Streamline communications with supply chain staff

Regardless of how efficient your business processes might be, even the slightest breakdown in communications can have significant negative effects on the overall performance of your supply chain.

For optimal supply chain performance, try making 2018 the year you remove inefficiencies from your internal communications process.

This could mean simplifying order processes with key suppliers, automating certain aspects of order processing or making greater use of EDI platforms such as XEDI to communicate quickly and accurately with your key suppliers, service providers and supply chain staff.

Whenever possible, standardise systems and processes

As your business grows, it becomes increasingly important for the supply side of the business to use a standardised set of processes.

Standardisation improves efficiency in a variety of ways. Not only do employees have a shared, identical set of processes to follow and tools to use, but accuracy is improved as a result of this standardisation, eliminating time that’s often wasted fixing mistakes.

As a general rule, it’s always better to standardise a process than not. As a result, a focus on standardising common processes and systems can help you make big improvements to your business’s supply chain in 2018.

Make processing returns a priority, not an afterthought

Returns are an unavoidable part of running any business. As such, any efficient supply chain needs to include reliable, standardised processes for handling returns without delaying other aspects of operations.

All too often, manufacturers and other product-focused businesses aim to move as many units as possible — an understandable objective, given the importance of growth for any business.

As a result, creating an efficient and effective process for handing returns can often become an afterthought. If you’re looking for new ways to optimize your supply chain this year, viewing the way you handle returns and changes to orders could be a source of opportunity.

Is your supply chain a weak link for your business?

The vast majority of content aimed at small and mid-sized businesses focuses on growth — a factor that’s easy to understand, given the concerns of many businesses. Because of this, the supply side of growing and developing a business rarely received the attention it deserves.

Is your supply chain a weak link for your business? By focusing on communications, efficiency and standardisation, you can transform your company’s supply chain from a weakness into an asset over the course of the year, leading to better results and stronger overall performance.