Giving Your Supply Management a Competitive Edge

A recent article on five strategies to give your business a competitive edge this year in industry week for product development efforts is appropriate for supply management as well. Written by Renee Martin, co-author of The Risk Takers, it highlights how entrepreneurial strategies can help your supply chain to succeed.

What are the five strategies put forth, and what do they mean for your supply management practice?

  • Go on a Treasure Hunt and Find an Underserved Niche

    This is easy if you have a real Spend Analysis solution that will let you slice and dice a data set of up to 50 Million transactions any way you want on your laptop in real time.

  • Spot a New Trend and Pounce

    Once a new technology or solution has proven itself as significant generator of ROI, adopt it. For example, this means that it’s past time that you adopted strategic sourcing decision optimization and global trade solutions.

  • Buck the Conventional Wisdom

    Just because your current practice is considered a “best practice”, this doesn’t mean that it’s the absolute best practice for you. Maybe a revolutionary lean factory redesign could produce your product much more efficiently, maybe a distribution network redesign could greatly improve service levels without increasing costs, and maybe the best way to get the best price is to forget negotiation and work with your incumbent supplier to find a more cost-efficient product design.

  • Exploit Your Competitor’s Weaknesses and Make It Your Strength

    Are they slow to market? Find a faster means of delivery. Are their products more customized? Find a new manufacturing shop that can do smaller lots and quick line changes.

  • Trust Your Gut

    If you think a certain supply strategy is too risky, it probably is.

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