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Supply chains are complex. Not only are they made complicated due to their sheer size and often the distance they cover, but they are also made complicated due to the sheer number of options you have available to you. From a wide variety of suppliers to manufacturers to environmental concerns, to raw material choices – there are so many different ways that you can streamline your supply chain. The real question is which method is right for your company. You can streamline it by choosing suppliers that are close geographically to each other, but this might result in a loss of quality. You could choose the best but then suffer from long transportation periods.

There are many different ways to streamline your supply chain, but the truth of the matter is that it will depend entirely on what your goals are. Do you want it to be more efficient? Do you want to increase supplier collaboration? Whatever your goal, follow this guide and you will be able to achieve it:

Drive purchasing efficiencies, increase supplier collaboration and make truly informed business decisions based on real-time, quality data via an SAP Supplier (or Vendor) Portal.

Digitise All of Your Data

All of your data needs to be digitised in order for you to accurately understand your company and your evolving needs. Even if you have started to keep records digital five years, you will find it instrumental if you go through older records and digitise everything. Big data is big business, and while you might not be able to access all the data produced ever, you can make use of your own. In the supply chain, for example, if you can analyse exactly how your company has grown and how your supply chain needs have evolved, you can better predict future orders.

Use the Right Software

When you digitise your data, you will want to have a great management software (or several) in order to organise it. The right software will help in so many ways, from automated reporting to processing actions, to even easy-to-use supplier portals that can improve collaboration and reduce admin processing times. Be careful about the software you choose, however. Omnia Software is excellent for improving supplier relations and streamlining your supply chain, for example, but cannot help you with, say, providing personalised newsletters to customers informing them of a new product. Combine the right software tools together so that you benefit as much as possible from automation, transparency, and collaboration.

Invest in Raw Material Research

New materials are created every day. In fact, new, innovative materials can actually outperform their traditional counterparts at a more cost-efficient price point. If you do not do your part and investigate these materials, you are putting your company at a disservice. A new, cheaper, but better option can help you save money and improve your company’s product or service.

Improve Supplier Connections and Collaborations

Supplier collaboration will automatically improve processing times, as it allows users to update information with ease and then notify all others in your supply chain of the update. The right software can help with this, but you will also need to notify your suppliers of the portal’s existence.

Innovating and improving your supply chain is a never-ending battle. Small businesses need to do it, big businesses need to do it, and it is worth your company doing it too.

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