Control Your Supply Chain, Don’t Let It Control You

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Manufacturers and distributors rely on a swift moving, high-quality supply chain for the products that they, in turn, supply their customers.  You need to have control, insight, and sound risk management plans in place in order to maintain control over your supply chain or your supply chain just might control you.

Many businesses have experienced some level of supply chain interruption from late deliveries, wrong quantities, or even the unannounced discontinuation of an important item.  These interruptions can cause minor problems with production schedules or major problems, such as not being able to satisfy a customer order on-time or even at all.  In today’s highly competitive marketplace, it’s simply not enough to maintain supplier or vendor data in a spreadsheet or database and have a “Plan B” when one of them fails to deliver.  A stronger business management tool, like Supply Base Manager (SBM) by RockySoft, can provide the control and visibility you need to manage a successful supply chain.

You can monitor your suppliers’ (or vendors’) delivery performance with the SBM.  Lead times are assigned to the individual items you receive from vendors so that you can plan production according to anticipated receipt of your raw materials.  Safety time is built into the lead times which can account for standard delays in deliveries as well as support replenishment planning efforts.  Over time, as you track deliveries, you can analyze vendor performance.  You can use this data to determine which of your vendors are the most reliable, especially in short turnaround situations.  You can also use this data as leverage during negotiations or to further streamline replenishment planning.

The Supply Base Analyzer (SBA) by RockySoft can provide additional insight into levels of available inventory and you can connect this data to those specific vendors.  You can use the SBA to track Days Supply of Inventory, monitor open POs, and share forecasted data with vendors.  By sharing your planned forecasts, for example, your vendors can schedule their own capacities or notify you early on if there could be a problem with supplying the items you need, when you need them.

Your supply chain can be an asset or a liability, depending on how much insight and control you have over it.  Contact RockySoft for more information on using today’s inventory management solutions to gain control over your supply chain before it controls you.

By Jeffrey Porter with RockySoft, demand planning ISV for Microsoft Dynamics ERP

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