Hints & Tips Blog

Dealing with the challenges of supply

Over the last few months, we have often written about your customers and the importance of meeting their requirements.

While making sure you still have customers to supply is essential, so too is being able to meet their requirements and this has become more challenging in recent times as supply chains have been extended, raw materials have been in shorter supply and there are workforce and capacity issues.

For existing customers, you’ll need to ensure your supply chain is still reliable, for new ones you’ll also need to know what they expect. So, asking about their priorities, timescales, and quality requirements at the outset, as well as understanding what is driving their buying decisions is key.

Gaining an order is just the first step, you only get one opportunity to make a first impression and a good one is vital if you want to convert them to regular, repeat customers.

To improve your performance in this area it is important to have a robust planning process that focuses on the future requirements of your customers and includes;

  1. A good understanding of any work in progress or goods in transit
  2. A clear view of future customer demand
  3. A method of measuring planned versus actual lead times
  4. The ability to communicate both internally and externally to manage both expectations and changes to delivery times.

This is a complex area and at BHP we have the experience within the team to support you further in this area, please click on the link below if you would like to learn more.

Finally, your role in managing the challenges around supply is vital. It will influence how employees, customers and suppliers will respond and work with you in the future. You don’t need to have all the answers, all the time, but focusing on a few key things that are listed below will help;

  1. Communicate often about what’s happening and why maintaining focus and equilibrium
  2. Exhibit the behaviours you would like to see in others. This will give those around you the confidence they need to continue.
  3. Share and download, we all need an outlet, so make sure you have a trusted sounding board to ‘download’ to, let off steam with and ask advice when you need it.

Our team at BHP Consulting have all successfully run businesses, and we understand that every business, and every business owner or Director is unique. If you are interested in hearing about how we work with other business leaders to provide mentoring support, please click here to arrange a call or an exploratory face-to-face meeting