Maximising cost efficiencies is a key part of any business, and a key element of any business is their supply chain.
In this post, we look at five ways that organisations can reduce supply chain costs, some by integrating simple steps into everyday business operations, others, by looking for different ways to manage supply chains.
1. Be strategically efficient
From the way that orders are processed, picked, and packed, despatched and stock transfers and stock replenishment, efficient processes are key to managing supply chain costs.
Consider each part of the process from the receipt of components for the manufacturing process (if applicable) right through to how orders are sent to customers. Utilise simple techniques such as ‘Insight Stars’ (observing a task and making small incremental changes to that task) and ‘Time in Motion study’ (where can small amounts of time be shaved off tasks?) It’s likely that these changes can drive down cost, time, staff, and space efficiencies all of which could have a positive impact on the business’ bottom line.
By having, and implementing, a robust supply chain strategy, unnecessary spend can be all but eliminated.
2. Collate and utilise information
Be aware of your stock levels and manage all your inventories accordingly, whether raw materials, WIP or finished goods. By keeping and analysing data using the tools available in the market, trends and customer demands can be more easily ascertained and your supply managed more effectively and efficiently.
This will allow businesses to ensure they source the correct services, in the correct volumes and in the correct time frames and, to forecast more accurately any future requirements. This is particularly useful to businesses who may be looking to increase capacity or outsource their warehousing and logistics to a third-party provider.
3. FOCUS ON BEING CUSTOMER CENTRIC
Logistics and warehousing should give the customer what they want, in addition to supporting the strategic aims of the business.
Rigid delivery schedules may see onward customers in the supply chain run out of stock. At best this could mean a lost sale; at worst it could see manufacturing lines grind to a halt.
By understanding the needs of your customers and how your product integrates into their business, you will be able to ensure your warehousing, logistics, and supply chain strategy, and the decisions made on how best to fulfil this, support the needs of your customers as well as your business objectives. This is where fluid, agile supply chain solutions come into their own, and why choosing a 3PL provider that operates in this manner could be a very wise business decision.
4. LEVERAGE a 3PL provider
Using an independent third-party logistics provider brings greater flexibility to businesses and can remove significant costs and expenditure attributed to the supply chain.
By using a 3PL provider, it is likely that a leased or owned warehouse facility will no longer be needed or can be reduced. This means that other fixed costs such as rent, rates, staff, MHE, vehicles, training and legislative requirements will be removed or reduced, along with the management costs associated with operating these assets and equipment.
It also means that your onward supply chain can be managed in a more flexible way that suits your business requirements perfectly.
BE SELECTIVE WITH YOUR 3PL PROVIDER
If the decision has been made to outsource your warehousing and logistics, it’s important to ascertain what you want from your 3PL provider. Is it merely additional storage, repacking, retail ready picking, or is it a full end-to-end solution that is required, along with integration into your IT systems?
As you can see, the two opposite ends of the spectrum differ wildly, and it is therefore important to ensure your chosen provider who can not only deliver what you require, but also has the agility to upscale and adapt its service offering quickly and efficiently in response to market conditions.
Carlton Forest 3PL is unique in both its service offering and the way that tailor made solutions are developed individually for each customer. Additionally, the Seamless onboarding methodology that it applies to ensure new customers find making the move to Carlton Forest hassle free, is a tangible bonus, saving both time and money.
Supply chains, and how warehousing, logistics and a range of other services are integrated into them, are a complex part of business operations.
This is why it’s important to run a lean, efficient, fit-for-purpose operation, and why third-party providers can often be the best solution, bringing a diverse range of service offerings, that can be collated into a bespoke solution that suits customer needs perfectly, an independent 3PL company has all the experience and expertise to deliver a cost-efficient supply chain solution.
Want to discuss cutting your supply chain costs?
Our expert team helps organisations to cut their supply chain costs and increase efficiency every day. So make sure you get in touch and let's share some ideas to help you cut your costs, reach out to us via email on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01909 540000 - we will be happy to help.