Do you know how to build a lean supply chain so your company can remain competitive?
In a 2013 white paper by VDC Research Group, author Richa Gupta, VDC analyst, claims that data and labeling standards are the best way to achieve supply chain collaboration. “In order to stay productive, competitive, and relevant in the post-recession era, businesses are building leaner supply chains that ensure on-time delivery with minimal waste by trimming fixed and variable costs, including inventory carrying costs, labor-related expenditures, and other operational overheads.”
But how do companies streamline supply chains when faced with rising fuel and material costs, shortened production cycles and time-to-market, and increased global competition?
Standards ensure agility.
Gupta says that agility is vital to developing well-managed distribution channels.
“Inability to respond to market dynamics and demand patterns deters better performance and improved bottom lines. With lean supply chains, even a slight variation in supply or demand can disrupt the organization’s financial health,” Gupta explains. “With a rising number of value chain participants that need to come together to deliver a final product to the customer, companies need standards to seamlessly communicate and integrate these partners.”
To become more agile, VDC recommends that companies adopt data and labeling standards that provide “insight into unmet consumer demands.” When they do, VDC research says that businesses will:
- Improve accuracy and streamline order picking
- Enhance replenishment
- Minimize distribution time
- Ensure labeling consistency across commercial value chain
- Achieve material benefits and long-term cost savings
Agility leads to profitability.
VDC further suggests that organizations eager to meet profitability goals and run agile businesses take the following actions:
- Know your data and information exchange requirements. Gupta says that information sharing is “central to developing strategic partnerships throughout the supply chain to enhance performance.” He adds that manufacturers, distributors, third-party service providers, and end customers must strengthen their relationships by sharing such information as “shipment events, analytics, and compliance guidelines.”
- Get involved with labeling standards organizations. As noted, VDC believes standards are critical. “With production and consumption so widely dispersed globally, supply chains need to be well synchronized and coordinated across a variety of value chain participants. This requires standardization and adherence to a common set of compliance regulations to assure product quality and hat manufacturing facilities observe operating guidelines and principles.” Standards organizations facilitate the sharing of requirements and the understanding of processes essential to establishing standards.
- Incorporate AutoID solutions to enable collaboration and sustainability. VDC says that “Barcoding technology is a cornerstone of an integrated data capture and management system.” Barcode solutions (barcode scanners, mobile computers, software, and barcode labels and printers) electronically store, maintain, and relay data across networks so organizations realize lower inventory carrying costs, increased flow-through, and reduced packaging-related expenses.
To read the VDC white paper “Build Supply Chain Collaboration through Standards” by Richa Gupta, visit the VDC site or click here. To learn more about how barcode technology can benefit your organization, contact System ID.
Editor’s note: At the 2013 System ID Barcode Technology Summit, Michael Liard, vice president of AutoID at VDC Research Group, delivered the keynote address on barcode technology trends and innovations. The annual summit is part of System ID’s commitment to educating and advising organizations on the best barcode solutions to automate, scale, and optimize their operations.
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