There is no question that supply chain managers are big-picture people. Overseeing such a large part of a business with numerous employees, processes and reliance on outside entities can be a daunting task. However, big pictures are drawn one day at a time, and there are plenty of daily responsibilities for managers in the supply chain.
According to Plant Engineering, the need for strong daily management skills are integral because of the speed at which things move in the supply chain. It's good business practice to set goals and make plans, but the job is not always predictable, so reacting quickly is part of the job. Supply chain managers need to build collaborative relationships with suppliers, communicate clearly with other departments in the organization and always ensure that they have accurate and up-to-date information.
The Right Tools For The Daily Supply Chain Manager
To operate on a daily schedule and respond in a timely manner, leaders need the right tools. If data collection is slow and inaccurate, the decisions of the supply chain manager will be the same. To meet daily demands, data collection should occur at numerous points and update with ERP systems in real time. At any moment, a manager should be able to identify the status of an order, inventory and information about suppliers.
Data collection software that utilizes the newest technology is the best companion of any supply chain manager. The work of employees can be logged constantly throughout the day, helping to identify areas that need improvement. Inventory control is much easier because as soon as items are scanned in or out, the systems can update with accurate counts. With mobile data collection, it's possible to track work outside of the facility or warehouse. Even workers in the field can update information instantly over networks, or as soon as they re-enter the warehouse at the end of their shifts.