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It is a fact that a robust supply chain is the backbone of every business. As per a survey, 79% companies say that using supply chain optimisation techniques improves revenue significantly. Rightly so, as any disruptions in the supply chain management can impact all stakeholders – be it a manufacturer, distributor, or retailer and most importantly the customer.
So, what does the term supply chain optimisation mean?
Supply chain optimisation refers to the process of refining the supply chain to enhance its performance. It involves better alignment of operations, inventory, purchasing, and distribution. By optimising supply chains, you can enjoy a competitive advantage for your business as it helps increase efficiency, reduce cost and improve business performance.
In this blog, we discuss what supply chain management and optimisation involves, how to optimise supply chain networks, benefits of supply chain optimisation, etc.
What is supply chain optimisation?
As mentioned above, the process of supply chain optimisation involves adjusting your supply chain to work at optimal performance. To achieve this, you need to focus on minimising operating costs and streamline inventory with the use of technology like AI and blockchain.
Why is it importation to optimise your supply chain? The supply chain of an organisation is a critical business process and plays a major role in creating customer delight. If you have a well-oiled supply chain, your customers get what they want and in minimal time. This is not just profitable to the organisation but also contributes to supply chain sustainability.
There are three phases in the supply chain optimisation process:
- Supply chain design: Supply chain design describes the network design processes like location of warehouse facilities, demand forecasting, scheduling of manufacturing operations, etc.
- Supply chain planning: Post designing comes the planning part and incudes the creation of a strategic supply deployment plan, inventory planning and asset planning to optimise the channel from supplier to customer.
- Supply chain execution: The last phase is executional and is focussed on execution-oriented applications and systems involving warehousing, inventory management, transport management system, etc.
4 attributes of the supply chain:
What are the benefits of supply chain optimisation?
There are many benefits a business of supply chain optimisation. Let us look at some of the relevant ones:
- Cost reductions: One of the direct benefits of opting for supply chain optimisation is elimination of unnecessary cost and streamlining business expenses. With better delivery processes, logistics, and warehousing capabilities businesses can meet customer needs in a timely manner with a lower inventory.
- Better profits: With better processes in place after the use of supply chain optimisation tools, the end customer will have a better experience leading with on time delivery. The result is a shorter investment-to-return-on-investment cycle and quicker settlement of invoices and more revenue generation.
- Better performance: With the use of technology, when supply chain processes are digitised, it helps provide real time insights into the supply chain. This is directly related to evaluation of suppliers’ performance and improvement, an essential part to strategic sourcing decisions.
- Improved collaboration of stakeholders: The supply chain optimisation process can facilitate better collaboration and innovation among the suppliers, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers. Every stakeholder can access updated information to make smarter decisions for better supply chain continuity.
Three top supply chain optimisation techniques:
- Cost Optimisation
- Inventory Optimisation
- Network Optimisation
What are the best practices for optimising your supply chain process?
These are the few steps you can take to optimise your supply chain.
- Outsource business activities: One of the first step to streamline your business is to outsource certain aspects of it. Trying to do everything on your own may involve more costs and manpower. Outsourcing processes like procurement and logistics can benefit your business. There are several 3PL logistics provider in the market whom you can outsource your work to for better operations.
- Build communication between suppliers and retailers: This is a crucial step and fosters transparency among the stakeholders. Communication helps in timely fulfilment of demands and avoid delay due to confusion.
- Use mobile technology: Adoption of technology like smart phones are very effective for marketing, sales, and information. You can leverage social media and similar technologies to offer location-based discounts and services to improve sales.
- Use centralised management software: A optimised supply chain network facilitates a single centralised management tool that takes care of every operation – sales, warehousing and inventory, and finance systems. These tools can make relevant data available on a common dashboard thus making all business processes to be streamlined.
- Use a multichannel approach: A multi-channel approach helps in inventory management by communicating the demand to the suppliers in a quick and effective manner. It helps build a responsive supply chain. Moreover, it will help you to plan your logistics better and to forecast trends.
To sum up, logistics and supply chain plays a pivotal role in determining the success of a business. To sustain the cutthroat competition in business, it makes sense to go for supply chain optimisation. Some of the best practices to optimise your supply chain involves outsourcing certain processes, use of technology and adopting a multi-channel approach.
If you are looking for assistance to resolve your logistics and supply chain optimisation problems, you can easily check out nexarc Logistics – a service provided by Tata nexarc, that enables emerging businesses to find reliable logistics partners at affordable prices. Some of the benefits that nexarc Logistics offer include lowest prices, comparative rates from partners, wide pin code coverage and the availability of the complete logistics cycle on one dashboard.