Nowadays everybody talks about communication. HR talks about communication with employees, Sales talks about communication with customers, Marketing talks about communication with potential customers, but actually nobody talks about communication in supply chain management or procurement. And this is a huge mistake as it’s equally important as in other business fields.
As it was mentioned there are a couple of directions of communication in supply chain, but my experience shows that the most essential ones are:
Supplier → Buyer or Buyer → Supplier and surprisingly…Business → Buyer.
A Buyer needs to specify the requirements and a Supplier needs to answer them properly. It can happen in a traditional way – via email, calls or f2f. But how many calls we have to make if we have 300 suppliers or more? Or how many emails we need to write and answer generating a huge email traffic which probably results in being totally lost. Not mentioning f2f meetings which are extremely time consuming and very often not really possible if we are talking about a supplier from a different continent. That’s why having all communication stored in one integrated SaaS system would be the best solution. Why? Firstly, because you can send RFX, get answers, compare them, choose the best offer and control delivery or even get an invoice in one place. No more searching lost emails or calling the supplier 3 times a day. Secondly, because cloud based systems are accessible from every browser, any place, at any time.
The meaning of communication is two fold in SCM:
Effective communications & collaboration between Stakeholders.
Both suppliers and customers need continuous monitoring, as well as collaboration to ensure supply meets demand. This collaboration can be over calls, emails or f2f meetings.
Effective communication between Systems
It’s really important that the IT systems are also well integrated and communication is seamless between systems. For E.g: A company might operates on SAP ERP while it’s vendor have Oracle ERP, they still have to make sure that the communication of transactional data between different systems happens effectively. This is the reason why IT vertical of Supply Chain holds huge responsibility.
For a supply chain management professional effective communication is a crucial element in the job. The communication with co-workers, clients and customers etc need to be managed effectively to make the supply chain achieve success. The following are some of the advantages of effective communication in the supply chain.
If the communication is effective then there will not be any need for repeated communication. There will not be any necessity for clarifying often and wasting time. It is necessary to make the communication clear by making the subordinates and superiors understand the matter effectively. Setting priorities and assigning tasks will become more easy and this will lead to increased productivity.
Improving the Morale
When the communication between a Supply Chain Manager is clear it boosts the morality of the workers and improves their performance. If the Â communication between the management and employees are effective then the confidence of the employees will increase. Expectations of the employees will be fulfilled through clear communication which will improve the morale of the employee.
Developing a Team
When the communication between the Supply chain Managers and employees become clear it can contribute to the building of a successful team. If the expectations and goals of both employees and management become aligned it will lead to a strong team.
Poor communication leads to all kinds of problems in supply chain ops, like:
- Late deliveries
- Lost items
- Demurrage and storage fees
- Unhappy customers
- A breakdown in work relationships