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How Do You Build a Reliable Supply Chain?

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How Do You Build a Reliable Supply Chain

Supply chain management is an essential part of every business. The supply chain is the process from raw materials to a finished product in the customer’s hands. A reliable supply chain saves businesses time, money, and energy. While disruptions in the supply chain costs money and hurts the supplier’s reputation with customers. 

There are many moving parts and systems in a supply chain, so an effective and efficient one doesn’t happen by accident. It needs to be built with the right strategy. 

Spex has been an effective supply chain manager for decades.

In this post we’ll share 5 tips to build and maintain a reliable supply chain.

Start with a plan

Planning is the first step in every supply chain. Sometimes the planning stage can be skimmed over because you want to get started on the project as quickly as possible. 

But a failure to properly plan increases the chances of future disruptions. Having a clear plan will help you avoid disruptions instead of reacting to them.

Supply chain managers should lay out clear guidelines before the project begins so all manufacturers understand what’s expected. The plan should cover everything from the manufacturing timeline and costs to delivery methods and quality assurance.

Communication should go beyond the minimum project info and give everyone what they need to meet your expectations.

Build the right relationships

Maintaining a reliable supply chain depends on business relationships. Manufacturers are the middle of the supply chain. They need to have strong relationships with suppliers so they have the right raw materials. They also need to have relationships with the delivery systems so the customers can receive their orders. 

Effective relationships require transparency and communication from all parties, and ensure everyone is working towards a common goal. 

Industry relationships also allow the different manufacturing processes to be streamlined. If one point of contact can handle the manufacturing from raw material to finished product there is reduced risk of unexpected interruptions.

Create agility

As we’ve seen in the past two years, supply chain interruptions can happen overnight. 

Agility is more than moving quickly, it’s about being prepared for the unexpected. 

This means that you’ll have the right amount of inventory to fulfill orders on-time, and adjust inventory levels if customer demand shifts.

Prioritize quality assurance

Ensuring the quality of the materials and products should be done at every step in the supply chain. Inconsistencies in the quality or quality assurance process can cause delays and returns. 

Suppliers and manufacturers have a responsibility to check the quality of the raw materials, work-in-progress parts, and finished goods. 

If the end product doesn’t meet the customer’s expectation, it’s usually sent back to the manufacturer and causes unnecessary delays.

Review what’s working

The supply chain environment is always changing. What’s working today might not work tomorrow, so it’s essential to review the processes.

Supply chain partners should keep accurate data regarding their operations, current supplies, sales, and everything in between. Having the right systems and technology to collect data throughout the process will also help you track what’s working well and where there’s room for improvement.

How Spex builds reliable supply chains

The manufacturing process is right in the middle of the supply chain timeline. As a manufacturer, that means Spex is involved in every other aspect of the supply chain. To be an effective machine shop, we need to be involved in the other steps of the supply chain.

If you’re looking for a reliable supply chain management solution, reach out to our team to learn how we can help.

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