29 June 2015

Summing up Supply Chain (part 2)… 15 minutes with Venson Automotive Solutions!

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In the final interview I carried out with international professionals working in supply chain and logistics, this week I spoke to Mark, EFS Workshop Manager from Venson Automotive Solutions, UK. Working in the independent fleet management company, Mark on a day to day basis sees how supply chain impacts nearly all parts of their company. With the quick, fire round questions discussing implications of supply and demand planning; let’s hear what he had to say…

Holly: As a small business, how does your supply chain operate? 

Mark: Operations of the supply chain can be complex and time consuming if not managed correctly. The option to use suppliers as partners is one way to overcome such issues. Let your suppliers have access to your sales (both predicted and definite) and timescales of requirements so they can assist in the flow of correct materials and components. Furthermore they can use set pricing to cut down on timely phone calls to price check each contract.

Holly: What are the impacts of under-stocking and how do you deal with this? 

Mark: Should a situation whereby understocking has become apparent, then a review of policy and procedures would be advisable. For a small organisation, we need to explore our options and communicate with our suppliers who hold the stock. Working relationships and honesty with key suppliers will and does aid to a smoother running organisation and enhances greater communication between all. 

Holly: What are the impacts of over-stocking and how do you deal with this? 

Mark: Over-stocking is the area that needs to be avoided and any organisation which finds itself in this situation will need to address the impact on its core operations immediately. We all work in an ever changing technology based workplace and the risk of over stocking is that components can become obsolete very quickly. This causes working capital to be tied up and eventually, worst case scenario, being written off. If you find yourself in this situation, an immediate review of your whole purchasing / ordering system potentially needs addressing.
The who and why questions are for later, the first step is to create a pathway that ensures you don’t put your business at financial risk again. Engage staff and welcome change, get all employees pulling in one direction to create the required end goal.

Holly: How are errors avoided in your forecasting? 

Mark: Forecasting is the sales and manufacturing crystal ball. We all know what we would like but reality and competitive market places dictate that is rarely the case. Market place studies, financial and wellbeing of a business sector are one areas of study to assess potential orders and focus areas. In reality we focus on our long term customers, their market place and their purchasing calendar. We are all constantly looking for the next BIG ONE and all strive to be better but in terms of forecasting. We must go with the definite plans and work our potentials alongside with a percentage win rate.   

Holly: Thank you Mark for your time! Hope you enjoy the rest of your day.

As a tomboy child, Holly enjoyed watching wrestling and was The Rock’s biggest fan. She is from a tiny farming village in the north of England and has moved to Sydney to enjoy the city lifestyle. As a conference producer at Akolade, Holly enjoys researching with and learning from key professionals within a range of sectors to produce timely conferences. Furthermore, Holly enjoys how each day in the life of a conference producer is always different and exciting!

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