Blog #1: Planning for the Long Game
It’s well known that the manufacturing world has changed significantly, as we’ve all experienced a pandemic-driven ripple effect over the last two years. Forecasting during ambiguous circumstances can feel incredibly daunting when the unpredictability of the market is, in fact, the only variable you can rely on.
To kick off our new blog series, “Here for the Long Haul,” we’re diving into the most pertinent topics to assist as you recalibrate your approach to prepare for the new year. In this blog, we’ll highlight the following:
- How Improving Communication Can Help Manage Supply Chain Issues
- The Benefits of a Well-Managed Fleet
- The Importance of Optimizing Internal Supply Chain Processes
Additionally, we’ll discuss why the common practice of placing orders according to the seasonality of your business may need to be revised and share our insights and lessons learned that will support your long-term growth without adding complexity to your processes.
How Improving Communication Can Help Manage Supply Chain Issues
Even the most robust organizations have suffered from supply chain constraints and increased demands. The entire market has become unpredictable, so it has never been more critical to build strong business relationships by improving the quality and cadence of your communication strategy. By staying in constant communication with your suppliers, you gain high-value insight and support, including a few surprising benefits, such as:
- Increased likelihood of procuring assets with short notice
- Access to resources not publicly available (such as real-time production schedules)
- Solid backup during an urgent situation to help find alternative solutions
At Curry Supply, we’ve proactively ramped up our efforts. In addition to bolstering our communication strategy, we took preemptive steps to address supply chain constraints by implementing a strategic hiring approach and subsequently realigning our team to optimize workflows and better manage the additional layers of complexity added to our business seemingly overnight. For example, in 2021 , we hired a new Head of Supply Chain to lead us forward with proven skills and expertise as we aspire to develop better techniques and business systems. We now have an entire team dedicated to chassis sourcing, which better positions us to optimize backend logistics, acquire more units (despite the unfamiliarity of the current allocation environment), and execute the entire manufacturing process more efficiently. These enhancements were implemented due to listening to our customers and understanding their challenges because we believe collaboration equates to a better growth trajectory for all parties involved. When we improve as a manufacturer, our customers see the difference in their bottom line.
Benefits of a Well-Managed Fleet
A well-managed fleet is efficient in its application and directly correlates to profitability, especially if your fleet is revenue generating. It is vital to execute a comprehensive fleet management strategy, regardless of the size of your company. When you factor in the many variables involved, such as purchase price, asset disposal, maintenance, and fuel costs, you begin to see the importance of measuring these metrics to discover emerging trends and ensure proper utilization.
Our recommendations for optimal fleet management include the following:
- Consider renting instead of buying if your data reveals the costs to maintain specific equipment in your fleet does not correlate to its associated revenue stream.
- Choose equipment that’s best suited for the application, taking into consideration the size, mobility, and lifting capabilities required to complete the job.
- Employ technology to measure efficiencies, support accountability, monitor routes and vehicle speed, and most importantly, ensure the safety of your operators.
Optimizing Internal Supply Chain Processes
As a trusted partner, Curry Supply makes expert recommendations to support your growth trajectory as you optimize your internal processes, including your purchasing plan. We believe supply chain agility depends on two essential practices that will boost your procurement model:
- Be open to shifting away from your typical ordering schedule.
Manufacturers operate 365 days a year and feel the pressure to produce a large volume of orders in a short period of time to meet the demands of a given industry. Therefore, it’s prudent to look for opportunities to prevent bottlenecks. If you typically place orders that align with your fiscal budget year, expecting new equipment to arrive when the seasonality of your business kicks in, you may experience more delays because everyone in your industry is following this practice.To increase your chances of receiving the equipment, you need when you need it, consider opportunities to spread out the flat load of purchasing for an entire year. If you don’t, you might be competing with everyone who needs equipment during the same cadence.
- Share data with Curry Supply.
Regular analysis of your supply chain data will help uncover waste and opportunity. When you share data with us, we can assist in how you purchase and manage your assets, especially during a drastic shift in the market. At Curry Supply, we do this better than anyone else in the industry because we’re willing to dig into your challenges, bring our knowledge to the application, and collaborate to find the best way to increase productivity. Our team recently invested an incredible amount of time and effort into a customer case study to review tracking data, identify a repetitious purchasing pattern, and amplify their operations because they shared data from the field.
- Be open to shifting away from your typical ordering schedule.
At Curry Supply, we understand the complexities in this new environment and believe you shouldn’t have to manage them on your own. We view this “new normal” as an opportunity to provide high-level support, reduce tension, and showcase our dedication to our customers, despite much ambiguity. After all – this new normal is more like a marathon, not a sprint. You’ll always have a partner with Curry Supply.
Stay tuned as we continue our series. In the next blog, we’ll outline growth potential related to fleet diversification and other best practices to ensure you’re equipped to maximize your revenue stream.