2 Common Supply Chain Management Mistakes to Avoid

Ryan Sullivan's picture

There are lots of do’s and don’ts in the supply chain world and as a brand new member of the supply chain management team here at APQC, I thought that I would give a few examples of what NOT to do.

Don’t be a dunce by doing it by yourself. Chances are someone has run into a similar problem to what you are currently facing. There are lots of resources out there to gain the knowledge of others before you.

It wasn’t too long ago that I didn’t even know APQC existed, and I’ll be the first to admit, I have worked through problems on my own that could have been done faster (and better) by first looking for what others have done. This sounds familiar to me: “I can figure this out; I have done something like this before. I’ll spend 3 weeks figuring out the best way to handle returns in my supply chain. I’m pretty smart.”

In reality, I could have moved much faster after searching to see what others have done in a similar situation. APQC, other professional alliances, and maybe even coworkers have likely faced this before and can help you out. As the old saying goes, “work smarter, not harder.”

Don’t be a dunce by getting lost in the data. I love data, and I can learn all types of stuff by looking at records for the past 5 years. But if I were to do it every month, I would be wasting a lot of time.

Turn data into information and information into action and then most importantly, automate it if possible. An entire department can raise its efficiency by automating the information it needs. Define what your sources of data are and make a standard template that gets all the right KPIs you want. Then track the results over time.

Next you need to grade each KPI as red, yellow, or green and set a standard action plan to look into any data that is underperforming. It will probably take a few iterations to get everything set up just the way you want, but the best part about moving from data to action is it can often be automated. Work with your analytics team or do it yourself with a little spreadsheet magic. Ideally, you can get all the information you need in just a few minutes.

Here is newly published article regarding how analytics are being used, organizational structures for analytics teams, and how to get advanced analytics in your organization.

Here is a useful infographic that explains how data analytics should be used.

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