Do you receive many requests for information from colleagues in other departments? Do these demands become especially difficult to satisfy during stressful times? The performance of supply chain management depends not only on communication with the external supply chain, but also with your internal teams. In this blog post, we will share strategies for creating a common language with your internal peers, improving communication efficiency, and freeing up time for you.
Why Supply Chain Managers Are Good Communicators
Effective communication is essential for supply chain managers, as miscommunication can have a significant impact on the business. A delay in the estimated time of arrival due to miscommunication can put a project at risk, dissatisfy an important customer, or result in unplanned costs due to the need for express transport.
To run the supply chain smoothly, all stakeholders need to communicate constantly, but communication should be efficient and precise. limbiq's research shows that over 80% of supply chain communication happens in an unstructured way outside of systems, such as through emails with spreadsheets and PDFs. This approach has several disadvantages:
- Information can get lost because keeping track of updates is difficult.
- Updates have to be manually entered in other systems or references.
- Data cannot be analyzed, and metrics cannot be implemented.
Transport and Logistics Information Is Relevant to Many Parts Of the Business
To keep track of shipments, the supply chain manager receives updates from partners in the supply chain and proactively seeks information, such as updates from a tracking link. They then manually update their spreadsheets and ERP or similar systems.
When supply chains are volatile or issues arise, other teams need information. Sales needs to know if promised orders can be shipped to customers. Manufacturing needs to know if materials will arrive on time. The warehouse needs to understand when trucks will arrive, and finance needs to understand if any unplanned costs arise or if stock levels will increase.
All this internal communication occurs in addition to communication with partners in the supply chain, such as suppliers, forwarders, carriers, or service providers, to resolve ongoing issues. In these times, a supply chain manager feels like an octopus, with a phone in every tentacle, multitasking.
How A Digital Platform Supports Self-Service For Everyone
Digital platforms are an ideal solution for making work easier and establishing a common language among all teams in a company. They consolidate all relevant information from various sources, including internal ERP systems, suppliers, forwarders, carriers, and service providers, into a central platform, even at the SKU level.
These platforms also link information and enhance investment in the ERP. As a result, any person in the company can access the information they need and receive proactive alerts about changes. For instance, if the ETA changes or the supplier announces a shipment, the platform will provide information about the expected ETA, mode of transport, relevant IDs, shipment status, and link this to the order in the ERP system.
This way, everyone will not only know where the goods are and when they will arrive, but they will also be able to act immediately if something changes and mitigate the consequences. They can plan based on partial shipments and consolidate orders or set labels and notifications for alerts.
Enhanced workflows enable further automation of tasks and increase productivity for everyone involved. Sales can send tracking links to customers so they can track the status of their shipments.
Once the supply chain data is tracked in one central system, it offers the basis for advanced analytics to better assess the performance of all functions and identify potential for optimization.
Supply Chain Visibility Creates A Common Language and Improves The Workplace
When everyone has access to the same real-time information and updates through self-service, communication will shift from information requests to strategic conversations on driving progress and improving collaboration. This reduces previous frustrations caused by troubleshooting and allows teams to focus on driving the business forward.
Moreover, digital platforms store data that can tell stories beyond what email updates can convey. Performance metrics can be easily retrieved, and the supply chain manager can focus on managing and improving the supply chain for resilience and agility, rather than just the ability to deliver.
If you want to learn more about limbiq and how the platform works, simply request your free demo today.
Image Source: rawpixel.com on Freepik