It seems we’re all being tested today.
During the past several years, I have observed that the entire supply chain contends with similar challenges at all points of contact in the quest to develop a meaningful value proposition. The value statement ultimately needs to consider people, product, efficiency of inventory logistics and obtaining the right data. Probably the most intrinsic issue is improving the overall management of inventory throughout the entire supply chain in order to best serve customers while at the same time providing a reasonable return on investment.
I am sure we have all witnessed a change in financial attributes with factoring and longer payment terms, both of which have been provided to offset expanded inventory requirements due to parts proliferation. But, are they part of the solution or part of the problem? Certainly, they might not be long term solutions and in fact have led to inventory duplication and ultimately price pressure for all concerned.
This is an excellent example of the need for the distribution channel to work together to develop long term efficiencies that can better serve the customer. The development of data tools designed to eliminate duplication, improve inventory turns, reduce waste, and improve efficiency can only be enhanced with the use of clean data. This is an issue that is considered a common denominator for all players in the supply chain and therefore all players need to work together. What I mean by all players is both manufacturers and distributors.
When I look at the successful group program distributors in the market space today, the consistent elements of that success revolve around a trust with customers, suppliers and within their own organizations. Ultimately this generates loyalty. Long-term supplier relationships lead to long-term connections throughout the supply chain, and those long-term relationships equate to loyalty.
Clean data is needed
The need for clean data in all aspects of the supply chain is very important and will only remain and continue to be critical in the near future. If your company is dedicated to the technology available out there now, you are likely in a good position to prosper and grow. Clean and current technology today can assist all players to reduce returns, increase profitability and stimulate growth.
As we have discussed in previous columns, the globe is getting smaller, the car park continues to grow and diversity in models, makes, and country of origin continues to expand. Add to those conditions the speed of the Internet and e-commerce and it becomes very clear to all that enhanced information on product mix, trends, and forecasting are vital to supply chain planning.
Expertise in Supply Chain Management moving forward will be a significant part of the service we all provide to our customers today and a significant element of success for us all.