Re-Imagining Supply Chain Advantages: Business Leaders Reveal Focus of Coming Year

10/12/2016 15:00 - GREENVILLE, SC - (PR Distribution™)

Next Level Essentials Consultancy to Publish Executives’ Concerns in November Edition of IndustryWeek

Greenville, SC--(Press Release Jet - Oct. 12, 2016) Next Level Essentials, LLC, a leading profit-improvement consultancy for the building products industry, will have its latest report on a survey revealing the financial projections and top concerns of manufacturing executives published in the November/December 2016 edition of IndustryWeek.

Ryan Brown, president of Next Level Essentials, says Items topping the priority list for 2016 have shifted from 2015, with 68% of respondents mentioning the importance of growth in existing markets (up 8 points from 2015.) 63% of the respondents said success is likely to come from new products and services, while cutting operational costs rounds out the top three at 54%. Most significantly, the focus on cost cutting has been in steady decline since 2013 when it peaked at 68%.

Ultimately, Brown says, it is the supply chain that will influence real growth. “CEOs are baking this truism into their corporate strategies by taking a broader definition of the supply chain—one that includes planning, decision analysis, and value-adding activities from end to end, rather than just logistics.”

There are a few inherent reasons that real supply chain excellence remains elusive in most manufacturing industries, according to Brown.  For one, manufacturing itself implies a high intensity of fixed costs, which encourages high volumes and inhibits production flexibility.  Secondly, some chains are part of a global supply network with complicated communication channels that tend to mask the root causes of hiccups and impede coordination activities.  Thirdly, pressure is growing from an increasingly impatient customer base that wants its products faster and cheaper- with diminishing lead times granted to the manufacturer.

Based on the changing competitive landscape, mid-sized manufacturers should be most focused on addressing these three deadly issues:

  1. Over-generalized customer segmentations impair the ability to uncover disparities in value/work ratio and which customer types would pay premiums for specific add on services.
  2. Guessing on what’s best. What impact would the closing of a distribution center or supplying a customer from a different source have on the rest of your network? When is the best time to switch transport modes on which route? Who should be favored in times of allocation and what inventory levels should the plants be run to prior to annual shutdowns? These decisions should and can all be optimized.
  3. Low forecasting accuracy is a symptom of insufficient customer collaboration, disconnected processes and incenting volume over credible estimates.  The results can mean whip-saw inventories and customer defections.

“Improved performance in these three categories is the surest way for companies to redefine their customers’ expectations of service and preserve working capital cash, thereby turning their excellence in supply-chain execution into a powerful source of competitive advantage,” says Brown. 

Editor’s Note: To arrange an interview with Mr. Brown, please contact: Next Level Essentials c/o info@nextlevelessentials.net or +1 864 360 3513

About Next Level Essentials, LLC.

Next Level Essentials is the management consulting firm that the world's building products companies come to when they want bottom line results.  Next Level advises clients on supply chain strategy, operations, organization, greenfield expansion, and transferring skills that make change stick. For more information, visit: www.nextlevelessentials.net.  Follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn for fresh blogs and updates. 

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Next Level Essentials, LLC
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