You need to get your widgets from your manufacturing plant into the hands of your consumers. But how can you do that at the lowest cost and with the most efficient practices? This is what your supply chain manager does for your business. Your supply chain optimization department has many working pieces. In this article, we will discuss the four main components of your supply chain and how you can keep it running at peak optimum performance.
1. Sourcing the Raw Material
Choosing the most sustainable materials for your product will ensure that your supply chain can run at peak performance for years to come. If you are reliant on a rare ingredient that is only found in one part of the world and takes 75 years to grow, then you will not have an unlimited supply of raw materials. If you want your business to be able to scale and grow, you will need to choose raw materials that are easy to acquire and sustainable to grow or create.
2. Developing Your Finished Product
When you think of delivering your final product to the consumer, you might envision an assembly line. And while Henry Ford might have perfected the art of the assembly line, this doesn’t mean that your product must follow that path to creation. However, what is important to remember when planning the development of your product is that you need to create a consistent workflow that is easy to follow and can be uniformly implemented. Your customers don’t want to wait for their products; they want them now. Having an optimized workflow is vital to producing quality products on a reliable schedule.
3. Delivering That Product to Your Customer
Getting your product from the manufacturer to your customer is the next link in your supply chain. Ensuring timely delivery is vital to having repeat and happy customers. If you rely on delivery trucks to get your products to market and there is a shortage of diesel fuel next summer, then your supply chain optimization will break down. Don’t let this happen to you. Have a backup contingency plan to ensure that your product is able to be delivered to your customers just when you said it would.
4. Handling Customer Service with Exchanges and Refunds
Your supply chain doesn’t stop once the final product is delivered to the customer. If you want your business to succeed, then you will need happy customers for life who will tell all their friends. The last thing you want is a bad review that your product was faulty. Problems are bound to come up and mistakes happen. However, how your supply chain manager handles those problems will determine the success of your business.
From your finances to obtaining your raw materials and developing your final product, your supply chain touches just about every part of your business. If your supply chain manager is not staying diligent in sourcing the best raw materials at the lowest cost, your business finances will not be sustainable. If your manufacturing department is not running at peak performance levels, you will not be able to produce a consistent and reliable product development workflow. A good supply chain manager will be able to consistently maintain all four working parts of your product development process.