The world is in a state of perpetual change as it expands and adapts new ways of doing business. The company’s that adapt to those changes are finding out that supply chain planning is extremely important. Without an effective plan in place, you may find your company struggling to meet demand or even worse, falling behind on production.
Supply chain planning is nothing more than looking ahead and working your materials to meet demand, deliver products on-time, produce quality service, and keep inventory stocked so demand can be met. There are a lot of things that go into good solid planning and development. If it is not done right, then there will be problems in the process of your supply chain. Here are some steps that you can follow to help make the process a success.
Steps to Developing an Effective Supply Chain Planning Strategy
Everyone needs to know the plan. Anyone that is left in the dark of the plan will have trouble thinking through the process. Before sitting down to meet with everyone, it is advisable to provide a high-level plan map to each person. You will need to look at forecasting statistics and demand data to help develop your plan of attack and where you want to see the company in the future.
Everyone will need to agree on a strategy to help keep inventory stocked up. All along the supply chain, there will need to be some kind of storage available for the manufacturing part and the storage part of the completed product. Whatever this plan looks like, everyone will need to agree on the method and the process of how it gets done.
You will also need to constantly optimize and adjust your inventory. Supply and demand are always changing, as are supply chain technologies. You may have enough of one product or material one day and the next it is all gone. By planning for future supply and demand you can make sure that all the materials are in stock prior to making the end product for the consumer. You may also need to shift some items from one warehouse to another in order to meet demand in a different region.
Always keep enough workers on hand to meet demand. There is a tendency to use only enough people to maintain a certain level of production. It is a good idea to have enough people hired as part-time and full-time in case the demand changes and you have to increase production.
Do not be afraid to make decisions for the future. There are times when a decision needs to be made before things can move forward.
Supply chain planning is critical to everyday operations. It provides you with a map to the future. Without good planning, you will find that your company will start to lose money and that is just something that you cannot afford.