Apr 21, 2016

3 Actionable Tips for Supply Chain Optimization

Have you ever tried to do one of those enormous 5,000-piece jigsaw puzzles? No? Well, if you’ve ever been responsible for working out the supply chain strategy for your company, then you probably have a good comparable.

Sorting contracts within a complex web of factories, suppliers, customers, and transporters is no easy task. When you’re neck deep in it, it’s easy to let potential cost-saving measures slip right by your eyes without even noticing.

Even experienced business leaders with meticulously mapped supply chains are probably falling at least a little bit shy of perfect optimization. A crucial detail missed here or there is all it takes to leave some valuable cost savings on the table.

To ensure you are uncovering every possible dollar of savings within your supply chain, here’s a list of the top three optimization steps you should take right away.

  1. Don’t Make Assumptions

Assuming that you know exactly what your customers want is a big mistake. Offering shipping options before asking customers about their needs is a prime example. Surprisingly few people in your customer base may actually require two-day or even same-day shipping. Before you act on assumptions, start with what you absolutely know and then reach out to the marketing department for deeper answers about customer needs that they can learn through surveys and feedback. There’s no point investing your money and time on services that are ultimately unwanted.

  1. Cut Out Unnecessary Checkpoints

Wal-Mart has built its empire on being the king of supply chain cost-cutting. Their main focus has always been on minimizing the number of links in the chain. They’ve even moved to vendor-managed inventory that allowed them to remove the warehouse management checkpoint, thus reducing costs and complexity.

Take another look at each checkpoint in your chain. Determine the costs associated with every point and then identify any that could be consolidated in order to help you lower expenses and boost efficiency.

  1. Evaluate Printing Costs

Shipping labels and transport detail attachments add up to significant printing costs for companies managing supply chains. If all of your printing is handled in-house, don’t forget to keep an eye on the costs of those tasks. When you account for all of the time spent collating and printing materials that your team has to invest, the costs can wind up much higher than anticipated. Outsourcing could potentially lead to 25-30 percent in savings without you having to lift a finger.

Streamline Your Supply Chain with Caretech Group

Unnecessary expenditures can pop up almost anywhere in a supply chain. Caretech Group can help your facility identify areas that need improvement and start correcting them. Visit our homepage or contact us today for more information.