Spring into the new season
With Brexit now officially triggered, the first quarter of 2017 was plagued by uncertainty. Trade deals are now in limbo which has left many businesses considering how leaving Europe might impact their operations. However, at this point, it is difficult to make strategic plans as we simply don’t know how things will pan out. Given that virtually every aspect of your business could be hit by Brexit in one way or another, where should you focus your attention? What projects should you prioritise to safeguard your organisation from the challenges that lie ahead?
The only thing that we can expect is change. After all, the business environment will look very different once the UK has divorced itself from the European Union. Consequently, organisations must now take action to gain greater control of their supply chain in order to minimise risk factors such as excess stock while still maintaining (if not improving), customer satisfaction.
We have outlined three potential supply chain improvement projects to help prepare you for the future and realise your business objectives for the rest of 2017!
Spring clean your inventory
Many organisations provide customers with a huge selection of products in order to satisfy the various needs. However, managing large assortments is hugely time consuming and can come at a great cost to the business.
Given that the level of risk also increases with the size of the assortment, there is no point investing time, effort and money into products that add no value to your business. Thus, given that Brexit could impact supplier relationships, or worse, demand from customers, it is vital that steps are taken to minimise your exposure to risk as much as possible.
Which items in your assortment give the most value to the business? Which item only costs you money? Through undertaking a carefully considered ABC-analysis, you can gain valuable insight into your assortment. This in turn will help you make more informed supply chain decisions as well as focus your attention to where it is required most.
With summer just around the corner, no doubt many new items will be introduced for the upcoming season. Given that some older items may now be left with decreasing demand, now is the perfect time to conduct an audit of your assortment.
After reviewing your assortment, you will likely find that a number of items no longer sell. While you have invested valuable capital into these items, holding them will only cost you money. So how can you painlessly remove these items from your assortment? Eliminating waste takes great courage. While there is no question that holding high levels of obsolete stock is bad for business, removing these items from your operation is often easier said than done. Download our simple 4 step guide to managing obsolescence.
Collaborate with your suppliers
Minimum order quantities, lead times and even reliability of your suppliers all have a major impact on your inventory. Evolving trade deals could radically change how you work with your suppliers. What can you do to establish stronger relationships with supply partners? Where do you begin?
Even for organisations with the most efficient of internal operations, finding ways to work more effectively with suppliers can unlock hugely lucrative performance improvement opportunities. Through taking steps to monitor supplier performance as well as share information more effectively, you can strengthen your negotiation position, assess and drive down supply chain costs.
2017 may have presented you with some big challenges already, however, there are plenty of ways businesses can help themselves by reviewing and improving the way that they work. These are just three examples that our network of over 650 customers have adopted with great results.