The way that manufacturing and supply chain works, success hinges on the collaboration of key professionals. Otherwise, you’re looking at consequences – timeline delays, inventory mistakes, vindictive consumers, lawsuits, physical harm, financial loss, etc.
What professionals should you work with? Here’s a start.
Supply Chain Manager
Supply chain managers are who’s going to achieve organizational goals like cost efficiency, timely deliveries, and risk mitigation so that primarily you’ll find them analyzing data to identify trends, managing relationships (from vendors to freight unloading services), implementing strategies for optimizing inventory levels, constantly evaluating supply chain performance, developing contingency plans, etc.
Consider a global electronics manufacturer. A supply chain manager may anticipate challenges in the procurement of essential components because of geopolitical tensions and so proactively diversify the supplier base, negotiate contracts, and increase safety stock levels. Ultimately, such strategic foresight means production delays are greatly mitigated if not eliminated, maintaining a functional supply chain.
Quality Control Engineer
A competent quality control engineer is how subpar products that not only maintain customer satisfaction but also adhere to stringent industry standards and regulations get made. Primarily and ideally, they design and implement rigorous testing and inspection processes, continuously improving quality control procedures, and collaborating with cross-functional teams to address any identified issues promptly.
For example, in the context of a pharmaceutical company, a quality control engineer may likely prioritize advanced analytical techniques so that the purity and efficacy of drug formulations are properly tested. This way, the final product often meets regulatory requirements, ensuring the safety and well-being of end-users.
There are many moving parts in manufacturing and supply chain and so you want a production planner because their job is to be pivotal in optimizing manufacturing efficiency, minimizing costs, and meeting customer demand without overstocking or underutilizing resources. Generally, a production planner leverages forecasting tools, collaborates closely with different departments, and deftly adjusts production schedules based on real-time demand fluctuations; this means a keen understanding of market trends, production capabilities, and resource availability.
Imagine a food processing plant facing a sudden surge in demand for a popular snack. A production planner may likely use historical sales data, market trends, and production capacity information to very quickly adapt schedules, coordinate with suppliers for increased raw material delivery, and overall just allocate resources efficiently. And ultimately this proactive planning likely means that the increased demand is met without compromising on product quality or incurring unnecessary costs.
Often manufacturing and supply chains must connect and while this can be tricky, a seamless process is far from unobtainable, and working with just the right people is a good place to start. For example, you want to have a supply chain manager to anticipate hiccups and have everything running smoothly, a quality control engineer to prioritize quality, approved products, and a production planner to figure out the best way to make things without wasting time or money.