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Controlling the Supply Chain Dream

You are out with your friends, bird watching, and nothing could be more peaceful. There’s a large bird looking towards you and then it tries to chase you down and have you for breakfast. Right before it gets ahold of you, you wake up and realize it’s just a dream. We are in the middle of that dream right now when it comes to Supply Chain. Over the last two years, we have gone from a world of plenty to being in a time where even baby formula is running out in the U.S.

Here is a list of tasks that generally may fall into the realm of a Supply Chain Team:

  1. Market Research: How will the tanking stock market in the U.S. affect the global economy in general? How does the shutdown of major cities in China affect all the goods that are produced there? We at Erdos Miller adjust our procurement based on what’s happening in the world and how it would affect our timelines.

  2. Forecasting: Know what you need, how much you need and when you need to buy it. Sounds simple enough. What if there is a component shortage? What if you only have one vendor for a particular item and they go out of business? We strive to be flexible enough to adjust before a crisis starts.

  3. Logistics: Some time back, there were hundreds of container ships sitting outside Long Beach, CA, waiting to be offloaded. There were stories about shipments being months late. A creative solution would have been bypassing Long Beach altogether and bringing the goods in directly to the Port of Houston. Picking a good logistics partner can save you days on your Order Cycle Time. That’s the time from when a PO was issued to when it lands on your dock. Logistics is about getting the goods to the correct location in the agreed amount of time without any damage.

  4. Duties/Tariffs: The difference between paying nothing in duties and tariffs and paying 30% could be a few digits in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule Code. We do the research to make sure we have the optimal codes being used to avoid any unnecessary expenses or delays.

  5. Quality: Without vendors that deliver parts with excellent quality, you have nothing. Erdos Miller is quite selective on who we use to provide us components as we will not compromise on quality.

  6. On-Time Delivery: Purchasing is just one cog in the Production wheel. A build cannot start until the goods needed to make the build are on site. Any delay on delivery causes a ripple effect. It’s all about delivering the best quality Tool to our Customer, when promised.

  7. Invoicing Accuracy: It’s a beautiful thing when an Invoice matches the correlating PO. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen all the time. The Supply Chain Team works daily with our outstanding Accounting Team to ensure any discrepancies are cleared up in a timely manner.

  8. Vendor Relations: I believe this is one of the most important responsibilities of a Supply Chain Team. If you treat a Vendor with dignity, they may end up giving you the last piece they have in a shortage situation. The value of a Vendor is not only when things are going great, but how they respond to problems.

We are once again in the middle of the dream with the bird giving chase. One option is wake up in a panic and be thankful it was only a dream. Another option is you realize you can try and control this dream. You poke that bird in the eye and wake up with a smile on your face. We at Erdos Miller choose to be Unstoppable.