Controlling your supply chain and raising its level of efficiency requires strategy and, as a business coach, I have seen even the smallest of clients make some quite extraordinary gains.
The management of your supply chain – no matter how large or how small – can help you set your business above your competitors (or below them) in the market.
Supply chain management affects sales, profits and position. As a small business, you have to view your supply chain as a whole, not just the individual processes in order to compete in the marketplace.
When you begin to look at the parts that make up the entire supply chain, you can take control of your supply chain successfully.
Here are a few business coaching tips to help you take and maintain control of your supply chain.
Know your suppliers. You should know which suppliers are on time every time, delivering your products accurately and completely. You should also know which suppliers are falling short of the expected results. As you monitor, you’ll see who is dependable and can alter your strategy to the benefit of your company and your customers.
Resolve problems quickly. With your observation and tracking, you’ll know who is falling short of your expectations. Remember your suppliers should meet or exceed your expectations – in the same way that you strive to meet and exceed your customers’ expectations. Track your shipments, if suppliers are making mistakes with regularity, approach them with professionalism and try to solve the problems. If the supplier cannot or will not meet your expectations it may be time to find a new supplier to meet that need for your business.
Improve your order management. If you don’t already have inventory management software in place, consider it. If you do, the software will help you stay on top of your inventory so that you only order what you need, when you need it. And, most importantly, in the right quantity.
The bottom line is that your orders – products or even services – must be delivered accurately, efficiently, completely, with consistency and always when promised. When this process comes together, you have taken control of your supply chain management.
Mike Reddy is a Chartered Accountant, business coach and advisor helping businesses in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Gold Coast to easily increase their profits and cash flow. He is currently President of the North Sydney Chamber of Commerce, a Regional Councillor for Sydney North East and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Sydney leadership team. As well as advising businesses, Mike presents business development seminars and webinars and is regularly contacted by the media to comment on small business matters. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.