4 Ways to Reduce Supply Chain Waste
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By Morgan International Staff Writers
As competition becomes fiercer than ever, organisations are closely examining their supply chain with the aim of reducing costs. In fact specifically reducing waste has become a fundamental aspect of any cost reduction program. We are going to look at 4 specific areas to investigate in the hunt to reduce supply chain waste.
1. Product design
Review the design of the product and identify if and where raw materials can be reduced, or perhaps be swapped out for cheaper alternatives that still satisfy quality requirements. This also extends to the way in which the product is manufactured due to the design, and the packaging it is sold in.
2. Manufacturing process
Just as the product is designed, so should the manufacturing process be. Each part of the production process should be carefully considered to reduce the waste of raw materials. Where waste is unavoidable, it is prudent to examine if it can be recycled or used elsewhere. This point is inextricably linked with the first, whereby the product design and production process should be optimised.
3. Improve quality
Quality should be built into the product design and the production process. The aim of quality management is to minimize the waste of raw materials, avoid rework and of course deliver a high quality product. Quality inspection is a key requirement as it not only identifies product that should not make it out of the factory, but it also highlights key issues that can and should be rectified.
4. Speak to your employees
Who knows your product and its manufacturing process better than those producing it? They will almost certainly know where there is avoidable waste. Speak to your employees and ask for their recommendations. This can be done in focus groups as this tends to encourage a debate and spark ideas.
If there has previously been no real consideration of waste within an organisation, the best approach is likely to be to kicked off with a waste reduction program and implement the review as outlined above. There will of course be a cost implication of undertaking this, but done robustly, it will most likely pay off through cost savings from reduced waste.