3 Key Roles Of A Supply Chain Consultant & How They Can Help

Posted by Jason Tindley on 29-Dec-2017 10:20:00

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Good supply chain management results in a competitive edge, increased profitability and productivity through lean and efficient processes. No matter how satisfied you are with your specific network, only a cool appraisal by an independent external expert can reassure you that you are not missing any number of potential enhancements. You could be leaving money on the table unwittingly.

Prudent managers will be aware of the potential benefits of bringing in experts . Very frequently the ROI on fees appears on the books very quickly, making the engagement effectively free of charge and adding to the bottom line indefinitely going forward. So let’s look at some of the more significant benefits that a good consultancy firm will deliver:

Deep Expertise In A Wide Range Of Disciplines

A consultancy team has typically a far wider experience than is normally found in any single enterprise. Whether it is in logistics, warehousing, production or any other aspect, they have experienced a large number of operations and have seen what works well and not too well in a variety of industries, business sectors and operating conditions. They are specialists in their respective fields. This specialism is gold dust when assessing your operation and is where the real value lies in driving out recommendations for your operation.

Transport Planning & Strategy

For many organisations, this is the single biggest cost element of supply side operations. Whether you utilise internal assets or 3PL suppliers, expert analysis can quickly shed light on where the strategy can be improved, efficiencies obtained and wastage shaved.

  • Vehicle and resource utilisation - Utilisation rates indicate how efficient and productive your operation is and is the first step to making it more efficient.
  • Planning - Knowing utilisation and where underutilised vehicles / spare capacity exists, you can then review route planning.
  • Analysis and scenarios - Modelling software allows the operation to be mimicked in a virtual model using actual operational data and for potential solutions (scenarios) to then be modelled.
  • Transport choices and outsourcing – Consultants know the market and what constitutes good and bad pricing models for a blend of services to assist in making the correct decision.

Warehouse Planning & WMS Advice

The facilities and resources required to run the warehousing side of an operation represent another major overhead. Efficiency gains go straight to the bottom line and are a great example of the old “time is money” truism. Time savings can be identified in almost every aspect of warehousing – from receiving through goods inwards, picking, transfers right down to tracking slow moving inventory and lead times. The business landscape never stands still for very long. A thorough review and audit of your warehouse strategy can be the first focus point for a consultant.

Sound advice can guide you to choosing the most effective WMS or ERP software for your particular operation. Outdated procedures may be costing you both in terms of unnecessary overhead as well as inefficiencies of process. An expert will quickly identify the key functionalities that are vital for good warehouse management.

In summary, every company occasionally encounters challenges or scenarios that warrant the expert advice of a supply chain consultant. Expert diagnosis accompanied by clear and logical recommendations for resolution represent a sound investment in company efficiency and profitability. Your staff also greatly benefit from picking the brains of on-site consultants and receiving the benefit of deep experience of the field.

This article just scratches the surface of the vast range of benefits a consultancy delivers and we have chosen only a few of the major “quick wins” that typically result. Talk with us to understand what we can do to improve your own particular challenges. It is the simple first step to improvements that make your business tick over more effectively, more efficiently and more profitably.

For more information, please download our free Warehouse Productivity Guide by clicking here

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Topics: Supply Chain Strategy

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