Getting the manufacturing supply chain right can mean the difference between success and failure for your operations.
Many factors influence a manufacturer’s ability to thrive and prosper in globally competitive markets. Quality human resources, sufficient capital investment, forward-thinking management, and well-defined goals are among them. Also, of great importance is the creation of a streamlined and modern manufacturing supply chain. Below are nine tips for optimizing yours:
- Management must ensure manufacturing supply chains are efficient and not just cost-effective
No company can afford to have an ineffective manufacturing supply chain, which is designed inefficiently with costs that spiral out of control. As a manufacturing company grows in size and scope, it will require more intricate manufacturing supply chain management. In the early stages of manufacturing companies’ development, leadership may focus on lowering manufacturing costs to increase profit margins without really looking at long-term manufacturing supply chain performance or overall business impact. However, as a business matures and becomes a global enterprise worth billions of dollars, top manufacturing executives need to identify potential problems within their manufacturing supply chain before it’s too late.
- Manage your inventory wisely
Misplaced inventory can have an adverse effect on a manufacturing supply chain. It’s easy to see how management can get carried away with manufacturing operations and placing manufacturing inventory in one location or another, while not realizing the hidden costs associated with inventory when it’s not managed properly. Manufacturing executives need to ensure that their companies are monitoring inventory levels closely and tracking product demand trends over time, so they consistently know the best place for their materials and goods to be stored at any given point in time. One method for getting accurate manufacturing demand information is through leveraging technology, such as deploying RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags on manufactured products and using this data to make better decisions about manufacturing inventory placement and storage.
Create a strategic manufacturing plan
Manufacturing companies should create plans that outline manufacturing goals and targets. These manufacturing management plans should be built on forecasted demand, estimated manufacturing costs, and the availability of productive capacity within the manufacturing supply chain. Manufacturing executives also need to create backup plan scenarios for when unexpected problems or disruptions arise. Having a detailed plan will help manufacturing companies mitigate issues with their supply chains in order to better serve customers their base of customers.
Use accurate data from manufacturing operations
Manufacturing companies must be able to get accurate data from their operations in order to ensure that proper decisions are made regarding inventory storage location, production levels, and overall manufacturing efficiency. When companies can rely on having access to timely data about how products are being produced throughout their global enterprise, they’ll be able to make manufacturing supply chain decisions that result in efficient and cost-effective operations. For entities that have limited access to manufacturing data, executives should take the necessary steps to implement manufacturing supply chain management technologies that will allow them to oversee operations as well as have access to manufacturing performance indicators.
A manufacturing supply chain must be able to succeed globally
Manufacturers can see tremendous benefits from having a successful global manufacturing supply chain operation. Companies with a global reach are better positioned for long-term potential growth opportunities since they’re able to leverage new markets overseas. This may include manufacturing customers with varying levels of demand requirements. In addition, the use of a global manufacturing network allows businesses to maximize efficiencies when it comes to meeting customer demands across multiple manufacturing locations. In order to create a manufacturing supply chain that is able to compete on a global scale, manufacturing companies must have systems in place that allow manufacturing supply chains to communicate with one another in real-time. Additionally, manufacturing executives need to have the correct inventory information at their fingertips regarding products located throughout their manufacturing operations.
Manufacturing demands should be met with high service levels
Manufacturing supply chain management is all about satisfying customer demand for manufactured products, which can result in large enterprises being able to develop strong customer relationships. When customers know they can rely on manufacturers to deliver goods at the right time, with quality, and with superior service levels maintained, they’ll continue buying from your company. The most successful manufacturing companies also tend to maintain inventory levels that are lean so that manufacturing supply chains will be operating as efficiently as possible.
Know what the manufacturing supply chain is made up of
Manufacturing companies should have a good understanding of their supply chains (including manufacturing operations, manufacturing suppliers, manufacturing carriers, storage facilities) in order to effectively manage operations along the manufacturing network. Companies that can understand how their manufacturing supplies travel and arrive at production facilities must be able to anticipate problems within the manufacturing supply chain that may lead to delays in meeting customer demand or quality issues with the products that they sell. The more in-depth production firms know about their own supply chains, the better they’ll be able to develop strategies for reducing costs across the entire enterprise, as well as throughout its global fabricating manufacturing supply networks.
Work with manufacturing partners to raise manufacturing efficiencies
Businesses should work with executives who understand manufacturing capabilities and industry trends so that they can build a solid manufacturing plan for the future. They must be able to effectively manage manufacturing operations in order to remain competitive, which is why it’s important for companies to utilize new technologies that ensure manufacturing logistics initiatives are indeed achieving their goals of increasing manufacturing productivity and overall manufacturing efficiency. Manufacturers who have developed strategic plans for improving performance across the entirety of their business will see great benefits from helping them achieve long-term success and having better profitability over time. This is achieved by not only developing cost-effective manufacturing supply chains but by working with manufacturing suppliers who know how to help improve these critical manufacturing supply chains as well.
Use manufacturing network solutions to reduce manufacturing costs
Top manufacturing companies must use logistics software that is able to help them to eliminate inventories and manufacturing waste across the enterprise. This is to be done while also being able to promote collaboration throughout their operations in order for them to develop a seamless manufacturing supply chain that operates at a high level of efficiency. In order to remain competitive, manufacturers should be looking at ways by which they can cut manufacturing costs through both their manufacturing operations and supply chain initiatives (including the use of lean inventory strategies along with advanced manufacturing technologies). They’ll find there are many benefits from incorporating technology into their manufacturing supply chains, including cost reductions and improved quality control over manufacturing processes and finished goods.