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Seven Tips for Building the Strategic B2B Supply Chain

It can be a hard-knock life for the B2B manager, particularly when it comes to convincing executives about the value of your contribution.

For instance, a recent Pricewaterhouse Cooper shows that supply chain leaders who viewed supply chains as a strategic discipline achieved 87 percent more than average function in annual inventory turnover. Despite this, less than half said their companies viewed the supply chain as strategic and just 9 percent said their supply chain was helping them outperform their peers, according to Supply Management.

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The Value of Ensuring Supply Chain Information

This past weekend I attended a cooking seminar at a favorite restaurant of mine and was reminded of the value of maintaining consistent information in the supply chain.  The
chef shared a story about a delivery of product that was made earlier in the week for beef that was labeled as “Chuck Sirloin”.  The problem is that this is quite impossible.  Chuck and sirloin come from two different portions of a cow a single piece of beef can never be labeled as “Chuck Sirloin” and that made this product delivery completely valueless.  The product was returned and probably disposed of – both of which was at the expense of the supplier.

I was reminded of the importance of ensuring supply chain information is transmitted properly and the value of being able to identify when errors occur and how to resolve them quickly.  ASN’s or BOL’s containing incorrect or incomplete information destroy the profitability of that order and degrade customer satisfaction.  The ability to link the correct data with the correct orders, deliveries or inbound receipts enables an enterprise to focus on optimizing processes and outcomes rather than issue resolution.  Ensuring that the supporting information matches the physical movements in a supply chain requires continuous monitoring, which can be a burdensome task, and is only a basic building block for supply chain excellence.  Because of this notion, exception based management of these issues is a mandatory to allow an organizations associates to focus on improvement rather than on simple error resolution.

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