How to Improve Supply Chain Performance

Several key factors need to be addressed when aiming to improve overall supply chain performance:

Communication: Communication across all channels in your supply chain needs to be clear and constant. Employees should have a firm understanding of your organizational goals and the methods required to achieve them. Schedule daily and weekly meetings to encourage collaborative problem-solving, so issues can be resolved as quickly as possible.

Procedure standards: Your warehouse should have procedure standards in place for employees to follow. This will help reduce errors within the supply chain and save time and money.

Prioritization: Certain aspects of the supply chain are of greater importance than others. Focus the most attention on the critical areas that drive your business.

Training: Training is one of the easiest and most effective ways to increase productivity, reduce costs and improve customer satisfaction. Commit to providing your employees with the training they need to perform their best.

Empowerment: Empowering employees gives them the confidence and support they need to maximize productivity in the supply chain. Create new ways to engage and align your employees, and watch efficiency skyrocket.

Developing a Strong Supply Chain Strategy

One of the first things to examine when developing a supply chain strategy is the supply chain’s goals. Start by looking at your business model and compare it to your competitors. Determine who your target customer is and the best ways to meet their needs. Then list your goals and the results you want to achieve.

The next step is to define the tactics and initiatives required to meet those goals. For short-term goals, develop short-term tactics. To reach long-term goals, work on creating long-term tactics.

The third step in creating a supply chain strategy is to outline a plan. Create a physical representation of your supply chain, so you can share it with others.

Review it from time to time to see if there is room for improvement. Once you’re clear about your goals, your target customer, the results you aim to achieve and how to get there, you then need to put your plan into action.

When working on your supply chain strategic plan, decide on an amount you’re willing to spend to achieve your goals. This figure will make help define the tactics to pursue.

Kaiser DC2

Other Tips to Maximize Your Supply Chain

We have additional tips that can help your supply chain succeed. Here are some factors to consider:

Omnichannel integration: If your customers shop using multiple channels—such as brick and mortar, online and mobile—then improve your omnichannel strategy to meet their needs and  ensure they become return shoppers. Create a seamless shopping experience, and make it easier for shoppers to navigate from one channel to another.

Strategic spending: Instead of looking for ways to cut costs, look for ways to spend more strategically in your fulfillment and distribution operation. Whether you choose to add more workers to pick and package orders faster or employ a staffing partner to increase scalability and efficiency, you gain a competitive edge when your workforce is more productive. Spending strategically on technology is another valuable tip. Updating technology and automating processes can boost performance while reducing errors and lowering costs.

Outsource non-core processes: Outsourcing non-core processes in your supply chain will allow you to focus on improving core business areas and free up resources and time that can be put to better use elsewhere. As a side benefit, you will also build a partnership with a company that has expertise in an area you may be lacking.

Transparency: Some of the biggest problems a supply chain strategy might have to address include waste, mistakes and fraud. Fix these, and other, problems by increasing transparency and using the right enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.

Of course you can always seek to improve supply chain performance by partnering with an experienced logistics professional, who can help strategize organizational improvements, manage supply chain procedure, and evaluate your goals and workforce performance. Read about how Prologis can help your company’s operations discover its supply chain value.

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