Diane Carroll, from LPR, offers a 10 step guide to changing pallet supplier in times of uncertainty
Permacrisis. It’s a term that is still making the rounds; and it’s true. The ongoing conflict between Russia and the Ukraine is continuing to make its presence felt, both in terms of human cost and financial cost. The FMCG supply chain is still in the same state of flux that it has been for almost three years.
There are still some ways that businesses can reduce or control costs, including scouring their pre-and post-production supply chains to identify where savings can be made. Here’s some advice on choosing the right supplier that will work with you to control your costs.
- Do your homework
How many players are there in the market? If it’s 3PL, probably hundreds. In a more specialist area, such as pallet pooling, just a few. Engage early with your shortlist.
- Involve everyone
Supply chain is not printer paper – from your warehouse operatives to your accounting team, the switch will affect many people.
- Give a clear brief
Take the time to fully understand your own, and your extended, supply chain – from end to end.
- A Consultative Sales Process
It’s easy for suppliers to ’talk the talk’ about proactivity, agility, flexibility and innovation, but are they able to prove it?
- How do they respond to deadlines and requests?
No matter how well you prepare, there will always be other issues that emerge. Demonstrating agility and flexibility now is a good barometer of how they will respond to the hiccups of running a supply chain operation.
- Matrix relationships
You’ve already involved the experts from your side, is your prospective supplier doing the same? If you are important to them, they will.
Planning is everything. What experience does your prospective partner have of managing implementations on the same scale as yours. Ask to see a project plan.
Whatever system you have, IT systems will add a level of complexity to any major implementation – this includes those linked to your automation. Consult your IT team early on.
- Business as Usual
How will your proposed partner manage your contract? Will they provide a dedicated team and single point of contact?
- What if…
Beyond the implementation, consider the “what if’s” of your supply chain. Think about equipment failures, customer demands, seasonality and, of course, crisis response.
Prefer to let the experts handle your change-over? Call LPR on 01527 523311 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information: www.lpr.eu