The economic downturn, increased pricing pressures from customers and challenges around operational and financial performance are all placing significant pressure on corporate supply chain operations. Supply chain functions are critical business operations and have a significant impact on company costs and profits.
Supply chain operations include the systems, structures and processes to plan and execute the flow of goods and services from supplier to customer. To maximize effectiveness, it is critical to evaluate both internal operations and the extended supply chain that includes suppliers and customers.
The value of successfully addressing supply chain challenges is not only cost savings, but also significant quality and customer service improvements across the entire supply chain. The need for improved and integrated supply chain planning and execution has become a common theme for companies of all sizes.
Centric utilizes a proven approach to analyze the end-to-end Supply Chain Operations from a “people, process, and technology” perspective. Centric’s Supply Chain service offering focuses on assessing core sets of capabilities to deliver a roadmap and methodology for executing designed improvement functionality. Centric’s supply chain consultants have a great deal of experience in supply chain management. They understand the critical business levers that release value and enable an organization to reach that next level of performance.
Our Supply Chain service offering focuses on a core set of capabilities including:
- Supply Chain Planning and Optimization
- Customer Service and Segmentation
Supply Chain Planning and Optimization
Many opportunities exist within supply chain planning and optimization, but they all begin with an understanding of purpose, process and data. Purpose and process are best understood within the context of cross-functional sales and operations planning, which are designed to develop consensus around goals and responsibilities over the short, medium, and long term. Data provides the means to measure performance against prior-period goals and, as part of a performance management process, leads to an understanding of how to improve both planning and execution.
Deeper investigations into the supply chain can target specific areas for improvement. For example:
- Analytics and modeling can identify the constraints that prevent performance improvement.
- Capacity rationalization can expose opportunities to divest operational assets.
- Demand planning and inventory management can develop tactics to compensate for volatility.
Centric defines distribution as all activities that move products from supplier to customer. This includes fundamental activities related to warehousing, transportation and inventory control.
The importance of these activities cannot be understated, as they represent a significant investment of company resources. Improvements in these areas can significantly enhance the customer experience, drive sales, reduce cost and improve margin.
Centric can target projects in this area to impact:
- Warehouse design and layout
- Transportation planning
- Modal / Lane analysis
- Fleet management
- Transportation bidding and contracting
- Warehouse process improvement
- Inventory control
Customer Service and Segmentation
Customers are demanding and providing superior customer service comes at a cost. Fundamentals include product quality, return rates, order fill rates, perfect orders and on-time delivery. However, one of the most overlooked dimensions of customer service is the understanding of the cost to serve. This goes much deeper than measuring the cost to pick, pack and ship since it also includes the systems and staff to take orders, answer phones, manage systems and replenish products. While this facet of customer service can be a significant undertaking, additional information gleaned from the process can be used to fine tune the sales approach and target those customers that provide the greatest benefit.
The idea of rationalizing customer service is certainly a controversial one, yet decisions are made every day to prioritize customers. The problem is that these decisions are often ad hoc, inconsistent and sub-optimizing. Centric believes a the better approach is to develop a structure to understand the cost to serve and enhance the customer relationship.
Manufacturing in the U.S. is experiencing something of a resurgence because companies have analyzed the costs and risks of elongated supply chains and are choosing to on-shore some of their production needs. Our consultants can help companies become more competitive and take advantage of this opportunity by delivering value through projects targeting the following areas:
- Lean Manufacturing
- Continuous Improvement
- Customer Integration
- Flexible Manufacturing
In summary, engaging Centric’s supply chain experts deliver demonstrable results that put companies on a path of sustained improvement.