The future seems to come sooner than we expect: It was only twenty years ago that we were singing “Party like it’s 1999” and reminding each other to shut our computers down before midnight on December 31, 1999 in advance of Y2K. Now we’re staring down the barrel of 2020, trying to figure out what that means for the future of technology and how that affects our businesses.For supply chain, specifically, often global operations aren’t prepared for the next phase. Many are designed to manage stable, high-volume production by capitalizing on opportunities in low-cost countries such as China. The future, however, is anything but standard, and the best way to prepare for the future is to lay the groundwork right now.
Know Where You’ve Been
To plan for where you’re going, it’s important to know where you’ve been. A supply chain assessment lays out the current manufacturing and supply chain processes to find waste areas, especially waste areas related to current processes.
You might be tempted to dive in and try to fix everything right away. Beware: Trying to leverage advanced supply chain innovations without proper planning, automation, and optimization could result in disaster. Instead, let’s take a look at three initiatives you can put into place right now to lay the groundwork for the future.
- Improve Forecast Accuracy
Forecasts drive your supply chain processes by helping leaders decide how much raw material is needed as well as keep tabs on inventory ebb and flow for planning. If you’re struggling with accuracy in that forecast, additional inventory cost could be eating into the profit you were planning to earmark for supply chain innovation investments. Your demand planning is critical.
- Data Cleansing and System Integration
Without access to real-time data, you cannot hope to have accurate forecasting. And as we saw above, inaccurate forecasting heads downstream into your profits. Supply chains that rely on manual processes open themselves up to errors which could prove disastrous.
All is not lost: Integrating your ERP with advanced supply chain software cuts out the manual processes, drastically reducing the margin of error. Productivity also improves with access to real-time data. Without the right data and systems, you likely will not be successful with forecast accuracy.
- Metrics that Matter
The absolute breadth of data available now is a double-edged sword for businesses: If they aren’t looking at the right metrics, all the reports and graphs in the world won’t help drive that business forward. Instead, report on data and metrics that allow managers to easily find—and fix—critical gaps in the supply chain process. Some key metrics to consider include:
- Turnover rates
- Lead times
- Capacity utilization
- Forecast accuracy
Laying the Groundwork for Success
The point is, you can’t get ready for the future of your supply chain strategy if you’re not 100 percent solid on the processes that exist today. Getting to the future and advanced supply chain solutions is doable, but only if you’ve been sure to hit all the critical steps between here and there.
If you’re working on improving your supply chain strategy in 2019 to position your organization for better success in 2020 and beyond, you’ll need the right supply chain software, and the right supply chain software partner. Known for streamlining inefficient processes, growing revenue streams, and reducing costs, PositiveVision has been leveraging the power of technology and software for more than 15 years to improve supply chain processes. Let us help you lay that groundwork for success. Call 800-559-1323 or click here to get started today.