The UK private sector has shown remarkable resilience during these times of crisis in supply chains, according to the Confederation of British Industry’s (CBIs) latest growth indicator, which shows that activity has been growing at an above-average pace. Data showed that consumer services growth accelerated to 24% from 6%, while manufacturing output and distribution sales rose from 15% to 16% to 32% and 29%, respectively. The CBI also forecasts even more significant growth over the next three months.
Despite this positive news, there are several supply chain disruptions such as strong demand and low inventories as well as heavy vehicle and driver shortages to cope with. So how can your business survive these scenarios? One of the best ways to ensure that your business still experiences growth is to create a personalised strategy to generate improved visibility, performance and satisfaction by aligning your supply chain with your organisation’s specific needs.
The most effective approach is to create an advanced supply chain strategy interconnected and aligned with your business strategy. Just like your overall business objective is to develop a competitive advantage, your supply chain should do the same. The best way to achieve that is to develop a goal for your supply chain using the leverage of your organisation’s core competencies. Here are some steps that we hope will help you to align your supply chain with the strategy of your business:
Steps to take when aligning your supply chain
1. Define, plan and communicate.
Firstly, you must develop your business and supply chain strategy to work as a unit. These strategies should be extensive to prioritise the market requirements and factors such as cost, delivery, trends, etc. Set measurable goals and be realistic in defining how your business will measure up to competitors. After these strategies have been defined, communicate them to all your team members and incorporate them into daily operations.
2. Link supply chain segmentation attributes to your functional capabilities.
Monitor your corporate strategy and supply chain strategy and connect the dots between them. Link cost, speed, and service traits to fundamental functional competencies such as supply management, cost-efficiency and agility. By doing this, you can see which areas your supply chain must perform to prioritise your objectives. Once you have defined your goals, you will be able to make critical decisions for both your in-house and outsourcing operations.
3. Use your abilities to configure and map your processes.
Consider using a cost-to-serve model to recognise the cost and working capital ramifications of particular supply chain services and processes (that aid trade-offs in delivering customer service value). Connect the required capabilities to supply management procedures and configure them, for example, efficient bulk buys and locked volumes. Cost-to-serve models reduce the complexity of logistics and distribution cost accounts for Board Rooms and operational management. Importantly, it focuses attention on the costs which make a material difference to the P&L account and the service levels which affect sales and stock.
4. Align your internal stakeholders so that you can execute your processes
This entails supply management leadership communication and engagement to coordinate internal stakeholders on the specific regulations, business processes, actions, and appropriate measures required to execute and deliver value successfully. This creates a sense of mutual understanding between the organisation and internal stakeholders.
5. Align external stakeholders with strategies and actions to deliver value.
Achieving this alignment calls for leadership involvement and collaboration to guarantee that suppliers understand the initiatives and performance objectives required to meet cost, speed, and service qualities. External stakeholders must be aware of the organisation’s purpose and value to its customers, vendors, retailers, and the market. Include representatives as much as possible from stakeholder groups in strategic planning conversations. Don’t confine planning and risk assessment meetings to the top management level.
When analysing the market, try not to overlook the shift in perceptions being driven by the climate crisis and media coverage of COP26, the opportunity to develop objectives supporting positive corporate perception is very real and should be considered.
Creating an effective supply chain is not a one-size-fits-all process. Every business is different and can benefit from a sustainable supply chain that integrates with its unique business plan and caters to its vulnerabilities. At Bisham Consulting, our expert team will actively and passionately help you develop your logistics and supply chain management with operational and commercial experience second to none. Your business also should consider incorporating supply chain risk management strategies to mitigate financial risks, reputational risks, natural disasters, etc.