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Route to Market & Supply Chain Blog

Enabling Rapid Change Across the FMCG Supply Chain

Posted by Dave Jordan on Wed, Feb 02, 2022

The Enchange Supply Chain House is available for those wishing to embark on a structured, medium-term journey towards Supply Chain excellence. Visit the Enchange website, click on a Supply Chain discipline and find all that you need to know. You can join the lengthening list of companies using the house as their reliable sounding post for supply chain improvement. 

From Supplier to Shelf 

What about those companies who need change now with no time to waste and a close eye on costs? What can they do to effect meaningful change sooner rather than later? My colleague Michael Thompson recently introduced the concept of a simple model for supply chain change that makes a difference in 2-3 months. Change being seen to happen and to deliver clear benefits almost in real time inevitably promotes buy-in from all levels in the business. 

In a majority of companies the graphic below reflects what each is simply trying to do. In short, FMCG players want to get their stuff in front of consumers but with so many hurdles, this is not necessarily easy. Without doubt, reference to the Supply Chain House materials will assist but perhaps you only need to fix a few problems along the chain which can make a difference, quickly. 

dj-rapid-change-sc-in-post (750 × 220 px)

Just six steps to the consumer shelf but if a single step is missed or there is a stumble, you fail in the prime objective, i.e., putting your product in front of consumers. 

Step 1: Sourcing

Step 2: Planning

Step 3: Manufacturing

Step 4: Warehousing

Step 5: Transport

Step 6: The Consumer Shelf

Extended supply chain problems can appear insurmountable but sometimes you only require a defrag. Think of your extended chain as PC hard drive which has seen continued, heavy use for many years. Download after download, software crashes, bugs, virus infection and even the dreaded blue screen but still it limps on, somehow. What is clear is that if the PC does manage to limp on, it will become ever slower and increasingly unreliable. 

The defragment utility on your PC cleans up the garbage, obsolete files, glitches, delays, gaps, and nomadic bytes of data, making the computer faster (or technically less slow as IT experts will profess!).  

If there is a need for speed, would a defrag help?

To help you answer this question for your FMCG business, here are 4 Tips to consider: 

  1. Do you understand the daily operational difficulties and challenges at the handovers/pinch points? 
  2. Simply, what can go wrong at these interfaces? 
  3. How do you identify and solve problems? 
  4. How can you improve the data and information handshakes? 

You may consider your supply chain is rather like an ocean liner which takes an age to change direction. However large the ship may be, a change in direction commences with the simple press of a button or turn of a wheel. Even small adjustments in your supply chain can deliver meaningful change and improvement in 2-3 months. 

What next? 

In subsequent articles we will look at each of the pinch-points or handshakes in the chain and consider what can be done, quickly.

If you need to make supply chain change in the next 2/3 months, we are just a call away.  

Feel free to use any of our contact routes including Live Chat, if you have any questions about how the Enchange Supply Chain House can assist your journey to supply chain excellence. 

Read more articles on Supply Chain Excellence and Route to Market on our website where you can also subscribe to our frequent updates.  

Tags: FMCG, Supply Chain, supply chain excellence

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