The ability to meet a projected increase in demand with consistent reliability is a top priority for supply chain managers at chemical manufacturing firms, according to Supply Management. The importance is based on companies' need in the chemical supply chain - from suppliers to downstream customers - to reduce inventory. Most of the increased demand is predicted to come from Asia.
A survey by LogiChem reported that 70 percent of the 200 supply chain executives surveyed said reducing inventory is their top priority. For suppliers, this means investing in technology that can deliver goods more efficiently. For suppliers downstream, such as other manufacturers or distribution warehouses, preparing for increased demand also requires better technology on the shop floor.
Automated data collection tools can help improve inventory control in any warehouse or manufacturing facility by providing accurate data on products in real time. To meet changing and often growing capacity, keeping counts at levels that reduce wasted space and overages will be essential. It is important that executives company-wide understand the importance of data collection as they consider how to meet future demand.
Supply Chain Management Must Play a Larger Role
Preparing to increase efficiencies in the future means the supply chain must play a larger role in decisions that impact a company's strategy. For most of the respondents in the LogiChem survey, this was an initiative that had already taken place. Forty percent said that the supply chain is represented on company boards, and 26 percent said that the department is heavily involved in company strategy. The remaining executives reported that their companies only asked for some input or required that the supply chain simply be reactive to changes.