Strategies for a Confident Supply Chain System
BY CHRISTINE TORRES
Published February 11, 2020
“What if my goods don’t make it on time?” “How can I make production better?” Supply chain management can be perplexing at times and disruption can be devastating—especially in the “I want it now” era of e-commerce. Any company can gain confidence in their supply chain system by using simple tools. What is the “IT” factor for supply chain success? By networking technology along with building a strategic visual workplace, companies maximize efficiency throughout the chain.
In a 24/7 connected world, how should supply chains approach disruption? Businesses should improve efficiency and effectiveness, according to a poll conducted by Finances Online. A focus on cost reduction, daily performance, and production service rate are among the top concerns by supply chain professionals. The types of events that can lead to supply chain disruptions are mergers and acquisitions, extreme weather, and facility emergencies such as fires, according to a 2018 Supply Chain Disruption Report.
“For you to get what you want when you want it, the activities of multiple supply chain networks need to be orchestrated behind the scenes,” said Paige Cox, Senior Vice President and Head of Digital Supply Chain Networks Development at SAP SE, in an article she wrote for Forbes.
Many supply chain professionals look to blockchain technology to network and distribute information better to all facets of the supply chain for smoother operations. However, technology can only go so far. While everyone can use and run these decentralized databases, it’s only a recordkeeping tool.
Increase Efficiency and Awareness with Visuals
Smart blockchain contracts can go further when each segment is on the same page for efficiency. Link with companies that are open to increasing workflow so that workers get the right information at the right time. Workplaces can achieve this through visual management strategies that optimize order fulfillment systems.
Streamline tasks through implementation of lean programs such as 5S and include safety. Working lean throughout the blockchain enhances productivity and accuracy. Classify inventory, streamline technology, and improve work cell activities. Map processes and workflow to maximize throughput and reduce labor hiccups.
Integrate business systems to maximize visibility. Visually optimize known hazard points, such as loading docks, guardrails, bollards, gates, and more. Each site has specific procedures and its own potential hazards. By improving visibility in dangerous areas, reinforcing work and vehicle traffic boundaries, and identifying production areas and emergency routes, all workplaces can reduce preventable accidents that can cause downtime and contribute to supply chain disruption.
Utilize visual organizational tools like floor tape and safety signs to improve efficiency and safety in each step of production. Easily reconfigure work cells and switch up the factory floor plan in an instant with multipurpose floor tape. Use premade safety signs and labels to improve organization by alerting workers to where items are in production, like inspection and quality control areas.
Utilizing blockchain, digitization, and systems like 5S in each facility, can ensure smooth operation. Planning, maintaining, and bringing all facets together through a solid, goal-oriented network will drive supply chain into the future. Visual communication is important in helping with awareness and accident prevention. Get started with efficient signs, labels, and floor marking in any facility - indoors or outside. Below, download the free guide to Warehouse Efficiency. To see how our supplies hold up in your environment, request free label samples.