Supply chain management is a term that many people in manufacturing throw around. Whether or not they are actually truly managing that supply chain is a different story. Many converters who need nonwovens in their products are often juggling a variety of suppliers and manufacturing activities before products like nonwoven wipes, medical nonwovens or diapers ever get in front of the end-use customer.
So how do converters and manufactures develop supply chains that are as efficient and economical as possible?
- Create a segmentation of your supply base. There are many different partners you can utilize in getting products in front of customers. By creating a segmentation of your supply chain partners across a wide variety of criteria, you’ll be able to select exactly the right partner for the right need.
- Get your employees involved. Supply chain management is not a function of top-tier leadership only. Educate your employees on how activities on the shop floor and on the loading dock impact the overall effectiveness of your manufacturing cycle and, in the end, the finished goods. Invite innovation from every level of your business.
- Monitor performance of your supply chain partners. Ensure that key suppliers are doing what they said they would. Have a system in place to monitor your suppliers continually so that you can ask for improvements or, if it becomes necessary, replace partners who aren’t living up to their end of the bargain.
- Implement specific supply chain management software. The days of sticky notes and spreadsheets are over. Truly effective supply chain managers utilize affordable supply chain platforms.
- Use tracking and mobile technologies. Let’s face it, mobile will allow you to improve your efficiencies across the board and help you minimize costs and inaccuracies due to the real-time availability of data.
Managing the nonwoven product supply chain doesn’t have to be a big mystery and, if you’re communicating regularly with your supply chain partners, it doesn’t have to be full of surprises.
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