Daily Archives: October 16, 2023

Strengthening Supply Chains is Simple …

It just takes proper people, planning, processes, and platforms. But let’s backtrack.

Forbes recently ran an article on how companies can improve supply chain management to strengthen business operations in 2023 which gave some great advice on various ways a business can improve their supply chain management, which included the following suggestions:

  • align partnerships to prepare for supply chain disruptions,
  • prioritize Learning & Development when it comes to automation in quality-focussed procurement, and
  • look ahead

… and these are really great suggestions, but they skip the starting point — and if an organization does not start off right

  • you’ll never be able to align the wrong partnerships,
  • no Learning & Development program will deliver fast enough if your people don’t have the right educational and experiential background, and
  • looking ahead will be impossible without the right platform.

You see, before you can jump into partnerships and learning and development, you have to go back and make sure you get the basics rights.

  1. Define proper procurement processes, including what will be strategically vs. tactically purchased, this will help you
  2. Hire the right people with the right backgrounds for the categories — not necessarily experienced buyers, but possibly experienced engineers with the insights to know what is needed, what makes a supplier who can meet the needs, when the cost models/quotes are accurate, etc. as it’s often easier to teach an engineer proper purchasing than teach a business grad the basics of electrical engineering
  3. Select the right platforms, which will allow you to qualify and select the right suppliers with whom you can build productive partnerships and
  4. Build the right models, which will allow you to do proper predictive analytics for demand, supply, and related planning

When you get the foundations right, it’s easy to build on those with partnerships and advanced training (to make your good buyers even better), but if you don’t have the foundations right, any attempts to polish partnerships and buildup better buyers will be for naught. (For more on foundations, see past articles on this blog, including The 39 Part Series to Help You Figure Out Where to Start with Source-to-Pay.)