A recent article in Canadian Manufacturing on the seven habits of highly successful SME supply chains had three great habits that all supply chains should follow:
- Long-Term Approach
As the article points out, identifying overseas export markets and establishing supply chain partners in those markets can be a time-consuming and costly endeavour. As a result, it’s important to take a long term view when identifying overseas markets and selecting supply chain partners in those markets as you won’t be able to make a quick change if you make a mistake.
- Inventory Intelligence
In a downturn, it’s easy to get stuck with excess inventory that will have to be sold at a loss, if you’re lucky, or written off entirely, if you’re not. Also, in an upturn, it’s easy to sell-out and lose sales to a competitor with a similar product. In both cases, poor inventory management can cost your company a lot of money. Inventory needs to be based on real demand, which comes from demand signals. That’s why you need to take the leap of faith and tie into retailer PoS systems for current demand signals.
- Cultural Cleverness
It’s not just SMEs in Canada who have been vexed by unanticipated strains in relations and delays due to miscommunication sparked by cultural differences. That’s why this blog ran two series, edited by Dick Locke, on Overcoming Cultural Differences in International Trade and Cultural Intelligence. Before you work with a different culture, better get some cultural training.