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How History Can Improve This Year’s Supply Chain

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By studying the past, we can improve the future.  In “Five Supply Chain Trends That Shaped 2012,” posted by Sean Riley on SCMR.Com, evaluating strategies and ideas that worked (or didn’t work) last year can provide the insight needed to grow and do better this year.  All five ideas are too much to discuss in this short blog post, so here are the top three trends worth consideration.

  1. Cut costs, not customer service:  Economic conditions have forced most businesses to cut costs where ever possible.  However, some cost-cutting measures can impact customer service levels.  Now, more than ever, strengthening customer relationships is critical to maintaining healthy sales.  When it comes time to trimming budgets, consider how your customers may be affected.  It will cost you more in the long run to attract new customers and regrow sales after losing your loyal customers.
  2. Make contingency plans and know how to respond quickly:  There are a lot of benefits to maintaining lean inventory levels, but only if you have the technology to spot declining counts and the ability to reorder before the production line gets shut down.  Having contingency plans in place that help your team respond quickly to certain situations, such as low inventory levels that can lead to stock-outs, can get you out of a crisis quicker.
  3. Big data is in the spotlight:  Big data made more headlines in 2012 than many celebrities.  Every business creates a lot of data that, when harnessed and analyzed properly, can provide valuable insight.  Today’s technology can collect vast amounts of data and churn it into meaningful information.  With this information, you can build efficiency and increase the productivity and profitability of your supply chain.  Riley indicates that this technology may “become a ‘must have’ rather than a ‘nice to have’” for businesses who want to strengthen their supply chain.

One of the bottom line ideas that bring all five of Riley’s trends together is the use of supply chain technology.  Collecting and analyzing data, and leveraging this insight to improve your supply chain is within easy reach when using enterprise resource planning (ERP), such as Microsoft Dynamics® NAV along with NAV-X (http://www.distributionsoftware.co/demo/). Learning from the experience of others can save you from growing pains and headaches on your own journey to building or managing a successful business.  Contact NAV-X Distribution Software for additional guidance in choosing the technology that can improve your supply chain.

By Sheldon Kralstein of NAV-X, LLC, Advanced Distribution Solution for Microsoft Dynamics NAV

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