Reducing waste with your supply chain strategy
You will learn
- Help to understand what materials you actually need
- Considerations for your storage
- How to develop less wasteful relationships with your suppliers
If you’re looking into how you can reduce the amount of waste your business is producing, take a look at your supply chain strategy. It’s common for waste to come through the incorrect management of your supply chain, and this article is going to help you figure out what steps you can take to cut down on wasted materials.
Understanding what you actually need
The first step in your supply chain strategy for cutting down on waste is for you to have an in-depth understanding of what products and materials your business actually needs.
Start by monitoring an average month in your business. Keep a record of all the materials you order and how much you’re bringing in, how much of that you actually use, how much you sell, and what gets thrown away or put back into storage at the end of each week. That will give you a good baseline for what’s actually coming in and out of your business each month to help you manage your supplies more efficiently.
Think about your storage
To cut down on waste, think about how you store materials in your business. If you order lots of resources all at once you’re probably saving money in the long run – but only if those material actually get used. If you’re buying in bulk with the intention to store rather than because you need that volume to operate, you could actually be wasting your money.
Lots of products have a use-by date attached to them that you need to adhere to so that you can always give your customers quality products or services that comply with regulations. If you’ve bought in bulk, it increases your chances of missing that deadline and wasting that item. Leaving materials in storage for extended periods can also lessen their quality, whether that be damp, dust or unforeseen damage.
Of course, if you are using the high volume of material you’re ordering, you don’t need to consider a change, as it’s not wasted. But if you are bringing material in thinking it’ll get used at an unspecified later date, you might want to refine your supply chain strategy a little more and think about your suppliers.
Consider your suppliers
If your business is using suppliers from across the UK or overseas, you might be limited in your delivery options and have to buy in bulk to make the shipping worthwhile. However, if you are able to source these items locally, you’ll be given a little more flexible with delivery.
A local supplier will have the ability to deliver smaller orders more frequently, meaning, you’ll be able to place orders depending on your demand, rather than based on your estimations of production and sales. It’s worth taking the time to research suppliers who can deliver based on your demand rather than their minimum order or delivery schedules so you won’t be wasting money or materials.
Being familiar with your supply chain strategy is an important factor to reducing the amount of waste created within it. Build good relationships with your suppliers and have materials delivered to meet your demand rather than buying in bulk and having to store it to cut down waste.