Methods

Whether the issue is to cut costs, better space utilisation, reduce stocks, improve the quality of service or even validating master files, Supply Advantage carries out assignments with three main protocols; and these apply for all industries, whether they be: manufacturing, retail, transport, energy, utilities, or any other.

  •  Focusing on operational issues
  • Working across associated functions
  • Adopting solutions aligned with strategic plans

Focusing on operational issues

Supply chain issues are many and complex, they can also be caused by a supplier, customer or even the weather.

We focus on the issue, the cause and the available options, not on ancillary problems which waste available resources. It is from understanding the supply chain and what affects it that Supply Advantage can propose solutions, some of which may be simple, while others may be quite innovative.  However, we do try to avoid, where-ever possible the complex solution as these carry their own risks.  By focusing on the operational issue at hand, we can assess the economic benefit of the available opportunities.

Experience with supply chain issues and opportunities in a variety of industries has provided Supply Advantage with an array of tools.  The tools, skills and experiences we utilise help speed the whole process, as well as being able to present the best possible solutions to the Customer prior to instigating any particular improvement plan.

Working across associated functions

All functions in a business have an impact on or are impacted by another department. With this fact in mind, we look to see where were synergies can be gained while solving the issue at hand, this can only be done by having awareness of the overall flow of information.

The affect of this is two-fold. Firstly, we can address the direct impact of the issue on all departments and address this, secondly we look at improving the process involved, the intent here is to streamline the process, removing ‘extra’ work that is not adding value and simplifying the process so it is easier to understand and/or identify when issues are becoming evolving.  This method of addressing issues also means that information is gained from, and shared with all stockholders, which in turn will reduce the risk of further incidence.

An innovative example: it was identified that consumables were being shipped months after the product (bulky) had been shipped (sold) as required by the final customer. The impact on Customer Service, Marketing and Accounts, Warehouse and Transport was either an expense or resourcing cost. The solution: a discounted “bundle” of consumables sold at the time of each new product purchase. Sales value improved slightly but the cost of processing and shipping the order reduced dramatically, thus increasing profit at both ends.

Adopting solutions aligned with strategic plans

At Supply Advantage , we have seen solutions put in place to address a problem at first glance, appeared to resolve the issue.  Problems later arose because the ‘fix’ was not in line with the company’s own strategy.

This is obviously a major business problem as it will (at best) mean new issues need addressing and might also mean a re-assessment of the original issue – which is simply double handling or “re-work”.

During the discovery phase of the issue, we discuss with our Customer their strategic goals and how this issue is affecting those goals. With this knowledge, we can formulate solutions that “fit” with the company, its culture and its direction.