Your supply chain is responsible for a large part of your operating costs and determines how you are able to react when an unexpected increase in demand occurs for critical items. By taking the following measures to improve and optimize your supply chain, you’ll cut costs while safely navigating unforeseen events and circumstances.
Good inventory management is the cornerstone of an efficient and resilient supply chain. When it goes right, managing the availability of inventory at your plant is effortlessly smooth and easy. When it goes wrong, lost productivity can incur heavy costs when critical items go missing or are unaccounted for.
To optimize your inventory:
- Take Stock: The first step is to make a thorough inspection of your current inventory and how it is managed. Make sure that all items are properly labelled and documented so that you know exactly what your inventory contains. Create fail-safe processes for adding and removing items, as well as identifying items that are obsolete. Determine who will be authorized to add or remove stock and give them the proper training to avoid logistical mistakes.
- Classify, Prioritize, Label: Next, classify each item in your inventory according to how critical a shortage would be to your productivity. This is usually done by performing a risk analysis based on the cost that would be incurred if that part were not available when required.
- Build Strategic Relationships: Don’t forget to factor in lead times and look to reduce your risk by seeking out local suppliers who can source directly from manufacturers, cutting down on delivery time to save you money. Each touch between the manufacturer and you not only increases the cost of an item, but also the risk that you will see additional delays during shipping and handling.
Managing inventory in this way will help to decrease risk and costs when a replacement part is needed. Often, the cost of the replacement part is negligible compared to the cost of employee downtime due to part failure or replacement.
Calculating Stock Requirements
Especially during times of disruption to your supply chain, it’s important to optimize your inventory to strike the right balance between having enough spare parts on hand to maintain your operations and avoiding excessive spending on items you may not need.
When you under-stock essential components, you risk experiencing lost productivity when equipment fails. Even a few hours looking for a supplier who can ship the product out to you, and waiting for it to arrive, can mean missed production schedules and unhappy clients.
Similarly, overstocking parts can cost you a significant amount of money. Besides the initial purchasing cost, spare parts incur storage costs, labor costs to keep them maintained, the risk of obsolescence, and opportunity costs from tying up valuable resources that may be better utilized in other parts of your business.
The right amount of stock depends on the results of the risk analysis you conducted for each of the spare parts in your supply chain. Components that are critical and low-cost should be stocked abundantly, while the right number of more expensive parts will depend on balancing the purchasing cost of additional units and the risk of not having the part in inventory.
One of the best ways to slash your supply chain costs while reducing the risk of shortages is to connect with local suppliers who can offer you fast access to all the motors, controls, gearboxes, and parts that you need to keep your processes up and running.
Here at eMotors Direct, we have over 20,000 SKU's and more than $75 million in inventory readily available in warehouses located throughout Canada. With over 30 warehouses from coast to coast, we can offer fast shipping at an economical price. By partnering with us, you don’t have to stockpile huge amounts of your own inventory to mitigate the risk of disruptions to your processes from delays in your supply chain.
With our expertise in sourcing the highest quality products directly from over 20 trusted manufacturers, you can focus on investing resources in the areas closest to your unique specialties.
Our service, like our products, offers you outstanding reliability. With in-house motor experts and technicians, we offer valuable motor proficiency to help ensure you receive the right product.
Improving Your Supply Chain
A good supply chain facilitates the flow of information between different areas of your operation to enable accurate forecasts of future supply requirements and avoids dependency on a single physical location or supply line to source essential items for your business.
Instead of the traditional linear supply chain method, where businesses operate reactively to unexpected events such as equipment failure, it’s necessary to develop a better system that enables you to predict future events and plan accordingly.
Industries are quickly moving toward a new analytics-driven approach that combines diverse information such as historical data on component failure rates, maintenance data, production schedules and more, enabling accurate risk modelling and the development of effective supply chain strategies that can be deployed well ahead of time.
This approach utilizes advanced technologies such as analytics and modelling software, IoT (Internet of Things), machine learning and AI to extract important insights from large amounts of internal and external data, identifying both risks and opportunities that lie ahead. This gives you the flexibility and competitive edge to avoid problems that your competitors cannot yet see.
By exploring new ways to use data-driven technology to improve your supply chain, you’ll be better prepared to deal with disruptions and avoid missing key opportunities to improve and develop your business.
Maintaining a robust supply chain includes good inventory management practices, finding the right local supplier with fast shipping to buffer against supply shortages, and taking an analytical, predictive approach to forecasting and managing risk to minimize impacts on your productivity.
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