6 Strategies to Cut Costs in Supply Chain for Consumer Brands

In today's competitive business environment, maximizing cost efficiency in your supply chain is crucial for maintaining a healthy bottom line. When a company can reduce inventory cost and optimizing cash flow, they will improve profitability and gain a competitive edge. In this article, we will explore 12 strategies to help you achieve these goals.

How to Optimize Supply Chain Costs

1. Production Tracking Processes

The first step in maximizing cost efficiency in your supply chain is to analyze the impact of production tracking processes on costs. To reduce inventory management costs many companies will identify areas where costs can be reduced or eliminated. Working with co-manufacturers or manufacturing partners lets you rely on their expertise however, tracking wastage (how much material went into production vs how much was used) will reveal any big gaps. Consider implementing lean manufacturing principles or switching to more cost-effective suppliers. Check out ODM vs OEM to learn more.

  • One way to analyze the impact of production tracking changes on costs is by conducting a time and motion study. This involves observing and recording the time it takes for each step in the production process, as well as the movements and motions involved. By analyzing this data, you can identify bottlenecks or inefficiencies that are driving up costs and develop strategies to address them.

2. Better Supply Chain Order Management

Another key strategy is streamlining ordering processing in supply chain management. By implementing automated systems like Pipe17 or using electronic data interchange (EDI) for wholesale, you can eliminate manual errors and inefficiencies in the ordering process. This not only saves time but also reduces costs associated with order processing and fulfillment.

  • Implementing automated systems can also help improve inventory accuracy and reduce carrying costs. If you manage your own inventory, using barcode scanners or RFID technology to track inventory movement ensures that your inventory records are always up to date. This can help prevent overstocking or stockouts, which can lead to unnecessary costs.

3. How to Improve Inventory Accuracy With Technology

Mitigating shortage costs through effective inventory accuracy tools is also critical. By accurately forecasting demand and maintaining optimal inventory levels, you can minimize stockouts and the associated costs of lost sales and rush orders. Implementing inventory management software or collaborating closely with suppliers can help ensure that you have the right amount of stock at the right time. This is where technology like Centro is helpful - where software constantly tracks your catalogue of SKUs and components to find inventory stockouts and offers streamlined processes to replenish inventory.

Managing carrying costs for efficient inventory control is essential. Carrying costs include expenses such as warehousing, insurance, and obsolescence. By optimizing warehouse space, implementing effective inventory control systems, and regularly reviewing product performance, you can reduce carrying costs and free up valuable resources.

4. Prioritizing Inventory Forecasting and Tracking Actuals

Assessing and mitigating inventory risk costs is a crucial aspect of cost efficiency. Inventory risk costs include the potential costs of holding excess stock, such as storage costs and the risk of obsolescence. By regularly monitoring demand patterns, conducting thorough risk assessments, and implementing robust inventory risk management strategies, you can minimize these costs.

5. Optimize the Cash Commitments

Understanding and managing capital costs in inventory management is crucial. Capital costs include the costs associated with financing inventory, such as interest on loans. By evaluating financing options, negotiating favorable terms, and optimizing inventory turnover, you can lower capital costs and improve cash flow. Additionally, there are vendor-managed financing options and payment terms that can enable better cashflow. Suggestions for this include prioritizing vendors that offer net 60/net 90 terms and setting payments to start upon later production dates. You can read more about this in Supplier Negotiation Strategy to Improve Cashflow.

6. Adjusted Cost of Goods Sold Quarterly

Calculating and analyzing the cost of goods sold (COGS) is essential for understanding your true production costs. By accurately calculating COGS and regularly reviewing these calculations, you can identify areas where costs can be reduced, such as raw material expenses or production inefficiencies.

By implementing these strategies, you can maximize cost efficiency in your supply chain, reduce inventory costs, and boost cash flow. However, keep in mind that not all strategies may be applicable to your specific business situation. It's essential to carefully evaluate each strategy and tailor it to your unique needs and goals. With a proactive approach to cost management, you can position your company for long-term success in today's competitive marketplace.

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