There is no ‘Supply Chain’ Without a ‘Communication Chain’

Published May 23, 2019

Supply chain is defined as the sequence of processes involved in the production and distribution of a commodity. The details within those processes vary among industries, companies, and products. However, a consistent detail within all industries, companies and products that often goes unnoticed is communication.

Communication can be argued as the most important aspect of a business; executives, salesmen/women, operations, IT, etc. all rely on communication daily. Although that statement seems mundane, it is precisely why this is being written. Communication does not get much recognition as a qualifying business method, and it certainly should. It is an all-encompassing tactic that can help tackle almost any issue that arises within a company.

A prime example is highlighted within a chemical manufacturing plant. This company had its entire process defined, “from maintenance planning, to work order management, to purchase requisition and purchase order, to approval requests.” However, despite a well devised plan of action, with all elements closely addressed, there were still errors.

They monitored the errors and realized that they were happening at the hand off stages. In other words, something was miscommunicated, misplaced, or misunderstood due to lack of specialized attention within that stage.

How did they fix it? They brought in an integrator that helped to encourage, facilitate, and guarantee that missing piece –communication– and the positive results were undeniable. Details about the implemented processes and quantitative results can be found here.

This example, although brief, goes to show not only the importance of communication, but more importantly the acknowledgement. The first step in improving your company’s workflow is acknowledging that there is an issue. The second step is implementing a new process, such as this communications method.