Know Your Supply Chain To Mitigate Risks

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How well you know your supply chain can have an impact on the quality of your products, including the products you have in research and design.  When developing a new product, you may want to consider whether your suppliers will be able to provide the raw materials you need when your product is ready to go full-scale. 

It’s easy to get so focused on internal operations, the quality of products that are being manufactured, and the customer service that the supply chain is overlooked.  Also, as existing products are being improved or as new products are being designed, the focus on your supply chain can be further minimized.  After years of seamless interactions with trusted suppliers, businesses assume that necessary raw materials will always be available – a dangerous assumption.

Although product quality is critical to your successful business, so is a reliable supply chain.  A robust enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution can make it easier to get the control and visibility that you need to have with your supply chain.  You can use your ERP solution to maintain critical information about the raw materials you need such as which suppliers offer those items, associated costs, and delivery schedules.  You can note primary and secondary suppliers so that should one supplier fail to deliver, you can quickly find another that can.  Once you know that you have a steady stream of raw materials, you can then leverage your supply chain to your competitive advantage. 

Communicating early and often with suppliers will generate a powerful repository of data about the raw materials that you use today as well as those that you may need for new products.  You can then reference this supplier data to determine potential production costs for new products or when upgrading existing products.  In addition, you can use your inventory, supplier, and production data to forecast future needs with greater accuracy and well in advance of production schedule.  This extra lead time may reduce costs with raw material purchases if you can buy in larger quantities as well as reduced shipping costs when you can make purchases early.

Your suppliers may not always be there when you need them.  They may experience business fluctuations and phase out certain items which can impact your operations.  Get to know your suppliers and have supplier data at your fingertips with the right ERP solution.  Contact OmniVue for more information about mitigating supplier risks with an ERP solution customized specifically for your business.

By OmniVue, Georgia Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM Partner

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