5. Mitigate tiering risks: Companies need to provide a consolidated view of demand down multiple levels within the supply chain. As visibility has shifted away from OEMs to tier one, supply chain managers must increase their focus on tier-two and tier-three players that have dropped below the radar.
Companies that are ready to get the process started now, Deloitte says, should first begin by asking questions such as:
- How many supply chains do you have in your company?
- Where do you need to build capabilities to meet expected cost and performance objectives?
- What are the three to five areas within your supply chain which, if significantly improved, would dramatically enhance your cost and performance position?
Also, remembering that this is a broad-based initiative and not a situation where companies will have a single, easy fix is important to staying committed and focused on the improvement program.
According to Deloitte Consulting, integrating a company's supply chain is neither quick nor easy. It often takes years and involves a number of strategic steps. "However," said Coykendall, "this is less about the destination and more about the journey. There must be a commitment to a long-term program in order to achieve desired results. But, while a long-term program may be required, with proper focus at building a few key capabilities, supply chain improvements should start rolling early in the journey."