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Supply Chain Growth in the Workforce

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Most manufacturers, as well as retail and technology businesses, are aware of the importance of a strong supply chain as it correlates to productivity and profitability.  As a result, the consulting firms that work with these businesses, and the businesses themselves, are on the look-out for professionals with supply chain expertise.

According to “The Hot New M.B.A.: Supply-Chain Management,” posted on WSJ.com by Melissa Korn, colleges and universities are adding courses and degree programs that include procurement, inventory management, and supply chain strategy.  Food and drug contaminations and see-through yoga pants are a few examples of why it’s important to know your suppliers, as well as the products you buy from them and send out into the marketplace.  Not having access to all of the details, one can only imagine how much time and money (and reputation) could have been saved had someone been able to more thoroughly evaluate the fabric before it was manufactured into yoga pants, sent to the stores across the country, and into the hands of unsatisfied (and possibly embarrassed) customers.

Managing your supply chain well can put a little extra money in your pockets or buoy your reputation.  For large-scale retailers, like Michael’s Craft stores discussed in the article, there is a strategy to satisfying customers in each of their 1,100 stores scattered across the United States.  Not every store is going to want the same products, so the trick is finding out what craft products are more popular in each region.  You don’t want to waste money in having inventory sit on the shelves any more than you want to risk stock-outs on more popular items.  A comprehensive enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution can assist a supply-chain expert in determining what items sell well, or poorly, in different regions.

The right technology, like one of the Microsoft Dynamics® ERP solutions, is a great start to getting your supply chain in order.  The article by Korn also suggests that enterprise corporations are picking out college graduates straight from institutions with supply-chain programs, as well as experienced professionals freshening up on their skills in these new programs.  The talent is out there if you don’t already have it in house.

Managing an efficient supply chain can improve productivity and profitability, as well as boost customer satisfaction.   On the other hand, an uncontrolled supply chain can wreak havoc with leftover inventory, poor quality products, and unhappy customers.  Contact Socius for more information about improving supply chain performance.

By Socius, Microsoft Dynamics ERP Partner based out of Ohio (http://www.socius1.com/)

 

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