Identifying Opportunities in Your Supply Chain

Before manufacturers can begin implementing new operational practices or reaching out to prospective supply enterprises, they must have a firm understanding of their own organization’s supply challenges.

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Recently, EMC hosted Manufacturing Consultant Kim Wolf (of Kim Wolf Consulting) for an event on Supply Chain Challenges. During this event, Kim gave a thorough explanation of how to address and overcome supply chain obstacles to an audience of Canadian manufacturing leaders and business owners. The information presented in this article is based on the discussions held during Wolf’s presentation at the event.

Modern supply chain challenges have affected every Canadian manufacturer in some way (image left), and business leaders across the country are feeling the sting of reduced production resources. While some manufacturers may see these challenges as an unsurpassable obstacle, proactive leaders understand that change is vital to progress, and correctly recognize that supply chain issues provide an unprecedented opportunity to re-evaluate their business’s activities and relationships. In today’s manufacturing landscape, an almost limitless amount of tools, resources, and networks are available to help businesses address supply chain issues. By taking advantage of these opportunities, manufacturers can move past obsolete production methods, optimize their existing supply channels, and establish invaluable relationships with alternative suppliers.

Before manufacturers can begin implementing new operational practices or reaching out to prospective supply enterprises, they must have a firm understanding of their own organization’s supply challenges. Ask yourself: Does my organization have a steady, stable influx of production resources? What would happen if my primary supplier couldn’t keep up with demand? Can my business’s supply chain survive the impact of uncertain global events? Each of these questions can be answered through use of a risk assessment — an evaluation tool commonly used to identify potential hazards in an organization’s activities. Consider also performing a SWOT analysis of your business, which will allow you to accurately determine your company’s internal strengths and weaknesses and external opportunities and threats. Having access to the data collected by these analyses is critical to developing a strong action plan for your supply chain, ensuring that you and your team have a quantifiable list of priorities, deadlines, and activities to reinforce your supply chain’s stability. Proper information collection is key when determining how to utilize opportunities — without it, you may waste valuable resources pursuing untenable goals.

No organization has access to an unlimited supply of production resources on its own. In manufacturing, powerful relationships are one of the most important assets a business can have to maintain its ability to meet consumer demand. While long-held connections with established suppliers are certainly valuable, manufacturers shouldn’t limit themselves to relying on these enterprises exclusively — in the event that these suppliers can’t provide their resources, manufacturers will find themselves at a loss. Instead, a thorough portfolio of both primary and secondary suppliers should be constantly upheld and expanded upon. There are a vast number of supplier entities across Canada and beyond that manufacturers now have access to, and, by spreading one’s supply chain across this network, business leaders never need to worry about delays in a single stream. Frequent communication and correspondence are necessary for success in today’s manufacturing sector, and, by reaching out to clients, customers, and consultants, organizations protect their supply chain’s structural integrity, and propagate their business’s influence and reputation throughout the globe.

By making a concerted effort to understand their organization’s supply chain and reaching out to a wide range of potential partners, manufacturers can utilize modern supply challenges to revitalize their business’s production practices and professional connections. For easy access to a diverse network of supplier entities, consider an EMC membership. EMC’s range of Manufacturing Consortium Managers keep extensive portfolios of Canada’s leading suppliers, and are eager to introduce them to your business.

For future discussions on overcoming supply chain adversity, contact Craig Mannell, Manufacturing Consortium Manager at EMC. Attend EMC events frequently for specialized manufacturing expertise.

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