October 14, 2014
Marketing and physical operations may seem worlds apart in terms of function, but when it comes to end objectives they’re more closely aligned than you might think.
A strong brand is fueled by effective marketing and advertising, but it is built on the reality of how well a company works and the service it delivers. The logistics process is an integral part of delivering that high level service, which makes developing a strong, efficient supply chain a central pillar of brand reputation.
When it comes down to it, supply chain development is not something that any brand can ignore without causing cracks to appear further down the line.
Efficient Stocking, Effective Delivery
Business is built on trust. For any brand with a major stake in delivering products and providing a service that feels seamless to customers, bringing more than just operational minds into the supply chain planning process is an ambitious but potentially lucrative way to earn that trust. This happens by driving efficiency and playing to your brand strengths.
A supply chain understood and developed, in part, by those outside the daily processes that run it, will help distinct functional activities to become more deeply integrated. When buyers, marketers and sales teams see the complexity of what goes on behind the scenes to get their product to a customer, or how many moving parts a service takes to deliver effectively, they’re more likely to make realistic decisions.
In addition to fostering greater understanding, a closely knit supply chain allows a business to manage inventory more efficiently.
Real-time data can be shared across business functions to create more effective reporting. Where real-time data is available it can be processed more quickly and used to inform order priorities, as well as flag wasteful activities in the system. If something seems to be taking too long on a regular basis, or is impacting one of the business functions further down the line, it will be hunted down and remedied much more quickly if multiple stakeholders are involved in the process.
Better Branding Through Supply Chain Development
Building brand reputation through supply chain integration starts with bringing more stakeholders into the existing process, but to take this to the next level requires a commitment to actually develop and improve upon activities across the supply chain.
This means regular reviews and a desire to adapt not only departmentally, but organizationally.
Consider some of the following questions as you aim to expand your supply chain development from integration to improvement:
- Do you have monthly or quarterly reviews in place with representatives of every department impacted by supply chain activities? Fresh eyes often make the most vibrant development suggestions for the supply chain.
- What supply chain capabilities are being stretched? Are there any not being used to their fullest? What changes could be made to reduce the burden or get more from these respective areas?
- Where does your service fall down most frequently and who can be brought in to diagnose any challenges?
- What are your organization’s overarching strategic goals? Where does the supply chain contribute most to making them happen?
By aligning the core value proposition of your brand with the supply chain activities that enable its delivery, it’s possible to drive both efficiency and customer satisfaction improvements throughout your organization. The key is to convince stakeholders at every level that the exercise is not only worthwhile, but that their roles and the service they deliver will become that much easier when an integrated, flexible supply chain is in action.