Lean Procurement and Supply Chain Management

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Lean Procurement and supply chain management is for many companies. It is not just for manufacturers who practice lean management. It is also for non-manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, retailers and others.

During the past few years, companies have focused on supply chain improvements with initiatives centred on operational excellence and cost cutting. But have they worked?

In today’s on-demand environment, companies are facing growing challenges around market volatility, costs, long lead times and unpredictable forecasts. Your inventory management decisions can make or break your firm’s financial bottom line. You will find strategies in this book that will let your company meet these daily challenges and optimize working capital efficiency.

Today, the buyer’s responsibilities have changed dramatically. Instead of simply finding the right materials and services at the best price, buyers must play a critical part in improving the flow of information and materials throughout the supply chain.

The old way of doing business consists of buyers managing MRP forecasts and communicating with suppliers via phone, fax and e-mail. Spreadsheets and manual reports are passed between the suppliers. These manual processes are slow and cumbersome. They cannot support today’s on-demand enterprises.

Supply chain procurement professionals spend too much time “managing the hot list” and reacting to short-term issues. They lack the data visibility to manage their operations strategically. They cannot seem to find the time to develop strategic plan with suppliers and deploy improved lean processes that are focused on eliminating the root cause of their procurement problems.

Without lean procurement, buyers spend the majority of their time on non-strategic processes like tracking down order status, expedite/de-expedite the same part from week-to-week, manual changing improper order quantities, and maintaining “private” spreadsheets for analysis. As a result, they lack the time to focus on realizing opportunities to create mutual benefits through supplier negotiations and process efficiencies.

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