7 Ways to Take Control—and Keep Control—of Your Supply Chain
Manufacturers are always concerned with inventory and raw materials. Is what you need where it’s supposed to be? Are you keeping too much or too little on hand? To stay ahead of the competition today, you can’t afford to make guesses; you need data to find the right balance.
If you can see into the flow of materials and inventory up and down your supply chain, you have what you need to make those decisions and maintain control over costs and cost variances, minimizing COGS with better production planning—which maximizes profit.
The data you need is there; you just need to get it into a form that you can use to know exactly what materials and inventory you have to work with and when you can expect replenishment. Here are seven ways you can build a competitive edge:
#1: System-Based Guidance in Materials Resource Planning
Everything in manufacturing must move faster, including MRP. Outdated systems that can’t quickly provide consolidated information to drive decisions must go. A rule-based system that provides scenario-based recommendations and system-based MRP recommendations will allow you to evaluate options for informed decisions.
#2: A Fully Integrated Approach to Purchasing
With a fully integrated approach, you can optimize the purchasing process, which starts a domino effect: reduced material costs, minimized inventory levels, improved customer service. You need full visibility into supplier data, internal inventory, and production status to keep things flowing at the right speed.
#3: Optimized Warehouse Management
Keep up with global suppliers and reduce impact on your profit margins, by managing your warehouse more efficiently. You need a data-driven warehouse management system to simplify the processes of receiving and sending orders and better logistics management that supports JIT practices.
#4: Insight Across the Supply Chain
From the ship or truck or train to the warehouse, it is imperative you know where your inventory and assets are at any given time. If you can identify issues early, you catch them before they affect your schedules and your customers. This requires visibility along the entire supply chain.
#5: Excellent Customer Service
While good inventory management has always yielded the benefit of optimizing stock levels, there is another benefit: customer satisfaction. Amazon has set the bar on customer expectations, and that’s not limited to consumers. It’s more important now than ever to take a customer-driven approach to inventory management, connecting silos of information across the organization, to be sure where things are and when to expect them.
#6: Collaboration with Key Customers on Order Status and Delivery
With competition at an all-time high, it’s important to establish yourself as a trusted trading partner. This means providing things like advance ship notices. When you share data with key customers, you can then monitor inventory levels through POS data feeds to minimize issues like lost sales and stock-outs. Analytics can give you the insights to maximize sales and strengthen relationships with your partners.
#7: Best Practice Guidance from the Experts
Technology—specifically the right ERP solution—is the key to mastering your supply chain. The right ERP can give you that control you’re looking for. Put your trust in a team that understands the issues you face every day and can point you to the right solution, taking a collaborative, thoughtful approach to evaluate your business processes and comparing them with your desired outcomes.
ArcherPoint has been helping manufacturers transform their businesses with Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 Business Central for over 20 years. We have certified professionals NAV/Business Central expertise, as well as real-world manufacturing experience from the back office to the shop floor.
Want to know more? Download our eBook, “How Today’s Manufacturers are Taking Control of Materials, Inventory, and Manufacturing Costs from Order to Delivery”. Then contact ArcherPoint to discuss how we can help you optimize your supply chain.