Once you start tracking these performance metrics, you may find that there is room for improvement across different processes in terms of speed or productivity. Here are some tips to help you improve those numbers and ultimately boost your supply chain velocity.
Continuously optimize your supply chain
Supply chain optimization is an ongoing process. Even if your current metrics are satisfactory, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll remain satisfactory several months down the line.
Situations change, and unexpected events or challenges may arise that could affect your supply chain’s performance. As such, there will likely always be areas and metrics that could benefit from optimization.
To keep improving your supply chain, you’ll need to continuously analyze your supply chain operations and recalculate metrics frequently. While it doesn’t have to be a daily occurrence, checking metrics periodically will help you identify problem areas and fix them before they lead to bigger issues.
Having real-time visibility into your entire supply chain provides you with up-to-date data that you can use to make better decisions, and subsequently improve your supply chain metrics.
For example, visibility into inventory levels at all stages of the supply chain provides you with an accurate sense of how inventory is moving, and lets you time inventory replenishment accurately to satisfy customer demand.
Similarly, better supply chain visibility is essential for identifying any bottlenecks and delays. The quicker you pinpoint the source of an inefficiency, the quicker you can implement solutions — so having insight into your supply chain improves your overall efficiency and helps you optimize your supply chain management (or SCM).
“ShipBob has given us increased visibility thanks to the dashboard that allows us to easily manage stock and orders. That wasn’t possible for us before. Our relationship with ShipBob has been a game-changer for Quadrant, and it’s made my life so much easier.”
Will Kerr, Apparel Lead at Quadrant
Automate supply chain processes
One of the best ways to improve your metrics is by implementing supply chain automation in key functions.
By automating manual tasks that are menial and time-consuming (such as generating essential documents, generating pick lists, or paying out invoices), you can allocate human attention and hours to the most important activities, which saves time while increasing productivity.
Moreover, automation minimizes or eliminates human errors such as duplicating orders or incorrect data. This creates a lean supply chain that’s efficient, cost-effective, and more accurate.
Adopt supply chain software
The right supply chain technology can go a long way towards achieving better metrics.
While there are a variety of supply chain softwares on the market, consider investing in an inventory management system (IMS), order management system (OMS), and/or warehouse management system (WMS) to help you optimize your inventory tracking, order processing, and warehouse operations for efficiency.
Some supply chain software even uses artificial intelligence in different supply chain functions, which can improve certain metrics. For instance, some AI programs can detect patterns, trends, and gaps in sales data to predict future demand.
Additionally, you could improve warehousing supply chain metrics by leveraging robotics and self-driving trucks along with powerful warehouse management software.