Improving Supply Chain Processes
Warehouses rely on immensely complex operations, so even a small hiccup in planning, strategy, management, or execution can have major consequences for both productivity and profitability. In other words, failing to manage your supply chain effectively means failing to manage your business as a whole, and likely losing money as a result.
Improving supply chain processes requires a multifaceted and multi-step strategy that requires a great deal of forethought, as well as company-wide dedication to shared production goals. However, if you set the right priorities from the start of the adjustment process, you can vastly improve your odds of seeing favorable results in the end.
Take the Time to Plan
Effectively planning a new supply chain management strategy is not just a matter of anticipating possible problems and drawing up solutions in advance. Making contingency plans for lost inventory, unavailable transportation, or internal staffing issues is important, but so is considering how much your new strategy will cost in the long run – not just when it’s first implemented.
A new supply chain plan should be considered a business asset, which means that it should be thought of like an investment rather than a one-time solution. Accordingly, the planning process for your supply chain should include a comprehensive flow chart of operations from start to finish, as well as return-on-investment calculations detailing how much money the enterprise will save or profit it will gain as a direct result of the new strategy.
When applied judiciously, cutting-edge technology can massively increase productivity and streamline warehouse supply chains. That being said, buying new software and hardware is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Specifically, paying for technology that an enterprise does not need or is not prepared to efficiently implement can end up causing more harm than good. Automating processes like inventory counting, delivery tracking, and the procurement of necessary supplies can save both money and time if warehouse managers take the time to fine-tune their systems to meet their unique needs.
Invest in Employee Excellence
Even if a warehouse automates some procedures and implements technology into the daily workflow without a hitch, this kind of enterprise simply cannot operate without skilled workers on the floor. Fortunately, HapiGig allows you to staff your warehouse on an as-needed basis so you can fill in gaps in the labor force as you see fit.
From pickers to packers to delivery drivers, every worker in the supply chain plays an important role, so any effort to improve operations must also seek to improve how each employee and department performs their assigned roles. Workers should receive regular training, be motivated with performance bonuses and employee appreciation events, and have a legitimate voice in what changes are made and what improvements may be needed in the future.
Keep Track of Progress and Alter Plans when Needed
Your supply chain is only as functional as the data it has access to, so perhaps more so than anything else, it is crucial to consistently and accurately track the impact of improvements on warehouse efficiency. Cycle time, cost, and service metrics are all critical to determining whether changes made to supply chain processes actually improved anything.