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Are gaps in your supply chain holding back your growth?

Recent research carried out for The Access Group by Redshift found that 1 in 5 finance managers experience problems with holding more stock than necessary, wastage and returns, lack of visibility of true costs, and a reduced understanding of distribution costs. Many of these issues could arise during special circumstances, such as a new product launch or marketing promotion. However, these problems are widespread even during ‘normal’ trading.

These are all symptoms of a dysfunctional supply chain – one in which key parts are not working cohesively.

So, what’s the solution? The obvious way forward is to connect the individual operational elements to a business intelligence system. Such a system can identify and analyse business data like revenue, costs, products and income, and ensure that information is communicated in ways that support the entire length of the supply chain. 

You might assume that most companies use reasonably modern systems in at least part of their operation – systems that are designed for integration and connectivity. However, 40% of finance professionals contacted as part of the research said their organisations relied almost entirely on manual or spreadsheet methods to keep track of the business. Integrating functional systems is clearly a challenge, and the research backs this up. 30% of managers reported a lack of integration between internal systems, while around a fifth complain of poor integration and communication with suppliers and distribution partners.

An earlier survey among supply chain professionals* showed four of the top six ‘areas for desired improvement’ were firmly centred on communication and connection – communication with suppliers and customers, better planning with fewer rush jobs, and a greater ability to cope with customers’ changing orders.

A well-connected supply chain is like a modern train. Imagine a driver who can apply and release the brakes, instantaneously on instruction – a driver who has ‘intelligence’ on each vehicle and can adjust the brake effort to suit the weight of the wagon and conditions of the track. No crashing, no banging, no jerking, no damage. A modern supply chain should do the same.

If you’d like to discuss how you can implement a supply chain that seamlessly drives your business goals, contact a member of the team on 01202 308000.

*Research carried out by The Access Group, 2016

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