A supply chain is the heart of a company’s ability to produce the products that are being requested by their customers.
In the past, this process could be time-consuming and customers were inclined to seek out other alternatives that could produce the product in a quicker fashion.
Now that technology is on the rise, that does not have to be the case anymore. Managing a more efficient supply chain using eProcurement solutions in 2020 can help bring your business to the forefront of your industry.
Traditional Supply Chain Structure
The anatomy of a traditional supply chain consists of several different “links” that come together to put out the final product. If any of these links fail to uphold their part of the chain, it either becomes weak or fails entirely.
The chain is built entirely off of an intricate conglomerate of supply and demand.
Once an order has been received and input, the process looks something like this:
This initial supplier is required to gather all of the raw materials that are used in the composition of the product that is being provided to the end customer.
- Tier 2 Supplier
This supplier is the one who takes all of the raw materials and manufactures them into usable parts.
- Tier 1 Supplier
This is the supplier who takes all of the manufactured parts from the tier 2 supplier and assembles them into the actual product.
The product is what the end customer has requested.
The wholesaler is the person or company who procures the product from the manufacturer and starts the distribution process.
The retailer is the person or company who purchases the product from the wholesaler at a price that is considered a “wholesale price” and then displays the product for purchase at a higher price.
- End Customer
The end customer can either be your company or the customer you are providing for. In most cases, smaller businesses will buy from a retailer and then sell to their customers at a price that produces a profit.
What if there was a way to make this process easier and leaner?
Lean and Agile Supply Chain
Lean supply chains offer the same quality products but more quickly and with less waste product. The reduction in waste helps reduce the cost of the final product because not as many raw materials are used in the process.
Agile supply chains allow for daily operations to be more responsive, competent, and flexible when problems arise.
By being on top of all the supply chain steps, the product is produced quicker because there is not a communication problem standing in the way.
Combine the two together and you could change the entire game plan of managing your supply chain in 2020. Using an eProcurement solution that intertwines the start to the finish of the process can not only make your business leaner but provide a more agile response when faced with problems.
Enter the Punchout Catalog
A punchout catalog connects businesses with over 600 corporations, universities, and government entities. A punchout catalog is an eCommerce website that allows a buyer to procure products directly from a supplier.
This can help cut out the supply chain middleman and make the process quicker and more efficient.
Using punchout allows a business to control the look and feel of its catalog. Their customers can get a personalized experience based on your business.
This is something they have already grown accustomed to and will get to continue with the comfort in an online platform.
Punchout catalogs allow for your customers to get all of the information and pricing for the products you offer in one place. This allows for increased accuracy in orders.
They are directly placing their order to the supplier, through your catalog. Think about the telephone game. When there are too many people from point A to point B, the information can get misinterpreted and mistakes get made.
In a time where all information seems to be done via computer or smartphone, punchout catalogs allow for a complete electronic interface. Invoices and shipping updates are sent via email notification.
As a business, using the punchout platform also helps with customer retention and getting paid faster. Traditional supply chains do not offer this.
A lot of times there is a hold up where compensation is concerned. If one link is not getting paid, the others aren’t producing.
How to Get Onboard with The Trends
A lot of people, customers and businesses alike, are not big fans of change. Using different strategies can be hard when making the decision to jump on the bandwagon of change, however, the times are always changing with technology and a business has to be agile enough to follow suit.
There are ways that change can be implemented without sacrificing the integrity that your customers have come to love.
Use Improved Technology- If you want your customers to stay comfortable with changes that involve your technology, make sure you are constantly implementing the newest and updated formats.
This will make a large change less obvious and easier for the customer to work with.
As a business, using the most up-to-date technology can help track trends and compile real-time data for your business and let you know where the work needs to be done.
Reduce the Number of Working Parts- A lean workspace is an efficient workspace. Streamlining some of the processes that are bogging down your business can help increase revenue and creates incentives for your suppliers and your customers.
Improve How You Interpret Risk and Use Data- A large part of business happens behind the scenes. Numbers are a large part of finding profit and loss.
Use tools in your business that help not only compile the data but help you interpret what it means and gives tips on how to correct it. These tips can also help you work toward higher future revenue and how to avoid losses in the future.
Strengthen Demand Planning- The largest part of keeping supply and demand in check is communicating with your customers and your suppliers. You have to know what a customer wants or is going to want in the future so that you can relate this to your suppliers with realistic expectations.
Creating a good relationship with your customers and your suppliers will go a long way in the life and success of your business.
Using eProcurement systems can help keep the communication lines constantly open. Going into 2020 incorporating these could be what starts the new decade outright for your business.
Reach out to a company that specializes in the eProcurement and punchout solution that could give your company the edge going into 2020 and beyond.