Even everyday supply chains are under a great deal of pressure when firms are trying to recover from serious issues; Problems with financial resources, the need to expand all over the world, having even more demanding customers wanting cost minimisation to reduce prices, and of course needing to have an agile plan which can adapt quickly to market and condition changes. Procurement consulting
Most modern companies use global supply networks in order to balance the need to grow their market share while still reducing their costs. Those at board level are constantly battling to deliver cost, service and cash flow improvements while still showing innovation and competitiveness. Their plans also have to cope with the complexities and risks inherent in managing monetary resources and any kind of assets.
A supply chain consultant will come into a company to bring expertise across a wide range of businesses, and assist the company in a variety of different ways. Here are just some examples of the things such a consultant might cover.
There should be a way to minimise and mitigate the risk of supplies going missing, being delayed or suddenly increasing so much in price that it puts profit margins in jeopardy. A consultant will help the company build processes and procedures which control risk management. This involves modelling behaviour in different times and conditions, and using price forecasting tools.
Instead of focusing on getting products from the factory to the customer, some supply chains instead work in reverse by working out the stages in how a product is distributed from the customer’s end backwards to the point of origin. Consultants assist with designing this type of supply chain, which turns it from a cost-based “necessary money sinkhole” into a competitive process which can actually win additional customers.
This is the term used to deliver highly complex simulations of processes as environments become more complicated and uncertain. Consultants are pivotal to this process as they can bring in data from a variety of sources rather than just the company itself, which makes modelling more reliable so that decisions can be both quicker and more useful. This is particularly critical when it comes to project managing implementation of new supply chain management.
When moving things around the world there are many factors which must be taken into account. As well as commonly considered factors such as weather conditions and facilities, additional considerations can include local import/export laws, labour laws or even traditional holidays which could clog up traffic routes and prevent movement of key supplies. A consultant will be able to show a company how to manage this by using global centres and regional hubs for their network, and there are many similar expert tactics to keep things moving,
There is little to be gained in planning a perfect supply chain if a company has not also planned around cash flow, sales and operations (S&OP) and synchronising supply and demand. Consultants will be able to show companies how to manage the many facets of supply chain management effectively, including how to make processes and networks adaptive and responsive so that rapidly-needed alterations to cope with a sudden change in conditions can be implemented smoothly without affecting running efficiency.
In order to locate a good supply chain consultant, extensive research is needed. Look for case studies and examples of work done for other clients in the same business sector, or with similar issues to the company seeking assistance. If in doubt, make contact to discuss the company’s needs in detail with the consultancy.