Future supply chain strategic review

After a long period of supply chain stability, we are in a new era where supply chain leaders will need to think beyond what were the old norms.  

In periods of stability, reducing inventory, slimming-down manufacturing processes for maximum efficiency and optimising operations are the ‘go-to’ approaches for regular business reviews, but post-COVID-19, structural flexibility will be the key. Rather than just minimising costs the emphasis will be placed on maximising reliability and responsiveness.

Logistics UK supply chain consultants can deliver a strategic future supply chain review to help you reinvent your operation in the post-COVID-19 world. We will aim to strengthen your supply chains by focusing on four key areas:

  • Security of supply
  • Digitisation
  • Automation
  • Process auditing

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Security of supply

Geography, supplier relationships, and the number of suppliers all determine the robustness of the supply chain.  The level of risk and improvement opportunities can be developed using the following steps.

  1. Create a risk map and identify potential weaknesses in supply and quantify the level of risk.
  2. Evaluate the options of ‘on’ or ‘near shoring’ supply.  This needs to include 2nd tier suppliers to truly test the robustness of supply.
  3. Determine the most appropriate supplier relationships and the mutual levels of dependence.  Consider any strategic items for insourcing.
  4. Review single points of supply and trade off risk against complexity.

This exercise delivers an overview of current sourcing arrangements and identifies areas of risks and opportunities.

 

Digitisation

Responsiveness is supported by relevant, accurate and timely information.  The first step to achieving this is to determine the information and KPI requirements needed to assess the gaps within the current service provision.

A comprehensive supply chain information strategy maps out what data is required, by whom and when, to support key operational and tactical decisions.  The crucial step is to set up ways to extract the information and present it in a useful format to the users. 

Much of the data is likely to be used in existing systems or that of third parties and can be collated using existing reporting functionality or an add-on reporting tool.

Our consultants can support this process using our supply chain systems experience in:

  • Functional assessment
  • Process mapping
  • Market knowledge
  • Implementation support

A clear view of the supply chain helps to control and adapt the physical operations.

 

Automation

Accessibility and affordability of automation has improved through greater autonomy and modularity of the solutions.  Social distancing, changing demand patterns, and manpower availability are COVID-19 effects that will further drive the business case for automation. 

Our approach to automation is simple, can new storage media, mechanisation, automation or robots improve the overall effectiveness and efficiency of a warehouse?  Evaluation of the opportunities revolves around core consultancy skills and experience:

  • Operational profiling –The warehouse design requirements are based on a combination of detailed operational profiling and forecast growth assumptions.
  • Storage and pick methodology - Our modelling tools calculates the optimum storage and pick methodologies based upon the operational profile.
  • Automation options - Our experience has led us to understand all of the current and emerging technologies that could help with your operational solutions.
  • MHE & staff requirements - Our proprietary simulation tools are used to evaluate alternative methods of storage, picking and handling. This includes manual, mechanical and automated options and shift patterns.

The outputs provide a quantitative comparison of the automation options, which allows for accurate costing, implementation planning and operational validation.

 

Process auditing

In order to extract the greatest benefit from alternative sourcing options, digitisation and automation, the operational processes are likely to need adaptating.  Understanding processes and the subsequent analysis is an integral part of our approach and can be extended to associated processes without too much additional effort.

A full review of end to end supply chain processes also offers a chance to identify any forms of waste, capture business specific requirements and systems interfaces.  This maximises the benefit of supply chain change initiatives and ensures processes are robust.

Our consultants use their operational experience and industry knowledge to develop solutions and processes that are both effective and pragmatic.  This is supported by our understanding of resource modelling, planning and systems functionality.

 

The future supply chain strategic review offers a clear direction post COVID-19 and embeds operational and tactical flexibility to adapt to the changing demands of the future.

 

To organise a free discussion with one of our consultants please complete the enquiry form:

Enquire today

Alternatively, get in touch by email:

Martin Palmer

Eddy de Jong

Paul Wilson

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