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May 24, 2021 | 13:05

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The decision to hire a specialist to manage the supply chain can be difficult for a company that never has such experience before. At the same time, transportation business consultants, for example, can help look at the whole process from another perspective and with a professional approach in the niche specialization. In this article we will define the role of supply chain management consultant and how he may help the company solve typical problems to overcome all the management challenges. 

Reasons to Engage a Supply Chain Management Consultant

Supply chain software development consultants can launch a complete analysis of the business, find the problems and develop the best solutions for fixing them. After that, this specialist will help the company implement business integration and test the results of changes. The cooperation with such consultant services will bring the business a working strategy for the following years.  Let’s point out the main benefits of hiring a logistics business consultant. 

Developing an Effective Supply Chain Strategy

More than 30% of logistic companies do not have a clear documented supply chain strategy. Most of them are sure that they can rule the companies without it. Strategic consulting services start their work with deep analysis and monitoring of all the processes in business. It is an essential step for strategy development. It helps to understand where the expenses can be reduced and where the process needs some new solutions for more effective work. Supply chain strategy development will include fixing the problems and choosing the best technical and business solution to achieve the company’s goals. In some cases, the firm does not know that the strategy for the supply chain can increase the income.

Building a Better Distribution Network

Supply chain advisors use to figure out how much more efficiently the business can operate with an optimized network. If the distribution network was formed evolutionarily, it could be improved and save more than 10% of the overall distribution cost. Supply chain optimization consulting works with the best practicing and network designs and can find the most approachable one for your business. 

Making the Right Outsourcing Decisions

In times of wide use of outsourcing for supply chains, companies still make mistakes hiring specialists for this function. Supply chain management consultants can define the right goals and tasks for outsourcing specialists. They also can evaluate supply chain risks and determine if outsourcing will help to meet the business goals. Outsourcing can not work the same for every company. That is why it’s crucial to analyze the specificity of your business and find the right people for outsourcing. Management consultants will also advise your company on using the agreements and build a business relationship between clients and providers.

The Core Consulting Services of Captive Consultants

Trucking business development consultants need to understand what kind of help you need. For example, to increase your benefits from the operational consulting services, you need to delineate your expectations first and focus on services that can fit the business optimization and anticipation. There are both strategic and tactical approaches, let’s reveal both on practise. 

Strategic Consulting Services

Strategic supply chain consulting is usually undervalued because for the business owner, it is crucial to have a continuous process and not to go in-deep with strategy. At the same time, strategic consulting can improve the chain by coordinating all activities under the general plan. In the following paragraphs, we will describe strategy alignment as a consulting service. 

Supply Chain Strategy Development 

In some cases, the business can have no strategy for the supply chain or do not use it because it is irrelevant to the new reality. Supply chain and logistics consulting can develop the strategy and make sure that it fits the business needs. We at AMCONSOFT once faced the request to solve the issue with a large number of employees, non-standardized planning methodology, and constant manual human errors. At first we analyzed company’s transport department budgeting model including:

  • Budgeting forms modification
  • Cost analysis
  • Budget execution and implementation of changes
  • The payroll of the transport department
  • KPI and motivation model for employees
  • Work schedule of drivers, forwarders, dispatchers, and others
  • Effectiveness of communication between departments
  • Then we created a single dispatch center in one location. It ensured control over compliance with the quality of planning, reduced cost on financing company staff.

    These all steps lead to:

  • 5 – 17% reducing payroll costs while maintaining the same quality level
  • 20 – 30% employees satisfaction improvement
  • Read full case study: Transport Management System Automation

    Strategy Alignment

    The strategy for the supply chain needs to fit the general business strategy. Without alignment, it will create more problems than benefits. For example, one of our customer needed a complex IT solution to proceed with a large amount of data including:

  • The parameters and types of transport,
  • The time windows of clients’ availability without affecting the manual human processes, to eliminate inaccuracies in working with the database.
  • At first we analyzed company’s:

  • Route planning
  • Existed delivery models
  • Idle vehicle runs
  • Delivery windows
  • Carrying capacity
  • The profitability of regional warehouses
  • Vehicle utilization
  • Transport turnover
  • Level of logistics services.
  • And only after that suggested and developed a system to manage data automatically. The system was aimed at achieving business goals with the improved algorithms which exclude manual human errors.

    supply chain consulting

    Read full case study: Transport Management System Automation

    Business Rationalisation

    When the company is growing because of acquiring other businesses and unioning them, it means that the company also merges the supply chain. For example, in one of our interviews with the supply chain consultant Alena Krashchina pointed out that when a company increases the volume of shipments, it is impossible to manage and track everything accurately. Automation helped to exclude manual planning and difficulties in route management. It also minimized and then eliminated the influence of the human factor on the cost and route planning. 

    Read full interview: Digital Transformation in Logistics Enterprise

    Inventory management consulting experts can evaluate all those assets and find how to decrease redundancy. 

    Distribution Channel Strategy

    The clients changed their behavior in ordering products in the last years. For the logistic company, it means that they need to find the most effective channels of distribution. For many companies, it also means that they need to increase the costs of their supply chain. When hiring a trucking consultant, you will get the working strategy for the most effective distribution channels. 

    Tactical Consulting Services

    Having a strategy is not enough to make a business grow. Every plan needs a tactical evaluation. Supply chain analytics consulting that implements tactical services needs to have proficiency in many disciplines. The company can have no experience in those disciplines, and in this case, you need to rely on hired specialists. Next, we will point out the most critical tactical services for efficient work. 

    Business Integration

    The supply chain often combines many organizations for one business goal. It is not easy to make all different organizations work consistently and efficiently together. Tactical consulting services will work on this integration and become a fair communicator for all the organizations. For example, one of our customers understood that the use of several planning tools caused additional synchronization with the third-party services for proper work management in transportation companies. Among the used tools are GPS, WMS, Traffic Ban, Ruptela, maps with information about traffic jams / accidents on the roads. We at AMCONSOFT integrated the transport planning system with other systems, set all the necessary supporting information and applied additional filters necessary in planning. In result, customers got reduced cost and time spent to 30%.

    supply chain consulting services

    Read full case study: Transport Management System Automation 

    Insourcing/outsourcing Decisions

    Independent supply chains quite often can be managed by outsourcing service providers. In many cases, this decision can be effective and proper for exact circumstances. For example, in one of our interviews supply chain consultant Alena Krashchina said that Ii this is primary logistics, where the standard types of stores, goods, simple routing. Then ready-made solutions are considered. But, for enterprises with complex systems, different types of equipment, different temperature regimes of warehouses and orders, various regional warehouses, and cross-docking warehouses would be better to develop custom solutions. Then you need to write the system from scratch, taking into account the basic algorithms that have already been developed and add additional settings to them. 

    Read full interview: Digital Transformation in Logistics Enterprise

    At the same time, it does not mean that all supply chains can be done by outsourcing. A trucking business advisor can analyze your company’s work and define some activities and tasks that can be done by hiring others. This optimization will save time and money for your business. 

    Asset and Inventory Services

    For every company, it is crucial to have access control of the supply chain if the company does not want to work with outsourcing. Supply chain consulting finds the most efficient use of your assets to ensure optimal supply performance. At the same time, it is vital to have balance in the inventory level. The consulting specialist will define the model of managing your asset that will fit the business exaptations.

    Freight Contract Services

    Many companies prefer to hire someone for transportation or other expensive assets. It can be profitable to use freight contract services, but it also means that everyone needs to profit from these operations. The consulting work, in this case, will be focused on searching for the best contractor for such type of work.

    Operating and Optimising

    After focusing on strategy and tactics for the company, we will point out how to make the supply chain work based on it and optimize it. 

    Operational Consulting Services

    The consulting services will help to define and solve the most fundamental problems in the supply chain.  This work is focused on building better relationships with customers. Optimized logistic and essential aspects of the supply chain can increase the positive perception from clients and improve business reputation. Next, we will outline the primary operational services that enhance the company. 

    Demand planning

    If the business wants to increase the profit, it needs to have accurate forecasting. It will help in demand planning and the prediction of crises. Trucking business mentors can advise the company on the best practices on supply chain forecasting and find the best software solution for this function. At AMCONSOFT we usually start with deep analysis of company’s: route planning, existed delivery models, idle vehicle runs, delivery windows, the profitability of regional warehouses, carrying capacity, vehicle utilization, transport turnover, level of logistics services. Then help to reduce company costs by implementing manual scheduling and routing algorithms. In result it leads to 99.9% increasing the level of transport service, 10-15% reduction in the number of idle runs, 5-30% reduction of delivery times, and 5-25% reduction of transport downtime.

    Consulting service will also teach how to use advanced technology to predict and implement better demand planning. Every business can have its optimized tool for forecasting, as they can have different goals and perspectives.

    Inventory management

    If you have non-optimized inventory management that causes unplanned expenses through the supply chain, you need to hire a trucking consultant. The goals of efficient consulting are implemented to decrease the working capital that is connected to inventory. We at AMCONSOFT analyze current transportation types, freight terms, volumes, and cost, product packaging, access roads to loading points, the efficiency and types of own and hired transport, drivers work schedule, carrier performance criteria, methods of charging hired transport, etc. Then we suggest the optimal cost optimization route for your transportation company. In result, such work will help to decrease 10-20% shipping and logistics cost reduction.

    Warehouse and distribution center operation

    If you want to make your business work efficiently, you need to hire optimization consulting services to improve the warehouse layout. To start analyzing the warehouse, the consulting can define the new places and change the construction with advanced software. Advisers can also look at warehouse improvement using new technologies, changing some tools, or even providing energy efficiency monitoring. All those steps will make the distribution center operation more productive and less expensive. 

    When working as the consulters for warehouse management improvements we at AMCONSOFT follow the next steps:

  • Analyze, optimize, and implement the improvements to the delivery schedule
  • Apply TMS, WMS, FMS, etc to reduce cost, optimize management processes.
  • Calculate the profitability of opening additional cross-docking sites
  • In result these steps bring 50% improving the warehouse performance without increasing costs; 98-99% improving the accuracy of inventory control; 0.02% reduction in the number of errors.

    Transport management

    If the business is not sure of the appropriate use of fleet or expenses, the best way is to hire logistics management consulting. Those services are focused on transport management and use to have similar cases. First, they will define if you have an appropriate fleet with the right size and vehicle type. Next, they will analyze your transport routes and try to optimize them by supply chain mapping. They also can propose the best option of fleet management and define if you need to own all the vehicles or it will be enough to rent some of them for achieving your business goals.

    Technology selection and implementation

    It is impossible to manage the business without understanding the trends in technology. There are many decisions for hardware and software that can improve the management, save the data, and help analyze the indexes. The consulting services already know the practical issues of different IT solutions. It can help find the best software for forecasting, demand, route planning, sales, and other interactions with the supply chain. The best solution will fit the business goals in the best way. 

    Optimization Consulting Services 

    The next type of services the company will get is based on improving and optimizing existed components of the business. 

    Cost-to-serve and time-to-serve analyses

    The business owners used to think that they now knew the real cost-to-serve for the clients. At the same time, it can be challenging to answer the question, how this Cost relates to time-to-serve, how the level of service can be changed in different regions and does it help increase the business rationalization. The goal of SC consulting is to get all the answers and improve this correlation.

    Distribution network optimization

    For optimizing the distribution network, consulting service will focus on the best practices, tools, and techniques to improve the network performance. It usually happens because of company growth, changes in the supply chain, or customers’ demands. Distribution channel strategy can optimize the network. The consulting team will find the best design for the upgraded network and evaluate the operations after optimization. 

    Supply chain mapping

    The supply chain mapping (SCM) process consists of collecting the data on companies, suppliers, and other businesses that work with your company. SCM consulting will define the vulnerabilities of the network and the opportunities to improve the supply chain by mapping all the logistic routes, orders, and shipments. SCM consultants for hire can evaluate the effectiveness of the supply chain by analyzing mapping information.

    Supply chain and logistics benchmarking

    To better understand the improvements and development of the business, it must have a benchmark analysis in the optimization stage. This measure will be significant for all the upgrades and will identify the changes in the supply chain, network, logistics, and business integration.

    How Much will the Consultant Cost?

    This article observed broad types of tasks that can be resolved by hiring a professional supply chain consultant. It is essential to know when you figure out the cost of these services, as it always depends on business needs and goals. The work of a consultant will start from 50 $/hour. This strategic and operational work can increase the business incomes by 20-30% in the first year. The shipping cost reduction will be reached between 15-20% and reduction of delivery time approximately 20-30%. 

    We at AMCONSOFT already helped customers with the operations of three separate business units which reduced man-hours by 30%, grew revenues by 38% and increased profits by 68%. Check the presentation with the core supply chain consulting services we offer, or contact us to talk with the supply chain expert.

    Tags

    #consulting#Logistics#supply chain
    Views: 70

    Written by:

    Artem Ramazanov

    Through the 10 years in marketing, I’m establishing partnerships with the reps of various fields in business and managing the aspects of business administration to achieve more success with my company

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