Omnichannel customers, increased product customization, and the emergence of non-traditional competitors all demonstrate that the old methods of brute force execution and elbow grease will no longer suffice when creating a supply chain.
Relying on a “can-do” spirit is not enough businesses must excel at operational planning across multiple dimensions to not just win, but to remain competitive. If they don’t, they’ll pay the price with a higher cost structure, stranded capital, and defecting customers.
1) Put a Person in Charge, end-to-end (for a product, product group)
Well-oiled supply chains are managed by one person from start to end. They are in charge for demand and supply planning for an entire product or product line, globally or for a region. It all depends on the nature of the supply chain
2) Measure the Performance
You only get what you measure, they say! Put in measures that represent the end-to-end nature, such as order cycle times, overall inventory levels, customer satisfaction. Measure them based on a common set of KPIs and regularly review them and take immediate action to remedy issues.
3) Implement a Central Data-Brain
A single point of truth (SPOT). A database, hosted in the cloud, that collects all activities along the supply chain, from planning to order management and logistics execution including milestones along the route from production to finale warehouse. This SPOT serves all supply chain participants as source for the same, up-to-date information.
4) Create a Fit-for-purpose Organization
Create order in the organization. Create a consistent structure with clear responsibilities and end-to-end transparency. Cleary define what to make and what to buy. Define consistently which activities to perform locally, regionally, or globally. There is no silver bullet on how to do this, but certain topics such as data analytics, forecasting services or inventory analysis have been proven to work well regionally or even globally.
5) Work on the Culture and Capabilities
World-class supply chains excel in collaboration which requires a strong understanding of each participant, what they are doing and what their objectives are. Such a culture can for example be achieved by career rotations where a planner goes on to become a customer service manager. Train all staff the basic concepts along the-end-to-end supply chain and form community of practices, who frequently interact and share leading practices.