Supply chain standardization is a challenging yet beneficial process for all businesses regardless of their scale or target markets. With COVID-19 crisis underway, writing a reliable supply chain management plan for your company has become more than a welcome addition to its business model.
However, drafting such a document without insight into typical supply management practices can be tricky. Businesses which deal with import/export, as well as those who require raw materials for processing, know what such documents should and shouldn’t contain. With that in mind, let’s discuss the steps to write a supply chain management plan in 2020 in order to better streamline your procurement pipeline.
The Value behind Writing a Supply Chain Management Plan
Why should you pay attention to strategic supply chain management in your company? After all, you’ve handled procurement without such documents before, what is different now? As we’ve briefly mentioned, the current global crisis has put a wrench in the proverbial machine for numerous industries, physical shipping included.
Whether you operate as a redistribution or packaging company for your local market or work in manufacture and require raw substances, proper supply management matters. Businesses in the B2B sector tend to work with long-time and reputable brands far more than they do with new players on the market.
Here are some relevant facts in regards to supply chain management as published by Finances Online recently:
- 57% of companies believe that proper supply chain management gives them a competitive edge
- 62% of companies have limited visibility of their supply chain management
- 74% of companies utilize 4-5 transportation methods based on current situation
- 46% of businesses don’t track their inventory and have no automated method to track it
Despite the potential loss of revenue, industry reputation and public trust, many businesses still fail to use a supply chain management plan to their benefit. This opens the doors for your own and other companies who are willing to go forward and write such a plan to maximize future productivity. Doing so will also bring several crucial advantages into your corner, including:
- Increased net revenue
- Better B2B networking potential
- Improved in-house productivity
- Lowered margin for supply management errors
- Better analytics possibilities due to standardization
Steps to Write a Supply Management Plan
1.Assess your Current Supply Pipeline
The best place to start writing your supply chain management plan is through an internal audit of your company. More specifically, analyze the ways in which you have procured goods or services up to this point. What worked well and what caused you problems? Which companies were willing to work with you long-term and which ones turned out to be less than ideal for cooperation?
Go through the available documentation and try to separate your current supply management pipeline into “good” and “bad”. Whatever is good, you can carry over into standardized procurement going forward, and vice versa. Don’t write a supply chain management plan without a clear idea of where your company currently stands on.
2.Define the Supply Management Outline
A supply chain management plan is a written document which serves to standardize your procurement processes. As such, you should start writing it with the goal of creating a long-term template which your sales department can use for the foreseeable future. Start by outlining your company’s basic information on the front page. You can use a thesis writing company in order to write or edit your supply management documentation in a reliable manner.
Data related to your legal and contact information should find their place on the aforementioned front page. Leave an empty table on the first page just below the legal information as you will copy the data in regards to your order here afterward. The purpose of the outline page is to give your recipient a clear idea of the procurement request without having to read through multiple pages.
3.Quality Assurance (QA) Overview
Depending on your warehousing units and available technology, your QA details should find their way into the supply chain management plan. This will give both your employees and procurement companies you work with ample information on what can and cannot be stored on your property.
Certain items might require refrigeration or special storage due to their chemical properties, unlike electronics or paper products which are more durable. The information on your QA requirements in regards to transport and storage will let the supplier know exactly what logistical resources you have available. It will also proactively ensure that no goods arrive at your company without explicitly following the QA standards.
4.Break down your Supply Needs
The list of goods you require from a supplier should be highlighted in the supply chain management plan to allow for quick and easy access. Depending on the industry you operate in, this list can take the form of a spreadsheet, a bulleted list or a chart with visualized supply elements.
You should account for any special requests you may have and clearly outline what those refer to in a separate section. If you require pipes of a specific diameter, length and material which is otherwise not standard for your supplier, make sure to annunciate that point. Make sure that there are no typos or spelling mistakes in this section as they can severely hinder your efforts at supply standardization. Proofread both your supply chain management plan’s template and any future supply procurement requests you file using said template.
5.Develop a Supply Timeline
Once you assemble a list of goods you require, you should proceed to outline the delivery timeline for your supplier’s benefit. Do you simply require these items to be packaged and ready for pickup by your company? Or, do you require different amounts of items to go to different warehouses or retail storefronts under your brand?
The supply timeline is just as important as the breakdown of your required goods as short deadlines or wide distribution requirements may not be viable. The timeline will give your supplier enough information to make an objective decision on whether or not to proceed with your order. As such, this section should include contact information for your sales department representative which can be used to confirm or further discuss the procurement request.
6.Government Laws & Regulations
Lastly, international shipping will require you to list laws and regulations in regards to your government’s import standards. Whether you transport goods by international roads, water or air, government regulations should be made available to your supplier. The same can be said for state-to-state shipping in the US, as different states will have drastically different shipping standards.
Including this section in your supply chain management plan will significantly speed up customs processes on both ends. Likewise, it will ensure that your supply arrives as was intended, which is important for goods which require special storage and handling (see QA standards).
Follow Up and Reinvent (Conclusion)
While the goal of writing a supply chain management plan is to standardize your procurement process, you can build on the foundation through supplier feedback. Inquire about how legible, organized and informative your supply documentation is with companies.
Ask for feedback on what works and doesn’t work, as well as what they would do differently in your place. The role of the supply chain management plan template is to help you, not hinder your productivity – be on the lookout for more development opportunities. Adopting such a mindset will ensure that your documentation becomes of higher quality and easier to manage over time.
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Author’s bio. Daniela McVicker is a passionate digital marketer. Daniela is interested in everything related to SEO and blogging. She collaborates with Essayguard and other websites where she shares her experience and helps marketers make their names in the online world.