5 Tips to Improve Your Supply Planning

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5 Tips to Improve Your Supply Planning

Supply planning doesn’t get the attention it deserves, but if you want to make sure your business remains as profitable as possible, you need to approach it carefully and deliberately. When you make an effort to improve your supply planning, you can save yourself money and maximize your profits over time. Here are five tips to improve your supply planning strategy and make the most of it in your business.

Maintain Supplier Relationships

Even though you may have a dedicated procurement department, you still need to know your supply plan. It’s easy for suppliers and vendors to become discouraged when they aren’t sure how much business they can expect from you.

If one of your vendors is agitated, they might become reluctant to provide low prices or reward you with inferior service. Don’t overlook your supplier relationships. Spend time developing them; keeping them happy and informed about your operations so that they feel confident in working with you. 

Leverage Data & Technology

Supply planning can be complicated, but there are technology solutions that can help you streamline operations and save money. From analytical tools that help identify supply chain inefficiencies to integration software that gives you a more accurate view of inventory levels and demand, leveraging technology is critical for effective supply planning.

 However, as with any solution, make sure you evaluate multiple options before making your final decision. You want to choose a solution that works best for your company’s unique needs and challenges. For example, if you have limited resources to implement new systems, you might look at low-cost/no-cost options such as spreadsheets or mobile apps.

Keep Invoices Organized

The most challenging thing about supply planning is keeping everything organized and on hand. As you begin planning your supply purchases, ensure you have a system for filing invoices and other documents, especially if you’re working with an outside distributor or manufacturer.

This can help streamline your process and ensure that orders are correctly placed every time. Also, consider outsourcing your supply planning; there are many services available today that can handle inventory management, replenishment orders, and other aspects of business logistics. 

And finally, don’t forget about safety stocks! While it might be tempting to order only what you need now, safety stock helps protect against low-stock situations that can wreak havoc on your bottom line.

Have an Effective Production Calendar

Keeping your production calendar up-to-date will ensure you have a clear plan to take your product from raw materials to finished goods and get it ready for purchase. Having an effective production calendar also gives you peace of mind by allowing you to see precisely where each stage is in your supply chain at any given time, allowing you to identify bottlenecks early and resolve them quickly.

Without one, you’re likely to scramble when things don’t go as planned, leading to costly mistakes. We recommend keeping your production calendar on hand throughout your manufacturing process to ensure you’re on track. From initial development through delivery, it should be accessible whenever possible so you can monitor its progress along with everything else going on in your business.

Review Inventory Management at Least Quarterly

Regular inventory reviews are a necessary component of any successful supply chain. These reviews keep you up-to-date on your inventory levels and give you a sense of how your current ordering plan works.

Reviewing inventory at least quarterly allows you time to evaluate whether or not adjustments are needed before it’s too late. Stocks can be tough to manage—even seasoned experts have trouble sometimes. 

The supply chain manager has one primary responsibility: maintaining balance in a company’s inventory system. This means ensuring that there is always enough product for customers while also keeping costs as low as possible. There are ways to improve your current approach and make sure you never run out of anything again!

Conclusion

Streamlining your supply planning process is the most critical thing to improve. But many organizations are guilty of going through a series of updates, making it difficult to pin down when items are in and out of stock. If you’re interested in learning more about how to optimize your supply planning, reach out below!