As you probably know, supply chains remain in chaos, and while in some aspects of the overall situation, there may be some light at the end of the tunnel, it remains crucial to ensure that you get things right the first time. Part delivery is slow and costly enough. You cannot afford to have to deal with unexpected shortages or other issues that cause material to be expedited.
Five ways to resolve material flow issues
- Labor – just about every organization has been impacted by a shortage of workers, and manufacturing and distribution are no exception. The shortage in the supply chain continues to impact output, consistency, and capacity. Increasing efficiency through better communication, transparency, and automation can reduce your dependence on labor. This way the existing workforce can focus on more efficient tasks. The right process automation tool in place is key to making these changes.
- Raw material or component shortages – Raw materials of all sorts continue to be heavily impacted by the conflict in Russia/Ukraine and China’s continued lockdowns. You need to know immediately your material availability both internally and externally. After implementing StrataFlows, our customer reduced the number of part requests by 93%. Check out this article Reduce Part Requests to learn more. Without the correct automation and transparency in place, redundant orders cost your organization immensely.
- Transportation – While there is hope on the horizon in this area, driver shortages and shipping port bottlenecks are improving, however there is a lot of room here to recover back to pre-pandemic levels. Using a solution like StrataFlows will give you the visibility needed to source materials in the most efficient manner. StrataFlows will help you find the most efficient way to source materials.
- Demand – Customers continue to have strong demand, however, hoarding continues to cause unpredictable perturbations in demand that make predicting the appropriate inventory levels even more tricky than normal. StrataFlows can help with inventory counts and a more efficient ways to increase visibility with your suppliers.
- Cost – Inflation and especially fuel costs are on the rise, and the shipping costs to expedite a small batch of parts can eat significantly into your margins. e.g.: CNBC Article on Supply Chain Crisis. While there is nothing you can do to directly affect fuel prices, you can improve your order process by using StrataFlows’ Hot Parts to create a more efficient ordering process which will greatly reduce the number of inefficiencies in ordering parts. That means less fuel being consumed.
These challenges that persist with sourcing materials mean it is much more critical to get a handle on the root cause of issues in your material flow and supply chain processes. Times like this call for better ways to communicate, track, monitor, and analyze to ensure that you can head off potential shortages. It’s best to have the right tools and processes to react quickly and predictably. Furthermore, it is important to analyze each issue or shortage to ensure your efforts to address root causes are paying off.
StrataFlows can help, either with our off-the-shelf Issue Tracker and Supplier Expedite modules, or with custom process automation designed to close any gaps that are preventing you from improving your material flow, material resource planning (MRP), or other related processes.
For the past 10 years manufacturers, 3PLs, and suppliers have trusted StrataFlows. StrataFlows is a SaaS solution that provides a no code low code platform. It comes with 40+ built-in modules that can be customized to your business. We can create any module without coding – that’s what makes us unique. If you can define it, we can build it on our no code low code platform. We can integrate with any ERP, MRP, or other home-grown systems.