It keeps you awake at night, it is on your mind always, your phone buzzes at all hours of the day, it is temperamental, tricky to handle and everyone has advice on how to do it better. A relationship? No…it’s your supply chain. As a supply chain professional you likely eat, breathe and sleep every detail of your operation and obsess over every transaction, load and shipment. Here are some ways to keep the passion for supply chain alive within your organisation.
“The greatest value of a picture is when it forces us to notice what we never expected to see” – John W Tukey
Data visualisation is the next hero of the Supply Chain industry. Much has been written about data analytics, but the ability to translate data-driven insights into representations that allow for rapid decision making is where the real magic lies. Simple management reports that layout key data points in easy to read formats or the visual mapping of immense amounts of data are but some of the ways that data visualisation can make the complex simple. It is an inalienable truth that data is the lubricant of future supply chains, but if data is the oil, then visualisation is the eye-candy.
A Perfect 10
“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we catch excellence”- Vince Lombardi
A perfect order is just that – an order that has gone 100% right 100% of the time. In today's world of ever-increasing consumer fickleness, every imperfect order can translate directly into a sale lost to the competition. The pursuit of a continuous perfect order stream may seem impossible, since the industry average sits at approximately an 84% perfect order rate, however edging ever nearer to the 100% mark, will ensure higher consumer satisfaction – which, at the end of the day is what supply chain is all about.
Home is where the heart is
“You can travel the world over in search of what you need and return home to find it”- George Moore
It is well known that it is far more expensive to gain a new consumer than it is to retain an existing one. With growing consumer awareness of the environmental impact of products, more and more are opting to repair or refurbish products instead of replacing. This is leading to increasing need to ensure that sufficient service supply chains exist alongside traditional to-market chains. If consumers are unable to procure service parts from the original manufacturer, they will source such from competitors and in all likelihood switch to that competitive product for any further purchase. Keeping consumers attached to the native brand requires a well thought out and easily accessible service supply chain, and such processes are likely to become a key differentiator in the years to come.
An organisations Supply Chain creates a relationship between it and its customers, and as such is often a key driver of the satisfaction and general sentiment consumers have of the organisation as a whole. It is a complex, and often taxing discipline, but through continuous improvement and the adoption of innovation, business will realise that they cannot function without their supply chain, and indeed, fall in love with it all over again.