Knowing Your Network: Your Suppliers’ Supplier

Chances are, as a manufacturer, your facility uses tier one and tier two suppliers for your materials. Your suppliers have suppliers and your experience is directly related to how those organizations work with one another. Many industry experts suggest that transparency is the only solution for everyone along the supply chain to feel comfortable with the processes. This knowledge of your entire supply chain will mitigate some of your manufacturing risks.  Here are 5 reasons that it is important for you to know each link in your chain well.

  1. Product launch and retirement. Many manufactured products have relatively short lifespans. This is not abnormal considering how technological advancements change the industry frequently. Since they have relatively short shelf lives it is important that the ramp up go as smoothly as possible. If any link in the chain is kinked or broken the entire launch could be delayed and may even make the product irrelevant.
  2. Day to day coordination. Knowing where every part of your process is along the way is key to avoiding errors or slowdowns. Were you affected by the tsunamis in Japan in 2011? Many manufacturing facilities were. They were depending on products form their suppliers to be shipped but the tsunami affected production and distribution there and ultimately affected production here. At least knowing where these problems might happen can give you an opportunity to determine other solutions.
  3. Quality of your plan. If any part along the process is lacking information it can slow down the entire implementation plan. If you have a familiarity with not only your direct suppliers but also their suppliers you may be able to handle these kinds of issues before they affect your ability to produce your product. Communication at all levels is imperative.
  4. Tracking supplier performance. If you understand each level of your supplier process you are then better able to determine how each supplier is performing for you. Their quality will depend on the quality of their own suppliers so knowing who it is that is providing services and products to them will help you understand how they are doing for you. Evaluate each of your suppliers on criteria such as quality of materials and delivery times.
  5. Reduction of risk. Visibility and coordination within your supply chain will ultimately lead to less panic and trouble and a much smoother experience along the way. Everything from the planning, coordination, and communication all add up to a more fulfilling supplier experience all the way along the chain.

Are you looking for more insider information about the manufacturing industry? Contact the expert staff at Luttrell Staffing Group Services to find out how we can help you.