Lisa Anderson, President of LMA Consulting Group Inc. and manufacturing and supply chain expert, works to protect customer supply chains by focusing on supply chain visibility and driving the Sales Inventory Operations Planning (SIOP) process. LMA Consulting Group works with manufacturers and distributors on end-to-end supply chain strategy and transformation to maximize customer experience and enable business growth.
“The pandemic has been a wake-up call about the importance of visibility. While supply chains started to get strained before the pandemic, many simply broke when they were crushed by supplier and delivery issues. Manufacturers realized they needed better visibility,” says Anderson. “Manufacturers are setting up dashboards to get a more global view of the many moving parts. This allowed them to see upstream suppliers and make adjustments. First, for incoming materials and sources of supply. Have they been produced, in transit or stuck in a port? Then for finished products. When was it slated for production? Was it awaiting shipment or in transit to a fulfillment center or customer? When was delivery expected? All are essential to the supply chain.
The more visibility each supply chain partner can gain, the better they can plan, and the more resilient they will be to changing conditions. Supply chain visibility includes manufacturer, supplier, logistics providers, and customer. This is particularly useful for logistics providers (most downstream) when production sites change.
“With better planning comes better service, better profitability, better cash flow and ultimately a superior customer experience. It’s about having the right product, in the right place, at the right time to meet customer demand,” says Anderson. “The SIOP process, which balances sales, inventory and operations planning processes across the supply chain enables successful visibility and ultimately the desired customer experience. It’s complex. It extends beyond your organization to your customers and suppliers. It takes time. Yet it works,” she concludes.
Supply chains have become sophisticated and are constantly evolving. Anderson recently presented Supply Chain Chats, a series of videos that tackle current supply chain topics, issues and challenges. Anderson also published: “Thriving in 2022: Learning from Supply Chain Chaos – Insights from 22 Trusted Advisors, a Special Report” to provide supply chain insights and strategies to manufacturers.