Supply Chain Blog

FMCG Supply Chain: The Top 10 Smash Hits (with a twist)

Posted by Dave Jordan on Wed, Mar 25, 2015

The worlds of Supply Chain and popular music may be strange bed fellows but if you look closely you will see many a smash hit have a supply chain theme. Let us take a tongue-in-cheek look at the latest Supply Chain charts.

I Want My ERP – Sting is at number 10 with his classic need for a decent ERP system to support your business. Avoid off the shelf solutions as they rarely work in the long run. Yes, you usually get what you pay for so evaluate carefully.

S.O.P  from Abba is at number 9 this week. You can almost hear the cry for your business to implement a fully functioning and inclusive Sales & Operational Planning process. Why don’t you hear what your staff are saying about S&OP because “when you’re gone, how can I even try to go on?”

FMCG SUPPLY CHAIN CHARTS  resized 600Suzi Quatro sits at number 8 with Can The Plan, i.e. exactly what you should not do. When you generate an agreed plan from the S&OP meeting and receive top management buy-in then stick with it! Multi- functional co-operation in planning to one set of numbers ensures you get the best chance of success.

Rightly ahead of Suzi at number 7 is Stand By Your Plan from Tammy Wynette.  For all the reasons above you should stick to your collective best estimate of what the business will achieve in the month. If any department starts to work to another plan you have simply lost control.

Hope Of Delivering by Paul McCartney is at 6 this week – yes, Macca is still hovering around in the charts. Take the “hope” out of your service proposition by choosing your 3PLP wisely or by investing in skilled in-house capability. At the end of the day your delivery company is the final contact with customers before a sale is secured and payment activated.

Little Eva is at 5 with the classic The Distri-bution. Everybody probably is “doin’ it” now but those that manage Distributors well will be topping the sales charts. Get close to your Distributors and integrate them into your business as far as possible. They are after all responsible for a major part of FMCG businesses operating in D&E markets.

It’s A Forecast – Bonny Tyler is at number 4. A forecast is just that, a forecast. While yours will never be 100% correct you should be constantly aiming to improve accuracy on an SKU basis. Forget forecasting by brand or category as this does not provide the detail required to allow the Supply Chain to make adjustments in the future. The forecast should be collaborative taking all aspects of supply, marketing, finance and demand into account.

Into the top 3 and at three is Barry Manilow with Co-packabana (At The).  Promotional complexity can be both a USP and a millstone. You may believe you operate with a small number of SKUs but this number balloons when you take into account all the promotional co-packing and re-packing that takes place. Take a long hard look at your level of sku complexity and consider delisting those that do not add value.

Dolly Parton sits at 2 with The Best Little Warehouse in Texas – Dolly certainly has a couple of big hits and this is one of them.  Organise your stock so you know where to find it and don’t’ forget to count it and count it regularly. You best laid plans can come unstuck if you cannot find your stock when trying to order pick.

I am Sale-ing – Rod Stewart is this weeks’ number one! Old croaky throat is still at the top with a song that sums up what your whole organisation should be aligned to achieve. Following the messages in the top 10 can help you secure sales success even under difficult economic conditions.

Tune in again soon for another look at the Supply Chain charts.

Image courtesy of James Barker at freedigitalphotos.net

Tagss: FMCG, Dave Jordan, Humour, Supply Chain, S&OP, Sales