The terms ‘supply chain’ and ‘logistics’ refer to the management of the flow of resources, such as raw material, information or finances, from the original source to the consumer. Raw ingredients on the farm can be picked and transported to the supplier, on to a manufacturer, their distributor and then sold on to a retailer and ultimately purchased by a consumer, for example.
An efficient supply chain system and an effective logistics strategy are integral to the success of any business. Any problems or hold ups along this chain can cost you money in lost sales or spoilt goods. Looking at your information and financial flow in the same way is also important to ensure information comes in when it’s needed and finance is available at critical points in the process such as when you need to purchase ingredients to meet an order.
By having the right supply chain system and logistics strategy in place, your business can save costs, improve delivery efficiency and increase competitiveness.
Effective supply chain and logistic practices can help to make your business and its products and services more competitive and profitable in the global market. By better managing the process of supply and distribution across the myriad of businesses, people and systems involved in delivering your product to market, you’re more likely to improve customer service, reduce lead times, turn inventory faster and lower cost.
To assess your supply chain, you need to be able to answer these questions:
- What is the margin taken for the value added by each of the operators in your supply chain?
- Can you follow an order and an item through your chain and identify where costs can be reduced?
- How many of your trading partners will stay with you if your competitors match your offer, but provide smoother, least cost ‘supply interfaces’ – that is, simpler, more efficient processes?
- If you invested in information technology to reduce your transactions costs, inventory holding costs and order lead times, could you interface your systems with your trading partners?
Services that help businesses to improve their supply chains and logistics include:
- forums to educate businesses about inbound and outbound logistics management strategies and supply chain processes and techniques
- programs to assist implementation of new management strategies and supply chain processes and techniques
- advice to help businesses achieve cost reductions and improve delivery times
- assistance with establishing business cases and change management plans
- advice on the latest logistic management strategies and supply chain processes
- mentoring for businesses willing to participate in ongoing improvement programs
Want more information?
- Food chain resilience
The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry works with industry and other government agencies to ensure the safety and security of Australia’s food supply.
- Auscold Logistics
Auscold can help to ensure your fresh, chilled and frozen products remain in perfect condition across the supply chain.
- Supply Chain Digest
Is an online resource reviewing and collating information on this topic internationally.