how business is awarded.  Labor practices, environmental impacts, working conditions and business practices are real concerns when awarding business to foreign companies.  Companies that profit from these arrangements have a responsibility to be aware of what they are buying.  Why is it that we consumers know more about free range cattle than free people in the supply chain?

The good news is that this awareness is beginning to ramp up.  Recent tragedies and social media are driving awareness that global supply chains won’t be able to ignore.  Unfortunately, for every abuse that has comes to light there are many more we never hear about.  The good news is there are several companies that have begun to leading the way such as Apple and Coke that have really made due diligence apart of their corporate responsibility.

Here are 5 ways to help your organization use your supply chains responsibly:

  1. It starts at the top

Executive teams must make a commitment to support fair and responsible trade throughout the entire supply chain. First level suppliers are not enough. They need to collaborate with their suppliers to go beyond just the first level and ensure all the way down to raw ingredients are made responsibly. Comprehensive policies addressing fair and responsible supplier practices need to be incorporated just like any other quality system.

  1. Transparency in the supply chain

The bottom line is that transparency creates trust.  Collaboration in the supply chain is dependent on trust.  Ensuring quality products has long been the focus for sourcing professionals but now it is time to take the supply chain to the next level and create transparent supply chains practices.

  1. Data systems

Today information is more accessible and relevant than ever before.  Organizations such Made in a Free World help put information into the hands of decision makers that award contracts to foreign suppliers.  This data is powerful and positively impacts lives across the planet.

  1. Third party inspection companies

These companies can provide on-site inspection services and can provide insight into what is taking place onsite.  They are an important part of the process as they can be your eyes when you cannot be at the supplier. It is very important to maintain they are independent from the supplier to provide objective information as to the performance of the supplier. They are beginning to provide oversight into working conditions and environmental issues.

  1. Responsible supply chain practice labels

Organic food supply has created a tremendous amount of awareness when it comes to what practices go into the food supply.  Why don’t we have that for people and the environment?  I think it is time we create labels on our packaging that let’s everyone know these products are made from a responsible supply chain practices.

Supply chains reach and impact people, countries and the environment across the world like few other disciplines.  It is our responsibility to use that influence correctly and reward those suppliers willing to offer transparency all throughout the supply chain.  We see it working with the organic food chain so it is about time we step up and make it work with people and the environment. People are worth the effort!

If you or anyone you know would like to learn more about responsible supply chain practices please email info@atssoutherncal.com for more information.

Question: Do you think adding “responsible supply chain” labels would make an impact to the end user?

4 keys why procurement’s like an ace up your sleeve

Ace up sleeve

It sure would be nice having an ace up your sleeve as part of your “go to market” strategy. Look no farther than you own procurement team.  Procurement has been working to establish itself as a worthy member of the executive team in every industry for years.  Procurement has long lived in the shadows behind sales, operations, finance and IT. Sales teams tend to get a lot of recognition for bringing in the business and it is well deserved.  Operations, finance and IT all seem to have their moments to shine too.  But procurement in general seems to get lost in the shuffle behind those other disciplines.

However, that in no way diminishes their ability to add value to the organization.  Maybe they just need a new marketing campaign.  Years ago procurement was viewed only as a necessary support function to fulfill internal requirements.  It’s continuing to evolve as more companies are seeing greater value being added than just filling a material requirement at the lowest cost.

Procurement’s strategic effect touches just about all areas of the organization.  Here are 4 key areas that procurement can effectively provide a competitive advantage for your organization:

  1. Product design

Developing products is a creative process that can consume lots of time and resources in order to maintain relevance in the marketplace.  Sales and operations typically drive the process, but don’t forget that procurement has direct communications to the supplier network.  That is an incredible resource that is easily tapped into for support to the latest technology and market solutions that extend well beyond your internal capabilities. Go ahead and invite your suppliers to be part of the process, you might be surprised what they bring to the table.

  1. Inventory strategies that increase cash flow

Investing into inventory is one of the biggest expenses for just about any company.  Unless you can turn around and sell the material without further touches, expenses quickly add up like space requirements, tracking inventory, audits, compliance, theft, packaging and support management.  Then there’s the risk of the inventory moving slowly or not at all.  Why not work with the suppliers to find solutions that minimize that risk and inventory investment?  Increasing cash flow, reducing lead time and logistics costs, what’s not to love about those benefits!

  1. Corporate social responsibility

Unfortunately as global commerce continues to expand into developing countries, corruption still exists but the good news is that information has never been more accessible.  There is so much injustice across the world, but organizations have never had as much information as they do today to make informed decisions on where they award their business.  There are major concerns when working internationally such as human rights, environmental issues or intellectual properties. How about turning those concerns around and sourcing responsible suppliers as an example of the right way to do business?  Now that’s an advantage that benefits everyone.

  1. Exclusivity

We all want to standout in the marketplace and having exclusivity in your supply chain is a very real possibility that allows you to be distinctive.  Procurement can drive this exclusivity advantage through strong relationships in the supply chain.  Keeping competitors out of your supply chain is a huge advantage that is best established right from the procurement team.

If you are tired of just being another supplier in the market place and distinction is what you want, look to your procurement solutions as a real advantage.   Advantages like this can be achieved through internal teams or through procurement outsourcing providers.  They have the experts on demand with proven concepts, experience and partnerships available to make ideas like this part of your competitive advantage.

If you know of any companies that are looking for a distinct competitive advantage through their procurement solutions, please email info@atssoutherncal.com for more information.

Question:  What creative procurement solutions have you used to develop a distinct competitive advantage in your marketplace?

Global sourcing is risky business…

Faceless man

Global sourcing is risky business. These risks come in many forms such as quality failures, environmental exploitation, supply chain delays, stolen intellectual properties, financial fraud or just plain theft. Add in language barriers and cultural issues and the process can be very complex and risky. But where there is risk, there is also reward.

The big question then is the risk worth the reward?  It certainly can be as long as you take some actions to minimize the risk.  One of the best steps you can take it is finding a global sourcing partner to help you navigate the process from beginning to end. They can be your partner behind the scenes.  Here are some great benefits why a global sourcing partner can help you reduce your risks in sourcing products overseas.

  1. Sourcing partners can help break down cultural barriers when attempting to do business overseas. They are fluent in the local language, business practices and can help represent your needs to the potential suppliers in a very professional manner.
  2. Supplier qualification is a very key step and using a global sourcing expert plays a vital role in this process. This is where the expert can pay for themselves. They help validate the supplier through certifications, production capabilities, site location, customer referrals, site visits and much more. Qualifying a supplier up front will save a ton of headaches after the fact.
  3. The type of payment method is another key area that a sourcing partner can help counsel based on the type of transaction. Wire transfer, Paypal, Letters of Credit, open accounts or cash-in-advance are all options and each option has its own set of pros and cons depending on which side of the transaction you are on.  Both sides need to be come to an agreement that facilitates doing business together and a global sourcing expert is a great resource for this.
  4. Maintaining production quality throughout is one of the riskiest parts of the entire process. Setting up the right quality parameters up front is the key to success. Defining the specifications, getting approved samples and establishing ongoing quality checks in the process help to ensure a successful outcome.  I have seen first-hand the costly mistakes of poor quality and the negative effect it can have from lost sales, a bad customer experience and tying up huge amounts of inventory dollars waiting for a resolution. This is truly a case where a dollar of prevention is worth many times the cost of the cure.

Sourcing products from overseas can seem risky but with the right partners it can add a tremendous amount of value to any company.  Global sourcing has been a way of life in business since early explorers developed trade routes around the globe hundreds, if not thousands of years ago. There is no reason to believe this practice will stop anytime soon. It is your choice whether to take advantage of the opportunity or not.

If you or anyone would like learn more about how global sourcing experts can reduce the risk in overseas sourcing, please email info@atssoutherncal.com for more information.  We would be glad to assist you in finding the right partner for your business.

Question: what were some of the cultural challenges you had to overcome when doing business overseas? 

The “people bottleneck” in the supply chain

What is a “people bottleneck”?

Where is all the supply chain talent going?  As we end the first quarter of the 2015, baby boomers across the US are focusing on retirement and taking with them decades of experience creating a “people bottleneck” in the world of supply chain.  Study after study tells us that there is a large gap in supply chain talent coming with no easy answer on how to fix it quick enough to backfill all those people retiring.  So how did we get here?

Obviously, baby boomers have an effect on every industry and supply chain is no different.  The industry can be very challenging with the international demands, technology applications, shifting demand flows and limited resources to make it all come together. Business today demands supply chains to be agile enough to handle all of these issues whether it is a multi-billion dollar corporation or just a mom and pop. Education at universities and through continuing education programs will have to increase their graduates to fill the growing demand.

However, one of the biggest challenges within the supply chain industry has been a lack of incoming talent.  I network with hundreds of people and I consistently find that most people don’t even know what supply chain is.  We need a social media star to create awareness across the board. Think about it for a second, for those people under 25, they don’t know a world that is not social media driven.  Stars have been born from social media yet how many people can name a supply chain star?  Unfortunately the supply chain world does not carry a lot of social media credibility with the under 25 crowd.  Stars transcend their industry and create awareness. People like Bill Gates helped make Silicon Valley cool for the Mark Zuckerberg’s of the world.

Effects:

Despite our ability to foresee the problem, we can’t avoid it. So what’s the effect?  Just like life, those with the greatest resources will have advantages over those without.  Due to the limited talent, the Fortune 500 companies will be able to pull the best talent from the smaller companies causing serious issues in the small to medium size companies.  As baseball season is about to start, this is just  like the NY Yankees taking the best talent from the small market teams after they have developed the talent for years.  This lack of talent at the small to medium size company will create a large lack of efficiency in the supply chain causing increases in costs and delays.  Lacking the in house talent, companies will likely have to restrict their offerings based on the limited resources.

Options:

Awareness must be at the fore front.  Who is the Mark Cuban of Supply Chain that transcends the industry and draws people to it?  Someone needs to step up and create the sizzle that sells the idea it is cool to be in supply chain.  We have technology, globalization and the ability to change in the world due to the business we transact. The education system can help train those interested people through universities and continuing education organizations.  Continuing education is a great place to learn the relevant concepts and potentially find a mentor in the process.  Corporations also have a responsibility in helping educate and need to do a better job.  They benefit the most, so those that put some skin in the game will surely reap the rewards.

Education is the long term solution but it will take years to see the effect.  How will companies deal with the reality of today when faced with a supply chain problem?  How do you fix a problem without the proper tools?  Supply chain outsourcing can be a solution to help until the talent is available. Supply chain issue experts have the ability to quickly diagnose and offer proven solutions without the risk of adding additional head count. Outsourcing can be a much needed bridge to get companies through temporary issues.

If you would like to learn more about how outsourcing can help your supply chain issues please send an email to info@atssoutherncal.com for more information.

Question:  Will the lack of supply chain talent cause you to lose business?

5 reasons why a supply chain a strategy is critical to successful companies

Blue_Chess_

How many organizations use a supply chain strategy to create competitive advantage?  In my experience, most small to medium size companies ignore the fact that a well-designed supply chain strategy can create many benefits including a competitive advantage.  The properly executed supply chain strategy has far reaching effects from the suppliers to the end customers and allows limited resources to focus on their core business function.   Direct cost reductions are just part of the benefits.  Indirect benefits can also include shorter lead times, lower cost of ownership and ultimately a competitive advantage.

Here are 5 reasons why it is important to create a supply chain strategy.

  1. Supply chain strategy sets the overall guiding foundational principles of the entire supply chain organization.  It helps define the directional strategies from people, partnerships, supplier base, capital investments, processes and goals.  Without such well-defined directional guidance your organization may find itself running down unknown, dark, dangerous paths and possibly out of control.
  2. A well-designed supply chain strategy helps to properly align the supply chain team in an efficient, creative and a collaborative environment from executives, buyers, logistics and the supplier network.  This alignment helps provide the framework to ensure all other supply chain initiatives fit together properly and are working for the same goals. If you don’t have this comprehensive alignment, then you cannot expect very much from your supply chain team when it needs to respond to unforeseen challenges and to quickly to come up with innovative solutions or new ideas.
  3. The strategic plan is based on the needs of the whole organization. The supply chain strategy must support the overall goals of the organizations and should extend all throughout the supply chain including the supplier network.   For example, if your company markets itself as a local provider of goods, sourcing from overseas is probably not a good fit.
  4. The proper supply chain strategy allows organizations to focus on their core business internally while at the same time allowing their suppliers to focus on their business.  This may seem simple, but too often companies lose sight of their core and begin to dictate to suppliers requirements that add no value and only increase costs.  Due to limited resources everyone must deal with, focusing on your strengths creates an amazing collaborative environment that can create win-win solutions.  This directly leads to cost reductions across the supply chain both internally and externally. Any organization that lacks a true strategy will likely find its’ limited resources chasing projects that do not fit into the greater strategy.
  5. Well executed supply chain strategies can be used to differentiate your company from the competition. Does your competition focus on low cost solutions?  Then maybe providing value added services such as vendor managed inventories may separate you from the competition.  Will a shorter delivery time differentiate you from the competition?  How about using environmentally friendly supply chain?  Or maybe a technology driven solution will help you stand out from the competition.   Most companies that do not have supply chain strategy fail to distinguish themselves in the industry.

If your company is ready to explore with an expert how creating a supply chain strategy can help provide competitive advantages in your industry, feel free to call or email me at your earliest convenience for a free, no-obligation supply chain assessment.