Your business rise or falls on the strength of your supply chain. A reliable and efficient supply chain drives savings for your business and realizes unmatched customer satisfaction. The role of your supply chain is to ensure that your products get delivered when your customers need them at the right time. This is the basis of choosing a suitable supply chain for your goods and services.
Supplier management software helps to execute supply chain transactions, improve supplier relationships and control business processes.
Pillars of an efficient supply chain
The success of any business depends on the design of these three elements namely:
- Accurate orders
- Punctual delivery
- Cost savings
- Accurate orders
Order accuracy demands that your supply chain delivers all orders without errors in quantity and quality. Delivering the wrong order leads to poor customer satisfaction, wastes time and requires extra labour.
Therefore, your supply chain should attain zero errors during packing and delivery. Accuracy in delivering your orders gives you an edge against your competitors. You can improve order accuracy by:
- Setting order accuracy goals
- Enhancing the inventory management process
- Optimizing the picking and packing process
- Punctual delivery
On-time delivery in supply chain means that all your customers receive their orders punctually. On-time delivery improves customer satisfaction, improves online ratings and return-purchases. However, as a business expands, many companies fail to deliver goods and services in time because delivery quantities expand, making it challenging to deliver on time.
Consequently, consumers report missed or late delivery. A company can improve on-time delivery by improving inventory management, resolving resource issues and inefficient order fulfilment processes.
- Optimizing picking and packing process
Pick and pack is the first process in delivering orders to consumers. It involves collecting orders from the inventory and packing them for shipment or dispatch. This is a delicate process that requires efficiency and accuracy. Some of the challenges of accurate packing and packing process include:
- Mismatching order with product description
- Inaccurate inventory
Companies can improve picking and packing by embracing mobile technology, including barcodes and point-of-scale scanners. This is a more accurate option than pen and paper, which are prone to human error. Today, technological development allows the scanner to capture the customer’s voice to enhance accuracy for packing and picking.
Prerequisite for successful supply chain
The pillars of a reliable supply chain do not work in a void; instead, you need to consider planning, sourcing and production.
You must plan all the major activities affecting delivery. Your firm must decide on the best operation strategy for your products. For instance, does the company prefer manufacturing the products or buying components from an identified supplier? By weighing the benefits of each option, an organization should consider
- Manufacturing a component locally to ease shipping logistics
- Manufacturing a product in a remote location, e.g. overseas
- Purchasing a component or product from a foreign supplier
- Sourcing a product or component from a local supplier
Sourcing involves procuring raw materials to facilitate reliable production. Sourcing is a delicate stage in customer satisfaction. Therefore, vet and carefully select your supplier and negotiate delivery logistics. Further, payments should be made in time to prevent delays. Some organizations can prefer to source raw materials from various suppliers to enhance reliability.
This stage involves planning production activities, testing and grading products, picking, and packing for dispatch. A successful company ensures supporting management rules, data and regulatory framework.
Managing returns involves identifying the condition, accepting liability and authorizing “wrong” delivery to be returned from replacement or refund. This stage also involves shipment logistics to allow the supplier time to replace the defective goods with the appropriate ones.
Return also refers to products whose shelf life is almost expiring. The vendor may no longer be promoting, selling or marketing a specific product for various reasons. The company should have a working policy for such returned products. The strategy should factor in costs and logistics for return products and proper inventory management.
A supply chain is the lifeline of any production or distribution company. It encompasses a wide range of activities. Investing in supplier management software is an efficient tool that enhances efficiency, and reliability, and improves customer satisfaction.