Maximize Your Supply Chain Savings
Your supply chain is a dynamic sequence that gets products where they need to go. Costs can quickly add up, so let’s look at how you can maximize supply chain savings. No matter what step of the process you’re in – manufacturing, distribution, shipping, or receiving – unexpected expenses can easily pop up and take you by surprise. Over time, this can lead to diminished profits and worse.
What is a Supply Chain?
Simply put, a supply chain is a series of events that make up the production, distribution, and acquisition of a product or group of products. In most cases, a variety of people and multiple businesses are involved in this process. Because so many different elements and individuals go into the supply chain sequence, losing track of certain aspects and expenses can occur without realizing it until it’s much too late. This can even happen to the most seasoned professionals among us, which is why it’s so important to recognize where and how to maximize your cost saving during the supply chain process.
Communicate with Your Workforce
Your team is one of the most critical factors in your company’s supply chain. Whether the individual employee designs, builds, or handles your products, they play a major role in ensuring that your goods work correctly and get to the right place without hassle. For this reason, it is absolutely necessary that you communicate effectively with your staff. Train them thoroughly on the correct policies and procedures, whether they’re a new hire or have been with you for many years. During busy shipping seasons, make sure your team knows to expect a high volume of warehouse traffic. Clear communication offers many benefits, one of which is a decrease in mistakes or errors. If the crew knows exactly what to expect and how to perform their tasks, you reduce the chances of shipping the wrong items, damaging products during transit, and the overtime costs associated with solving those problems.
Maintain Effective Inventory Management Techniques
Utilizing helpful tools and skilled individuals to correctly manage your inventory is essential to a budget-friendly supply chain. Knowing exactly where specific items are kept, what they should be packed with, and keeping track of those goods after they head out the door can save you plenty of cash. Through productive inventory management, you’ll minimize the likelihood of picking the wrong products off the shelf, reduce the odds of tracking number mistakes, and prevent spending too much on overstocking or losing business due to understocking.
Ship Products Efficiently
One fast way to lose revenue and waste money is through inefficient product transportation methods. If you aren’t packing trucks and containers using strategies that utilize as much as space as possible while offering adequate protection to your products, you’re losing money. To determine the best techniques for your company, it’s necessary to analyze and evaluate your current shipping procedures. If you notice a lot of product damage, it’s likely that you either need more protective packaging or that you should manage the space inside the shipping container better. Further, by not filling the space inside the truck, you increase the cost of shipping each individual item, rather than when you fill the interior in a layout that maximizes the number of products within without risking damage from overpacking.
Every person and every business has their own set of expectations about how they expect their supply chain to operate. When you distribute or receive a set of products, it’s imperative to discuss your own expectations with the external parties you coordinate with. For example, if you ship food to local grocery store chains, those customers may want all pallets to hold only the same items. They expect one pallet of potato chips, another with only fruit snacks, and the third with just granola bars. If you don’t discuss these expectations with your clients, they’ll likely be disappointed in receiving mixed product pallets and may look to other businesses to purchase from instead. By synchronizing everyone’s expectations, you can keep all purchasers, distributors, and transporters happy.
Leverage Technology for Your Benefit
We all know that modern technology is highly advanced. Why shouldn’t you use it to your advantage? There are many supplemental warehouse software tools and technologies that can enhance a variety of supply chain processes and expedite your work. Some examples are automated robots that can pick and pull products or RFID tracking for improved inventory management. While some of these options may have a higher upfront cost, they will save you money in the long run by speeding up work and making it easier for everyone involved.
Develop a Supply Chain Strategy
Before taking any of these steps toward extra savings, it’s important to analyze your current supply chain strategy. During this evaluation, look at your strengths and weaknesses to determine what can be made more efficient and what you’re already great at doing. This will help your individual business understand exactly where you can make room for even more savings.