In many of today’s complex industries and sectors, the function of the supply chain team is more difficult than ever and also changing fast.
With unprecedented (yes, we know that word is overused!) disruptions over the past couple of years, from supply scarcities to logistical nightmares, to massive energy cost increases, skills shortages and the small issue of a pandemic – supply chain and procurement teams have had quite the rollercoaster ride. Sadly with more downs than ups!
The role of people within the supply chain has also changed somewhat, with a focus on agility and resilience because of the above, but also a transition into different working practices and many roles becoming more technology and data-focused than ever before.
This change has impacted the nature of the role itself, with supply chain managers being asked to wear more quantitative analysis and data science hats than ever before.
We’ve seen a large number of our clients make this transition successfully however as technology is empowering rather than hindering supply chain teams.
From our experience, we’ve seen supply chain teams succeed in improving productivity in several ways.
Working Smarter. Not Harder.
It’s often said people are your most valuable asset, and often they are one of the highest cost assets too. So getting the best from your teams is essential to improving productivity.
Internally, supply chain platforms like SourceDogg help drive process efficiency by centralising your data, eliminating busywork and repetitive admin tasks and getting your teams on the front foot to tackle productivity problems proactively.
By analysing key productivity data from around the business and across the supply chain, the team can work to improve important and impactful metrics that will enhance profitability.
From an external point of view, supplier productivity is baked into your company productivity and technology enables your people to be empowered to manage supplier relationships better too. This leads to avoiding punitive punishments based on anecdotes for a company-wide, long-term holistic point of view on performance that’s good for everyone – and your bottom line.
Time is money.
There is only a limited number of hours in the day, so using them wisely and effectively to affect change is more important than ever – especially when costs of raw materials may be fluctuating. Technology helps your team make the most of their time, but also engage in fulfilling work that helps towards the purpose and cause of the organisation.
Technology helps streamline your sourcing and selection processes so less time is spent on repetitive duplication and admin tasks and more time can be spent on realising productivity and profitability gains.
But Money Doesn’t Trump Meaning.
Your teams are freed up to do the real thinking and analysis rather than wading through endless spreadsheets.
Technology turns your teams into knowledge-workers and data-driven supply chain superstars, rather than red tape handlers and bureaucrats hamstrung by outdated and time-sapping processes.
The sense of job satisfaction from this change can be huge.
Recognition in your job is a major motivator and being the go-to source of information rather than the gate-keeping bad guy weighed down with admin work makes a difference to work performance.
On a wider scale, it helps you create a better working environment, retain talent and develop a data-driven digitally transformed culture.
By using a cloud platform, you enable better collaboration between internal teams and within supplier relationships. Teams will be motivated to work together to achieve better outcomes, rather than spending their time scolding each other’s folder structures on shared drives!
Opportunities for learning and development in the workplace
Being encouraged to learn new skills and develop into different roles is exciting for your team and technology adoption does just that.
In a LinkedIn Study, 94 per cent of employees said they would stay at their companies longer if their employers took an active role in their learning and development.
Technology can also unlock other benefits in terms of career progression, as digital transformation and data-driven supply chains become more normalised, entire new roles and responsibilities will be created – an exciting future for ambitious employees.
We believe that technology helps unlock people power in two distinct ways Not only does it help them do their actual day-to-day job more efficiently and effectively, but it also has the “hidden” benefit of developing the employee themselves and meeting needs that stretch beyond monetary remuneration.
Adopting technology in your supply chain operation helps your team harness the huge power of data, reduce admin and duplication busy work and enhance supplier relationship management – all key performance indicators associated with company success.
But it can’t be understated enough how the emotional, motivational and cultural side of the business can benefit from technology adoption. The feeling of being freed up to do the work you want to do, fulfilling a sense of purpose and meaning through achievement, collaborating with others, learning and developing new skills and potentially moving into roles that haven’t been created yet can make a massive difference to the output and impact of your team. Perhaps this makes even more of a difference to overall company performance over the long term beyond the more traditional labour-output measures.