There’s nothing more important than the health and safety of your workforce. But when it comes to procuring the PPE and workwear equipment you need, effectively managing your supply chain can seem unnecessarily complex.
As we saw in the wake of the Covid pandemic, supply chain strategy is becoming an increasingly important facet of modern business. In a volatile and uncertain world, businesses need to be able to navigate complex global supply chains and new legislation whilst also getting the guaranteed order fulfilment and quality that they depend on. The following five steps will help you focus on the priorities:
1. Delve into the data
It’s important to regularly reassess your needs as a business in terms of PPE and workwear requirements. Implement or improve your inventory management systems so that you have the visibility and the bandwidth to make accurate forecasts and take a longer-term view of the projected cycles of demand.
2. Quality and quantity
Clearly the quality of the equipment you procure is non-negotiable. It’s vital to partner with suppliers that meet or exceed industry standards and regulations, whilst keeping a look out for those extra value-added services such as additional logos or branding. Second, your suppliers need to be able to upscale at short notice if you require it – with bigger orders potentially bringing cost savings too.
3. Expect the unexpected
The pandemic taught us that it’s impossible to know what might be round the corner. Just this summer, for example, the urgent updated guidance on types of concrete used in UK schools and other public buildings caused significant disruption. Having contingency plans for any level of unexpected development that might impact the supply chain – from raw material shortages, extreme weather or new workplace or environmental legislation – helps build resilience across the business.
4. Transparency and ESG
Harvard Business Review defines supply chain transparency as companies being required to “know what is happening upstream in the supply chain and to communicate this knowledge both internally and externally.” It works for everyone. Consumers increasingly expect it, businesses can demonstrate their environmental, social and governance (ESG) credentials and, most importantly, it’s good for people and the planet. Working with suppliers that actively promote and live this agenda will have a positive impact on your own sustainability journey as well as your bottom line.
5. Communicate, communicate, communicate
Robust and efficient communication mechanisms are the lifeblood of your business: with employees, stakeholders, customers and suppliers. Leverage technology as appropriate to ensure the right flow of information reaches the right department quickly and clearly. A healthy employee engagement and feedback culture provides valuable insight into the day-to-day practicalities of the equipment you’re procuring. There is very little value in buying equipment that doesn’t meet the comfort, durability or practical needs of the end user. You might also consider your supplier as a potential source of industry consultancy – their experience of working with similar organisations can translate to guidance and ideas.
There are several factors at play when it comes to managing an effective supply chain. Ultimately, success relies on the strength of the relationships and levels of trust that you have built up with each supplier. The friendly and expert team at Contego Safety Solutions is always on hand to give advice on the right PPE and protective clothing for your needs. Contact us now on 0800 122 3323 or email@example.com to discuss your requirements.