The blocking of the Suez Canal by the 400-metre long Ever Given jolted the world back to the reality of complex, global, and time-sensitive supply chains. It is one example that affected millions of people.
At a more local level, how can we reduce the chance of causing a supply chain that can hurt or organisation’s reputation and service to its customers?
- Establish a baseline for the tasks and overall process, e.g., sales order on-boarding, order entry and customer communications.
- Drop redundant activities or tasks. On closer analysis, some user-initiated tasks are redundant or can be automated. For example, sales order on-boarding involves qualification of data and matching of customers and where applicable, quotes. Many of these activities can be fully or semi-automated.
- Address situations where users experience difficulties. For example, deciding on the correct shipment methods or handling inventory / product substitutions.
- Fix scenarios that introduce errors or bad data into processes. Any situation where data is allowed to be entered into a system without further checks has the potential for problems and should be addressed.
- Identify any application areas where improved integration and automation can further streamline processes. For example, Sales Order processing can be linked to procurement systems so that inventory at vendors can be checked automatically.
Look out for our upcoming Supply Chain Improvement blog posts for a deeper dive on each of these topics.