Selecting a Supply Chain Consulting Provider

As more companies move to outsourcing the management of their supply chain, it is becoming even more critical to choosing the right supply chain consulting provider for your needs. Managers have to make sure their choice will deliver value and be the best fit for the type of business that you run. KEPLER

It is critical that managers perform an objective analysis of the capabilities of the different companies they are considering. Performed correctly, this service is profitable because it will help generate substantially increased revenues. If there is an ill fit, however, logistical problems can easily arise that can lead to customer dissatisfaction that will seriously hurt a company’s bottom line.

There are basically three types of companies that reside in this space. There are niche players that have a great deal of expertise but do not have a global reach. As a result, they don’t have the type of leverage to negotiate lower prices that some larger entities possess. Some companies are more focused on strategy and are more involved in the first sections of the supply chain management process. Others employ lots of consultants and are active in all phases of the process.

In order to make sure that your choice is the right one, you should not be influenced by any personal relationships you may have with different providers. Analyze each company that you are considering as if you didn’t know anyone on staff. You need to be objective at all times, and make sure that the provider addresses your exact needs.

Be careful when it comes to firms that don’t have a lot of experience in the supply chain consulting space. There are many firms that are repositioning themselves in terms of specialties and geographic coverage, and they may not have the knowledge of your specific industry that you need. Find firms that have global coverage and a diversity of experience in several areas. They may be able to find processes used in another industry that could be of use in yours.

If you are looking for more high-level, strategic assistance, you’ll want to consider a firm that has more of a focus on strategy rather than implementation. This kind of firm will have the expertise you are looking for and will also have the resources that you need, such as advanced marketing research capabilities.

As with any significant decision concerning your company, you’ll want to perform as much research as you can to understand the supply chain consulting market. That way, you will have a much better chance of finding a firm that will address your needs. You will very likely benefit from lowered operational costs, increased efficiency, and higher profits in the long run.

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