Friday, March 20, 2015

Are you in a “Toxic Relationship” with your Current Supply Chain?


At some point in our lives, many of us have been in what’s called a “toxic relationship”. Like most relationships, toxic relationships typically start off pretty well with an infatuation period and a person who makes you very happy.

However, as time goes by, the “butterflies in the stomach” feeling is slowly replaced with bickering. After every fight and wrongdoing, the other person promises to change for the better…but it doesn’t happen. With little improvement to be seen, you’re unsure of why you remain with this person, other than the fact that you dread starting the whole dating process all over again.

Dating and Your Supply Chain
A toxic relationship isn’t just limited to your dating life. You may be stuck in one with your current supply chain. If your current partners aren’t addressing your needs and providing results, it’s time to make some changes. Like a healthy relationship, your supply chain should ultimately help you keep your customers engaged and satisfied. Thankfully, many of us are able to break out of toxic relationships and move on to greener pastures. So let’s do the same with our supply chain!

The Tell-Tale Signs
Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I often have to reschedule or alter deadlines and delivery dates because of delays from my suppliers?
  • Is it difficult to find the exact materials I need at a reasonable price point?
  • Are there various transportation options for my goods?
  • Do I have a back-up plan if there’s an emergency with a supplier?
  • How have my suppliers addressed mistakes or issues from the past?
  • Does your supply chain offer you flexibility?

If you answered any of these questions negatively, it’s time for a break-up!

You are Not Alone
If you’re struggling with your supply chain, you have nothing to feel ashamed about. Whether you’re a national original equipment manufacturer or a small or mid-sized manufacturer, you probably deal with supply chain challenges. In fact, a Next Generation Manufacturing study reported that only 25% of small manufacturers achieve a “near or at world-class supply-chain management” level. The bigger guys didn’t fare terribly better – only 41% are at the same level.

I’m Ready for a Breakup… What’s Next?
Like getting over a breakup, improving your supply chain doesn’t happen overnight. There are resources you can take advantage of:

Supply Chain Consulting Services: MMTC’s Supply Chain Optimization Program focuses on increasing alignment, visibility, and collaboration, resulting in reduced costs, increased quality and delivery, a trained workforce, and compliant processes. For more information about available supply chain consulting services, call MMTC at 888.414.6682.

matchmaking program by mmtc
Matchmaking Program: MMTC offers a Matchmaking Program to help Michigan manufacturers replace underperforming suppliers. The program is supported by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the search process is based on your unique needs and requirements. Click here for more information or e-mail matchmaking@mmtc.org.

Proud to Manufacture in Michigan Directory: Your dream supplier may have been down the street all along! Michigan manufacturers from various sectors have signed up to be a part of Proud to Manufacture in Michigan. Along with online social media promotion, matchmaking opportunities, and up-to-date industry news e-mail blasts, the Proud to Manufacture in Michigan Program offers access to an online directory displaying profiles of local manufacturers with pictures of their products. Think of it as online dating! Click here to access the directory.

With springtime right around the corner, now is the time to do some spring cleaning with your supply chain. Get out of your toxic relationships and good luck making new connections!

Since 1991, MMTC has assisted Michigan’s small and medium-sized businesses compete and grow. Through personalized services fitted to meet the needs of clients, we develop more effective business leaders, drive product and process innovation, promote company-wide operational excellence and foster creative strategies for business growth and greater profitability. Find us at www.mmtc.org.

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