Supply Chain Standardization: understand its difficulties and how to overcome them

by | 09/09/2020

4 minutes to read

The supply chain has a strategic and fundamental role in organizations. It is responsible not only for the integration of internal processes, but also for the relationship with customers and suppliers. Therefore, it is essential to know how to make it more strategic in order to obtain the expected results.

One way to obtain better results is to apply supply chain standardization. Let us talk more about this concept, its benefits and the main challenges on this topic. Enjoy your reading!

What is supply chain standardization?

Supply chain standardization refers to ways to standardize processes across the supply chain, ensuring that actions are carried out within defined characteristics for the organization as a whole.

What are its benefits?

Standardizing processes can bring a number of benefits to your company, such as:

  • reduction of internal costs in production processes;
  • automation of logistical processes;
  • processes following a certain quality standard, encouraged by the company;
  • minimization of noise among employees involved in the supply chain;
  • alignment in the production process between headquarters and branches, creating a specific organization pattern for this purpose;
  • improvement of the organization’s responsiveness to problems in this area.

What are the main difficulties of supply chain standardization?

The point is that supply chain standardization requires changes, which can be challenges for organizations. We will show the main ones below as well as how to overcome them.

Identify which are the generic processes of supply chain

Perhaps this is one of the main challenges: to find out which processes are common to different sectors and to standardize them properly. This is because there are peculiarities within each area that need to be respected, while it is essential to create protocols for them.

This also involves another challenge: restructuring business processes, in order to conform to this supply chain standardization process by making SCM more effective.

Finding what can be standardized can be a difficult task, but the key is to prioritize business goals in this process. The supply chain needs to support these issues in order to generate better results.

This is easy to understand when we think of differences in companies in the same segment, but with different goals. For example, the standardization of processes for a company that supplies the national market is different from that performed for those who work with exports. These are different objectives and therefore lead to a customized supply chain standardization on a case-by-case basis.

Understand that the supply chain is not just a cost

We understand that there are efforts to optimize production costs and this is legitimate, in fact. However, the error is perhaps a view that the supply chain is a problem to be solved.

One tip is, understand this as the companies that are more aggressive and have more success in this regard: understand that SCM is a strategic tool of the business. In addition, therefore, at certain times, investments in this area will be necessary – as, for example, in the standardization of processes.

Standardize the technologies used

One of the ways to be able to apply an efficient standardization, especially when we talk between headquarters and branches, is the use of similar technologies in companies. Through this, it is possible to standardize issues, such as:

  • tracking;
  • order automation;
  • entry and exit of items from warehouses;
  • inventory management, among others.

Through this, it is possible to apply unique protocols and standards, through the adoption of the same tools, as well as allowing logistics managers to have a more efficient control of practices adopted internally and between units.

Supply chain standardization is essential to enhance existing strategies in organizations. In addition, it is a way to modernize your logistics sector, making it more efficient and generating competitive advantages.

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