3 Ways to Know If You Need a Supply Chain Audit
In a post last week, I encouraged companies to get a supply chain audit to see how they could improve their process of procuring printed materials and promotional products. The post was well received but I started thinking about the fact that people are pretty used to suppliers promising to save them money, so they can be pretty skeptical without specific examples.
So today I’m providing you with a few more specific things to look for. If any of these three situations applies to you, I’m confident that a Supply Chain Audit would be very worthwhile, likely saving you time, money and hassle, and helping you achieve other objectives, as well.
- You are buying on price
It’s understandable. It seems only logical to search every corner of your town, not to mention the Internet, to come up with the lowest possible price for each project. There are several problems with this approach, however. First, and most importantly, price is only one aspect of the procurement process for printed materials and promotional products. The search can cost you plenty of time as well – and that is often worth even more than money.
In commodity management, the most important consideration is the overall process of getting you from where you are to your goal. If you only consider price, you are left vulnerable to many other variables that can negatively impact that process. Quality, reliability, track record – aren’t those all at least as important as price in the big picture?
With a Supply Chain Audit, you can put in place a proven quality management process; it helps determine the best vendor for each project, enforces a consistent quality standard on your behalf, and helps manage everything from ordering to delivery for each order and reorder. It’s off your desk, and off your mind.
- You Have More Than One Buyer for Print and Promotional Products, Perhaps Even In Multiple Locations
As I mentioned above, you have plenty of things to think about when you are looking for a cost-efficient printer, or searching for the right item and supplier for a specific promotional use. But those problems multiply geometrically when you have multiple people responsible for those decisions; they are more complicated still when those people are in many different locations.
How can you be sure that those people are following the same parameters that you are? How can you minimize or eliminate the many hours those people are spending searching Google and an almost endless list of websites for the same kinds of things, and working out details with many different suppliers? And how can you ever build the solid, trust-based relationships that are so essential to an ongoing supply chain for printed and promotional products?
With our Corporate Kiosk technology, Superior Business Solutions can use our expertise and almost unmatched connections to implement the most effective processes to fit your situation. Our experience allows us to do all the shopping for you, since we know the industry so well, and can limit the search to vendors with the appropriate skill sets and performance quality. If you or some of your people prefer to do some of the looking, we understand – that is not unusual, especially with promotional products. In those cases, we can provide time-saving guidance with Promoplace.
Simply put, if your organization requires many different people to participate in the procurement of printed or promotional products, a Supply Chain Audit is a very good idea.
- You Want More Brand Control and Protection
Everyone in your organization wants to do a great job for your company. But few of them are branding experts, and even fewer truly appreciate the important role that strong, consistent branding – even on the smallest promotional item (or printed pieces, for that matter) – can play in reinforcing your company’s image and contributing to its long-term success.
One word (or worse yet, your company name and logo) in the wrong position or the wrong color can actually weaken your company image. If you don’t demonstrate precision and consistency in the things you distribute, prospects may begin to wonder if you treat your core business the same way. We can help you avoid that situation in several ways.
First, with our Corporate Kiosk, we can work with you to select pre-approved items within different categories that your people can choose and know they are working within your branding guidelines. The system ensures that all logo placements and other graphic considerations will happen according to preset standards.
You can also trust your dedicated Customer Service Representative to be familiar with your brand standards and make certain that everything in your supply chain, from an inexpensive promotional pen or handout to the most comprehensive capabilities brochure, is designed and printed or manufactured according to those exacting standards.
No matter how many departments, divisions, or employees you have, you have one brand. If you want be sure that your brand is delivered properly in all vehicles to all audiences, a Supply Chain Audit is certainly in order.
Naturally, from where I sit, the benefits of coordinating all these activities through a central source seem obvious. But I know you’re out there doing all the important things you need to do to succeed in your business, and aren’t focusing on these issues the way I do. I’m hopeful that these examples help tell the story.
And by all means, if any of the three examples above do seem to apply to your business, give me a shout. I can provide you even more specific examples that will show how an audit can help you out. It’s what we’re here for!