Supply Chain Management (SCM) is a comprehensive process of manufacturing raw materials and delivering them to customers. A successful supply chain involves an uninterrupted supply of raw materials and inventory management to provide the customers high quality and consistent experience.
Though supply chain management includes many people, the managers still play a most important part in setting the tone and direction for the team. They help teams reach their maximum potential and deliver the best outcomes by making their job experience productive. In return, it accelerates the company’s growth, streamlines the supply chain, and reduces costs.
You can become a successful supply chain manager by following these tips.
Supply Chain is all about delivering results at the right time. You must strive to deliver cost-effective results while ensuring high-quality services that meet delivery timelines. As a supply chain manager, you must develop a system to track the daily progress of yourself and your team. It will help you improve the service delivery and address the loopholes in the system. Focus on metrics and KPIs to achieve results on a day-to-day basis.
If you have a personal drive for meeting challenges and exceeding expectations, you can achieve better outcomes as a team leader from your team. You must know the set targets you need to achieve and build an effective strategy to achieve them.
Understand and Execute Strategy
As a supply chain manager, you must develop strategic agility and professional insight to see the big picture. You must know how to use a holistic approach to execute operations aligning with the company’s business goals.
How is Customer Service Important to Supply Chain Management? Your answer to this question will guide you through planning effective strategies for a better customer experience. It’s your responsibility to identify the current and anticipated future trends to design the strategies. These strategies must align with customers’ demands and deliver the best possible products. You must address the internal or external requirements of the customers by implementing the strategies accordingly.
Leverage New Technologies
It is always best to stay relevant with the modern systems and adopt innovative tools to upscale your supply chain. You can use the latest technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning to streamline your supply chain management. For instance, by implementing the latest Warehouse Management System (WMS), you can manage warehouse operations efficiently while documenting, tracking, and evaluating the deficiencies in the system. The software enables you to collect valuable insights by using data analytics.
According to Alan Duncan, “Once full visibility overactivity has been achieved, businesses can also use Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to ‘read’ what is going on and recommend how to fix problems. In time, AI/ML systems could even put those changes into place without input from humans, to form an autonomous supply chain.”
Companies based on tech-driven supply chain management systems perform complicated tasks without manual intervention. Moreover, they have a competitive advantage and rapid decision-making. Thus, it’s essential to develop technical competence to learn the latest digital tools to stay ahead.
Train Future Supply Chain Leaders
Good supply chain managers play the role of leaders to engage, motivate and develop the professional skills of their team members. You must upgrade the company by hiring qualified talent or building the existing human resources into your team. Be a team leader and train your subordinates to be leaders, not followers.
You can organize staff development programs based on formal training patterns or use the job training approach. It can include mentorship, coaching, rotation through many assignments. In addition, scenario modeling training can also prove beneficial for staff training. Your team gets familiar with the company operations and gains insights into how processes work
Many managers don’t share valuable information with their team members while considering potential threats to their jobs. Holding information to yourself can be counter-productive, especially when it can bring out the change in the team and improve their performance.
The industry expert Chadwick Stephen also highlights the capacity building of team members, “Delegation of tasks and decisions to those who are best equipped to make them will keep your office’s response efficient and flexible. This delegation also allows team members to play to their strengths and allows the chief official to focus on the big picture and the next steps in the response.”
Manage Vendors and Suppliers Effectively
It is always best to communicate your requirements clearly to suppliers from the start. Don’t surprise them with the sudden change in orders and quantity. You must choose vendors and suppliers who follow your guidelines and provide equipment and raw materials meeting the high quality and safety standards. They also need to be consistent in supplies.
Forge a relationship with vendors and suppliers based on mutual respect and trust. Maintaining clear communication with them while keeping them looped in for delivering materials at the last moments in case of emergency. Suppliers who know what to expect from you in terms of upcoming demands can serve you well. In this way, you don’t need to negotiate prices on every order delivery and renew the contracts.
According to Deloitte, “Forming strategic partnerships with a select group of your best suppliers can allow you to capture a wide variety of benefits—including the potential for scale advantages and priority service.”
Raise Cost Awareness
Supply chain management involves many processes having uncontrollable factors. As a result, it becomes hard for you to manage the expenses of processes running along the supply chain. A centralized financial data system can pinpoint financial leakages during the whole supply chain process.
To be an effective supply chain manager, you must gain insights and improve your performance based on experience shared by seasoned professionals and experts in the industry. Most people start from the basics and reach the manager’s ranks due to their vigilance and better performance. Yet, you must continue the process of learning and strive to be a better manager in supply chain management. Build a strong knowledge base and upscale your skills. It has become essential to fight the emerging challenges in the supply chain with critical thinking and risk analysis. It can only be possible through mutual learning and knowledge sharing.