MANUFACTURERS AND DISTRIBUTORS

 
How We Can Help.

Manufacturing and distribution executives today are under intense pressure to continually improve financial performance while fending off tough competitors, meeting the needs of increasingly demanding customers, and dealing with a volatile global economy. In such an environment, a superior supply chain is absolutely vital.

SCE helps companies create such superior supply chains. We take a hands-on approach with clients to develop and implement the capabilities they need to respond to shifts in their markets. Our work focuses on helping companies address their most pressing supply chain challenges, including:

 

We also work closely with private equity firms to boost the return on their investments—by both helping to conduct due diligence on potential acquisitions and improving supply chain performance in their portfolio companies. Learn more about our services for private equity firms here.

In response to the pressure on supply chain teams to improve operations performance, we have introduced our Rapid Discovery Assessment: An Evaluation of Opportunities to Improve Your Supply Chain’s Performance.  Learn more about our no-obligation assessment here.

In today's environment, a superior supply chain is absolutely vital.

What are companies' top performance initiatives?
Hear What Our Clients Are Saying About Working With SCE

"John DuBiel and his staff at Supply Chain Edge led the development of a Supply Chain Assessment and Logistics strategy to enable United Copper to achieve its short and long term goals of 3-day delivery and 95% on-time delivery.  The strategy was instrumental in maintaining a flat transportation cost base, while positioning United Copper to be a shipper of choice in a tight transportation market.  I would recommend John and his staff."

    Joel Brown
    Director of Supply Chain
    United Copper Industries

 
Developing Robust Supply Chain Strategies

The supply chain’s ability to consistently deliver products and services at a competitive cost is fundamental to business success, and it all starts with an effective and robust supply chain strategy that supports the overall business strategy. 

SCE works with companies and private equity firms to define and execute supply chain strategies and processes that are incorporated into the strategic planning process and align with the master operating plan of the organization. In doing so, we typically focus on several key steps:

  • Creating a supply chain profile to document the contributions of each supply chain segment.

  • Analyze key trends (industry, market served, customer requirements, supplier capabilities, and potential customer segmentation).

  • Review competitor capabilities and analyze the company’s own supply chain strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, and capacity.

  • Define key initiatives to be undertaken by the supply chain organization to deliver the strategic capabilities the business requires.

  • Develop the supply chain financial plan that reflects the strategy, rolls into all business unit financials, and forms the foundation for the supply chain’s annual operating plan.

Whether a company is focused on providing customers with the lowest prices, capitalizing on consumer trends, providing superior service, or most effectively supporting a product’s lifecycle from conception through retirement, SCE can help craft a supply chain strategy that can effectively support an enterprise’s chosen mission.

 
Identifying and Prioritizing Supply Chain Improvement Opportunities

As companies everywhere continue to grapple with the effects of the global economic downturn, the ability of the supply chain to consistently deliver products and services at a competitive cost has assumed even greater strategic importance. But keeping the supply operating at peak efficiency and effectiveness can be a major challenge, especially given the myriad priorities typically competing for limited investment funds.

Supply Chain Edge’s proprietary Alignment and Assessment Process can help manufacturers address this critical challenge. The process integrates an advanced Web-based survey tool with in-depth interviews, workshops and analysis to help manufacturers determine which supply chain investments will result in the most rapid and substantial returns.

Our team uses the tool to gather insights from employees, customers, and suppliers on a company’s performance across more than 30 supply chain competencies. These insights enable us to assess how critical each of these competencies is to that specific company and how well the company performs on each. In subsequent workshops and one-on-one interviews with key client stakeholders, we explore the results of the survey to identify key supply chain changes that can generate year-over-year operational and financial productivity gains and greater value in the multi-year strategic plan.

 
Selecting and Implementing Supply Chain Technologies

Robust information technology tools are critical to getting the most of supply chain operations. Yet, deciding which of the myriad available tools are right for one's organization can be challenging. SCE helps clients derive maximum value from its supply chain IT investments by defining the desired outcomes expected from technology implementations, evaluating prospective technology solutions, and supporting a company's internal IT professionals on the implementation of these technologies and relevant support tools.

SCE's deep technology expertise is rooted in extensive experience evaluating and leading the implementation of numerous warehouse management, transportation management, and freight payment solutions. SCE is service provider agnostic, and we use our proven methodologies, approach and supporting technologies to help clients select and adopt the solutions that can maximize supply chain performance and provide visibility into key measures of success.

 
Optimizing Warehousing and Distribution

One of the greatest competitive differentiators among businesses today is the ability to generate the highest levels of customer satisfaction in the most profitable way. Doing so entails operating warehousing and distribution centers at peak efficiency to quickly and completely fill customers' orders at the lowest possible cost.

SCE helps companies identify process and workflow improvements in distribution center and warehouse operations, perform SKU rationalization and impact studies, identify packaging improvements, develop more effective inventory management and material handling strategies, and perform distribution center "optimal" location and consolidation analyses.

 
Managing Supply Chain Risk

Managers create, preserve, or erode business value via the decisions they make across the full range of supply chain activities, from setting strategy to managing daily operations. In making these decisions, business leaders must consider how individual risks interrelate, and they must develop a cohesive perspective on risk tolerance and mitigation at several levels: enterprise, business unit and regional. This is where supply chain risk management comes into play: It is a process designed to identify potential risks to the supply chain and ensure a company stays within its risk tolerance threshold.

Supply Chain Edge has a proven approach to supply chain risk management, working with a company's CEO, COO, business unit presidents, supply chain management, IT management, and finance organization to identify and analyze risks to the achievement of supply chain objectives. We assess these risks in terms of both probability and impact, enabling our clients to determine how risks should be managed and in which areas contingency plans are required.

 
Evaluating Supply Chain Outsourcing and Interim Management Alternatives

For most companies today, a focus on core competencies is a competitive imperative. Shedding distracting and costly activities that can be done more effectively by a third–party specialist enables organizations do what they do best while reducing operational costs that can be a drag on the bottom line.  Yet knowing what to outsource, selecting an outsourcing partner and actually transitioning the function or process can be fraught with risk without experienced guidance.

SCE works with clients to identify those supply chain-related functions and processes that would be best suited for outsourcing, define the evaluation and selection criteria, and support the client through the vendor evaluation process and launch of the outsourcing arrangement. Whether a company is contemplating outsourcing procurement, logistics, reverse logistics, warehousing, or any other supply chain discipline, SCE is prepared to guide you every step of the way.

In some cases, a company may find itself with vacancies in key supply chain leadership positions. That’s when an organization needs a trusted resource that can provide the guidance and direction necessary to keep the operations functioning smoothly until the position is filled.

SCE can provide its clients with an interim supply chain management team, comprising seasoned professionals with extensive line and functional experience across many types of businesses, organizational structures, and cultures. In addition, we have relationships with numerous external supply chain leaders who are available to SCE clients for defined assignments. 

By tapping into SCE's resources on an interim basis, a company gains access to professionals who can help it address its strategic and operational challenges, bridging the gap between permanent hires with the experience, knowledge and leadership capabilities required in today's highly competitive world.

 
Enhancing Customer and Channel Profitability

In today’s global market, competition is intense and an in-depth knowledge of a company's cost structure is fundamental to its current and future profitability. In such an environment, treating all customers and channels in the same way is not an option. Instead, by understanding the full cost to serve specific customers and channels, a company can better differentiate its product and service offerings, and more effectively make strategic investments and decisions.

SCE can help, with an approach to customer and channel profitability that focuses on how each channel and customer segment contributes to a company’s profit margins and strategic goals. SCE provides sound contribution analyses that empower company leadership to weigh difficult tradeoffs between pure profit contribution and the strategic portfolio value of specific products and customers. Indeed, our approach is grounded in our awareness that in today’s world, knowing total business unit costs or geographic margins is no longer sufficient.

 
Improving Sourcing and Procurement

The effectiveness of a company's sourcing and procurement processes directly impacts business results. Supply Chain Edge helps companies improve these processes: taking cost out of strategic and non–strategic buys, establishing strategic sourcing capabilities and leveraging non–strategic procurement, and improving supplier quality performance.

To do so our team creates a framework for both strategic and non-strategic purchases, tests the framework and related processes across regions and global functions, identifies category cost drivers, and segments product and material purchases against this framework by market, complexity, risk, impact and cost.

Having built this framework and provided better visibility into a company's purchases, we then identify suppliers, specify supplier requirements and evaluation criteria, request quotes and hold initial supplier meetings. Next, we help select suppliers, develop and execute contracts, and establish information exchanges required for effective joint planning. Finally, we work with internal teams and external suppliers regarding performance, certifications, quality requirements, traceability, C–TPAT certification, and contingency planning.

 
Implementing Sales and Operations Planning

A well designed and executed sales and operations planning (S&OP) process can provide the structure, data, and stakeholder involvement necessary to link the front and back ends of all a company's businesses, including year–over–year financial productivity, positioned inventory investment, distribution and transportation network refinement, and customer/channel profitability execution.

Because the implementation of sales and operations planning often involves cultural change, SCE typically begins by educating internal teams on the value of — and approach to — sales and operations planning and evaluating the fit between the S&OP process and ERP platforms, supply chain functions and finance. We then prepare for implementation by structuring the content of inputs and outputs, assigning responsibilities and creating a detailed monthly S&OP process. The process then is piloted with a product family and new product families are integrated as the process rolls out. Once in place, we work with internal teams to critique and refine the process for continuous improvement.

 
Transforming the Supply Chain and Its Processes

Red flags such as low inventory turns, high functional unit costs, customer service deterioration, system conversion problems, and poorly executed acquisition integration often mean that key supply chain processes must be re-engineered or, in some cases, the supply chain itself is in need of a complete restructuring.

SCE has a proven approach to transforming the supply chain and its related processes. We engage the client's senior leadership team in the overall work, as well as ensure that the organization is well aware of management's goal of transforming the processes at hand. In addition, SCE uses its proprietary supply chain alignment and assessment tool to engage key parties in the work, gain their commitment to the transition, and enable detailed dialogue with respect to targets, performance measurement tools, and associated timelines. The end result: supply chain processes that will contribute to financial and operational performance in the long term.

 
Driving Sustainable Cost Reduction in Transportation Operations

With oil–price volatility now the norm, transportation has become a key focus area for companies involved in moving goods, especially those operating on a global scale. In fact, understanding how to transport goods in the most efficient, cost–effective way while meeting customers' requirements is more important than ever.

SCE helps companies evaluate, assess, identify, and quantify cost-reduction and process–improvement opportunities that can be realized in global transportation, including inbound and outbound transportation costing, maximizing the relationship value with global service providers, freight payment management, customer-based profitability analysis, and private or dedicated fleet rationalization.

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