Wednesday, 28 May 2014

What Makes a Supply Chain lean?

There are six key points that result in a lean supply chain:

Waste Reduction
It is necessary to work hard to reduce waste if you want to create a lean supply chain. Waste comes in various forms such as time, inventory, defeats and unnecessary processes in manufacturing. Assess the waste from the perspective of the supply chain wherever possible.

Demand Management
If you want to compete in the market place you need to focus on demand management. Focus on the supply chain as viewed by your customer, ensuring excellent performance, fulfilment and satisfaction.

Process standardisation
With the standardisation of the processes it is possible to create a continuous flow throughout the company and the supply chain. Products or services shouldn’t be interrupted at any point. Use horizontal connective processes rather than vertical organisational structures and avoid roadblocks from systems such as work in queue, batch processing and in the transportation of goods.

Engaging with people
Managers must engage people, creating lean campaigns that reach throughout the organisation. Engage people through sharing intellectual assets, motivating people and creating a lean supply chain that is built to last.

Working together is essential when creating a lean supply chain. Organisations can come together and share resources, risk and information for joint success.

Once you have begun to benefit from the lean supply chain you must continue to work on improving the processes and operations. Monitoring, auditing and evaluation are essential.

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