July 2022 Coaches Corner: Getting Back to Continuous Improvement
There has been a growing trend among shippers to get back to the fundamentals of continuous improvement as we finally work to put the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic behind us. With the ensuing disruptions we have all felt over the past two years, not to mention the changing dynamics of our businesses, the call to answer is, how do we create resiliency, mitigate risk and lower my supply chain cost? Those three initiatives are beating the drum to identify continuous improvement initiatives, both in answering the business aspect as well as our supply chain. So, where to begin?
The first step is the identification of continuous improvement initiatives. At this point, you have been through the impact of the pandemic, and the alarm bells are most likely ringing loudly. It is time to take a step back and gather all your data points and begin listing out all the issues over the past two years. Secondly, begin rating each issue. Typically this may begin with the level of impact on the organization and how quickly you can accomplish the initiative. The exercise of mapping this out is critical as you enter the third step.
In step three of your journey, prioritization of the issues needs to occur to keep your sanity and begin to lay out a cohesive plan to strengthen your supply chain. In this ever-important prioritization step, it is critical to identify organizational resources that will be required for each initiative. The last point here is to be cognizant of the overall organizational goals and objectives. Alignment of your initiatives to the overall organizational direction will get you the resources and funding to make your vision a reality.
A final fundamental step is an implementation. Depending on the scope of the initiative you want to implement, you will generally need approval from executive leadership, management teams and or your own staff. The approval gives you the authority, funding, and organizational resources to push your initiative forward. Critical in achieving the green light is keenly understanding funding requirements, and building out the ROI for investment in your initiative. Next up in the implementation is having a plan. The plan should include success measurements of each initiative. The rest is all about hard work.
Some recent examples Rockfarm has worked on in collaboration with our Clients include: a) network rationalization b) TMS technology implementation c) TMS enhancements to include data warehouse and workflow automation d) order lifecycle mapping e) freight policy to improve carrier relations and performance f) supply chain metrics as well as many others.
Work With the Experts
For more information please reach out to our Supply Chain Coach team.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE REACH OUT TO INFO@ROCKFARM.COM.
By Brad Stewart
Brad’s journey into logistics began as a Marine Officer and transitioned from the LTL docks to the non-asset side within the logistics service provider arena. As a co-founder of Rockfarm, Brad drives our business development efforts and delivery of our promise. An Arizona native, Brad enjoys spending time outdoors in his home state with his wife and family.
“Our approach to the market allowed us an opportunity to push forward in 2008 and enable our mission, “lower the cost to serve” to stand as a cornerstone to our company today.”
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