Best Practices Prove Beneficial For Supply-Chain Management

By Deborah Austin Companies thriving in today's economy use deep supplier relationships and pooled buying power to generate huge savings and grasp competitive advantage, says a new report "Best Practices in Supply Chain Management and Partnerships" by benchmarking firm Best Practices LLC, Chapel Hill, N.C. Through best supply-chain practices, firms reported cutting lead time and inventory by 50%-plus, and eliminating processing errors. Key effective practices identified:

  • Align supply-chain-management systems with strategic initiatives and goals.
  • Forge partnerships with suppliers, pooling talents and resources.
  • Certify supplier partners, establishing a common language.
  • Use technology -- such as extranets and common CAD/CAM platforms -- to improve supplier relationships.
  • Refine/enhance manufacturing processes, identifying which organizations can provide highest quality/lowest cost.
  • Foster communication between partner organizations.
  • Emphasize mutual benefits of partnership.
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