As the global supply chain settles into the COVID19 technology driven and customer-centric decade, there’s no time to pause and reflect on what has happened. Now, more than ever is a time for action. You need to pick up the pace and ensure that your processes are leaner, faster, and you are equipped to meet your customer’s expectations. Understanding the nuances of your supply chain and how to improve upon it is the best way to achieve maximum savings, optimize efficiency, and manage customer expectations.
We’ve come up with a concept called the Three M’s, three key areas that you can explore and break down in order to realize the full potential of your company that can help you to get the biggest, fastest savings in your supply chain, today.
They are: Measure; Manage; and Maximize.
The first of the three M’s is the measure, and it’s all about understanding your supply chain and how it functions. To measure your supply chain is to create an overview of your operations and within that, to develop an understanding of your key processes and where your company’s strengths and weaknesses lie.
Understanding how to create an overview of your supply chain is the very first step in measuring what your company is doing right now and what your current process looks like.
“Understanding how to create an overview of your supply chain is the very first step in measuring what your company is doing right now and what your current process looks like. Either creating an overview or even having an external analysis done by a third party will help you gain visibility and understanding why you’re doing things the way that you do and then taking that information and turning it into actionable information that your company can then use to make better business decisions,” suggests Amanda Staffon, our Senior Business Development representative.
Measuring can help you to:
- Analyze the need for process improvements.
- Understand where cargo can be consolidated to increase cost savings.
- Measure carrier cost structures to maximize efficiencies and lower costs.
- Better financial efficiency of your end to end supply chain network.
- Enhanced control over shipment scheduling.
Manage is all about the internal conversation within your organization. It’s about understanding why key stakeholders which should include, vendors, purchasing, customer service, sales, are making the decisions that they do and how those decisions affect your supply chain. Manage is also about understanding the flow of goods, money, and information throughout your organization.
The data and analytics gathered during the measure phase is instrumental to a proper understanding of your operations
The data and analytics gathered during the measure phase is instrumental to a proper understanding of your operations and can create the insight necessary to understand why these decisions are being made and how you can improve upon them.
There are four key advantages to the management phase:
- Visibility across the entire supply chain from sourcing raw materials to the delivery of finished goods
- Modeling future supply chain scenarios as your company grows/changes to ensure speed to market while maximizing cost structures.
- Complete insight into the production, partner, and supplier performance to ensure responsiveness to customer needs.
- A Global perspective to keep updated on the latest developments and optimize processes across North America.
The last of the three M’s is Maximize, and all about making the most possible good from every factor and decision within your organization. For example, technology helps to maximize efficiency and, in turn, increase profitability.
A well-managed supply chain provides companies with the ability to execute best practices
The other two steps are crucial to maximize as they help you to understand the layout of the organization and what steps you need to take in order to see the most benefits, whether that be further developing strengths, optimizing a specific aspect of your operation, or outsourcing aspects that your company isn’t particularly strong in.
A well-managed supply chain provides companies with the ability to execute best practices in the following areas:
- Demand Planning
- Inventory Management
- Information Systems
- Risk Management and Contingency Plans
Putting it into Action
Of course, the first step in this process is often the most daunting. During the uncertainty, dedicating resources (time, energy, money) to anything that doesn’t have an immediately apparent return can be terrifying. However, taking that first step is most important as it lays the path towards improvement and growth in the future.
We encourage you to listen to our free Webinar about the Three M’s to get a more in-depth understanding of the process as well as to take advantage of our free supply chain analysis to see how BlueGrace can help you to improve and optimize your operations.