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1November 2020

Precision Solutions – Supply Chain Dynamics

If you’re among the many businesses relying on supply chain logistics to bring your product or products to the people, you’ve probably noticed the significant change to supply chain dynamics over the past year. Faced with unpredictable consumer behavior, political chaos and a life-changing pandemic, companies around the world have been forced to navigate an increasingly volatile supply chain in order to compete in today’s global market. Yes, it’s safe to say that the days of a predictable, rigid supply chain appear to be in our rearview mirror. And with the constant evolution of all of the above, it doesn’t seem likely to become less volatile in the near future. 

Rigid Supply Chain Management

The traditional approach to supply chain management (SCM) featured an on-premises approach, in which sellers/suppliers manufactured products they believed consumers would buy and distributed those products through channel partners, who then proceeded to sell the products to consumers. The consumer purchased the products through a single entity, such as a retail outlet or via a sales contact at the manufacturer. This integrated approach encompasses all the elements of the supply chain process – designing, sourcing, manufacturing and delivery. And although, it might seem as though rigid SCM would provide more control of the supply chain to a business. However, constantly changing consumer expectations, global logistics challenges, advances in technology and a number of other factors render a fixed SCM model somewhat obsolete. The need for a dynamic supply chain model that brings more flexibility and more importantly – adaptability, allows the company to react to changes quickly with multi-channel fulfillment, increased visibility, and the ability to meet fluctuations in demand. 

Dynamic Supply Chain

A dynamic supply chain model favors an approach that views a supply chain as an adaptable ecosystem of processes, people, capital assets, technology and data. Focusing on flexibility where it matters and driving an agile operational methodology enables the company to react to challenges and also take advantage of opportunities driven by evolving consumer trends. And in unpredictable markets, dynamic supply chains can meet the specific needs of each customer channel. For example: If a product is highly sensitive to media trends, creating a highly adaptable manufacturing and distribution network for the beginning of the product lifecycle and a more cost-effective method for the end of the lifecycle might make sense. Or if a customer segment is cost sensitive, the supply chain for that product must effectively root out every last bit of waste and reduce excess costs.

How to Get There

It starts by evaluating, defining and segmenting the supply chains within your organization based on product, customer and location. From there, you should ask yourself a series of questions – 

  1. Are your production and delivery processes and capabilities aligned with your product design and development processes? 
  2. Do you have a system that transforms key insights into actionable intelligence? Where does technology fit in to your supply chain equation? 
  3. How does your company respond to a rapid change in demand? What processes need to be put in place to meet those demands?
  4. What operational strategies need to be adjusted to allow adaptability? Identify impediments to the process and implement course corrections. 
  5. Develop a roadmap to a dynamic supply chain. Building a successful, dynamic supply chain isn’t going to happen overnight. Establishing one without risks to your business, means establishing a step by step plan that builds upon existing capabilities, evaluates costs and identifies tangible results. 

Ultimately, a dynamic supply chain model should allow a company to develop and sustain multiple supply chains with operational agility that enables a rapid response to market conditions, competitive threats, and opportunities. As a result, unpredictability will no longer be a hurdle to your business success. 

1October 2020

Precision Solutions – How government outsourcing improves the acquisition process

Keeping the wheels turning on the massive machine that is the federal government, is no easy task – in the best of times. Throw in a pandemic, an economic recession and a chaotic geo-political climate and the process of managing and acquiring the resources the government needs to function, can be even more challenging to overcome. To meet those challenges, outsourcing products and services has become more and more important to the government procurement process. But there are also some key questions to consider for any government outsourcing venture to be successful.

  • Is the service or product being outsourced intrinsic to a core level of government that would render outsourcing inappropriate?
  • Does a competitive market for the product or service exist that includes a number of high-quality suppliers?
  • Can the potential value of the product or service being offered by the supplier be easily measured and quantified?
  • Are there robust quality control standards and mutually established performance metrics?

Not that there aren’t hurdles to the process. Burdensome regulations, the tendency to award contracts based solely on price but with the expectation of the same level of quality, bid protests based on flawed solicitations – are all impediments that can create difficult challenges for both suppliers and contract managers. However, if the conditions of the proposed outsourcing venture effectively answer the above questions, the likelihood for success is much higher and can streamline the acquisition process for government agencies at the federal, state and local level. Not to mention the numerous tangible benefits associated with government outsourcing.

Benefits to Government Outsourcing

  • A competitive market of suppliers can offer significant cost savings.
  • Reduces the need for capital expenditures. For example – an agency in need of IT services can avoid the long-term expenses associated with hiring and training full time employees to perform core IT functions.
  • Infrastructure needs can be met more quickly. With a plethora of options for competing suppliers, critical projects and essential supplies can be procured faster and more efficiently.
  • Facilitates access to advanced technology, products and services that might otherwise be unavailable within the government itself.
  • Ability to create economic stimulus in minority sectors through set-aside contracts that favor disadvantaged businesses.
  • Reduces risk – outsourcing transfers the risk in large part to the provider, who are typically more capable of determining how to avoid pitfalls and risks in their area of expertise.

At the end of the day, government outsourcing makes it possible to get the right equipment, product or service into the right hands as efficiently as possible. If you’re looking for solutions to your procurement needs, contact the professionals at Precision Solutions. Our core mission is to deliver prompt, cost-effective solutions to some of the government’s most challenging supply chain issues. Contact us today for more information.