You want a synchronized supply chain to ensure that your business runs smoothly. A supply chain is only as strong as the weakest link, so synchronizing your chain means ensuring that each step is operating at maximal efficiency. This is a dauntingly large task, and many supply chains don't know where to begin synchronizing. Don't worry, we're here to help! Below are 6 tips to maintaining and improving your synchronized supply chain.
Communication is Key
Supply chains run more smoothly when every partner in the chain knows what is expected of them. For a chain to become synchronized, it's essential that partners communicate openly and frequently. When communication is clear, tasks are done correctly and on time, without duplication, which leaves more time to devote to other tasks. A productive supply chain relies on partners cooperating with each other to ensure everyone's needs are met.
Take it Slow
It is unrealistic to expect your entire supply chain to become perfect in a month. Instead, focus on one area of the supply chain at a time, and set realistic goals and expectations for improvement. This step-by-step method ensures that other areas of the supply chain can accommodate changes and ensures a smooth transition period rather than an abrupt overhaul of the entire chain.
Define Your Roles
It is difficult to synchronize your supply chain when partners aren't sure what is expected of them, or who is expected to complete a certain task. When roles within a supply chain are clearly defined, members within each partner organization know who to contact for questions or concerns, and tasks are divided in the most efficient way possible. The roles and division of tasks will vary dramatically from one supply chain to the next, and there is no correct way to do this. It may take some time to find the configuration that is right for you.
How are you doing?
How is your supply chain doing? Where are areas that need improvement? If you don't consistently track your performance, there is no way of knowing the answers to these questions. When setting realistic goals, it is essential to define how these goals will be measured. Once you have decided on your goal, it is important to track these measures frequently and analyze patterns within them. Knowing how you are performing will help to ensure you are working towards your goals rather than against them.
Plan for Mistakes
To err is human, so some mistakes are inevitable. Know what your plan is for when mistakes occur, and ensure that you stick to this plan when mistakes appear. Define roles within your organization, and between partners, of who is in charge of handling mistakes depending on where they arise. Having a plan makes it easy to quickly deal with mistakes and ensure that customers are handled with care.
A great way to synchronize your supply chain is to ensure that all your partners use software that works well with the other software in the system. This can be achieved in various ways, most commonly through API bridges which allow applications to work together. Another great option is to utilize a software like Routeique which is designed to be used by every step of the supply chain and can be utilized by all partners. By having each partner use the same software your supply chain can easily communicate, designate roles, track progress, and handle mistakes, all from one simple solution.