Tag Archives: Communication


Supply chain management is a crucial part of every business, which has a wide range of effects, from the streamlined transfer of goods and services to improved customer satisfaction. In this digital age, it has become easier to understand the complexities or risks that affect the supply chain. In general, the supply chain exists in both the services and manufacturing organizations. However, the risk of complexity varies in different organizations.

Managing it effectively is not a simple task. It consists of several challenges and demands to constantly develop a new skill and update the existing one. By implementing effective tactics, you can easily enhance high supply chain performance.

Supply-Chain Essentials Every Manager Should Know

Here are a few things managers should know about managing the end-to-end supply chain from raw material to finished products.

1. Business Communication

If you want to be a leader in supply chain management, you have to communicate well. Depending on whether your company is dealing internationally or locally, being an efficient communicator will surely help you to gain some position in the marketplace. As a supply chain leader, you should be aware of the terms like ROIC, EBITDA, and economic profit. These technical terms must be part of your everyday vocabulary as you would be delivering schedules with suppliers.

2. The Know-How To Negotiate

Negotiation is pivotal in supply chain management. If you want to be successful in this industry, you have to be a good negotiator. Whether you are a lead or participant in negotiation, your skill will influence the relationship of the opposite party.

If you have negotiation skills, you will enter into the discussions looking for an outcome that will satisfy the results. Ask as many questions as you can. It will clear the doubt. An excellent negotiator pays close attention to the opposite parties’ behavior.

3. Customer-First Thinking Is The Key

Supply chain organizations should think about the customer first. This means thinking for the customer when making a decision about the supply chain. In order to gain a good relationship with your customers, you need to spend some time with them and understand their needs and considerations. By focusing on these parameters, you can shape a supply chain that satisfies the customer.

Building a customer-centric supply chain is not easy. All the departments, from suppliers to manufacturers, are involved in the supply chain. You must find new ways to meet customers’ needs and exceed their expectations. In 2021, Assignment Assistance UK formed a customer-centric marketing campaign, and the results were amazing, as the sale ratio exceeded their expectations.

4. Understanding Cost-To-Serve

Cost-to-serve is basically a cross-supply chain method used to focus on process-based costs. It helps in calculating the cost-effectiveness of product and market routes along with the customer profitability. Furthermore, it provides you with a fact-based focus to make decisions on operational changes and service mix for each particular customer.

If you can understand the cost-to-serve, you will be able to make decisions to improve the customer’s outcome. Some supply chain leaders have gifted skills, while others need to train themselves and require practice.

If you apply the cost-to-serve concept to your company’s supply chain activity, then you will be able to build a profitable relationship with customers and the production team. That’s why ease with the cost-to-serve is a good skill that helps you to stand out as a competent supply chain professional.

5. Data Is Everything

Data is crucial in business to formulate strategies, streamline operations, introduce new services, and ensure customer satisfaction. But data is nothing unless it is analyzed. I have seen that most of the decisions in supply chain activities are instinct-based, neglecting data analysis.

Always keep a keen eye on cost and never assume something is great because everyone loves new deals. Look at the facts and data and do not rely on emotions and instinct when making decisions. While concluding a literature review, Bob Tucker describes supply chain analytics as the ability to use data in order to improve all activities across the supply chain.

Since data analysis has been utilized for years, the introduction of new technologies like machine learning or artificial intelligence has led to contribution in today’s supply chain forecasting.

Benefits Of Following Supply Chain Essentials

The supply chain plays a vital role in boosting several business processes, including your relationships. Supply chain management isn’t a simple experiment, but effective supply chain management offers several benefits that improve the bottom line. Let’s look at some of the benefits of effective supply chain management.

a) Better Collaboration

In order to resolve any problem, the supply chain team should be able to share information with stakeholders and communicate with the right people at the right time. Consistent communication improves the relationship, which results in better collaboration and boosted business.

b) Improved Risk Mitigation

Having knowledge of risk help companies in achieving their goals. For instance, 87% of companies believe they could reduce inventory by 22% if they have a better risk management system. This all can be achieved by following the supply chain essentials.

c) Better Quality Control

The quality control process improves once a manager starts following supply chain essentials. Since, data analysis is used for decision making, it helps in producing quality products.

Quality control in the supply chain helps to maintain the company’s reputation. In this modern age, the main goal is to gain a unique place in customers’ minds. For this, the quality control subcontractor gives suggestions to companies to increase their benefits.


The supply chain manager focuses on a better relationship with all the members of the supply chain, including the customers. Today, the supply chain industry is growing rapidly. Hence, making a data driven-approach to supply chain management is a must.

Data is not only driven by effective supply chain management but there are also factors such as good vendor and supplier relationships, effective cost control, securing the right logistics partners and adoption of effective supply chain technologies. An efficient manager takes into consideration all these factors, which result in an improved supply chain process.

*This article is written by Claudia Jeffrey. Claudia is currently working as an Auditor at crowdwriter. She has previously looked after operations and customer service departments in the same firm. Claudia is keen to manage an effective supply chain process and believes in company growth with the customers. She loves to travel and explore the world.

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Change management – how do you define it and why is it such a popular term these days? The BNET Business Directory calls change management “the coordination of a structured period of transition from situation A to situation B in order to achieve lasting change within an organization.” That’s a mouthful. Accurate? Technically, yes. But we think there’s more to it than that. Successful change management is an art form.

At USC Consulting Group, we’ve been effecting change in organizations for more than 50 years, and if we’ve learned one thing, it’s the importance of managing that change correctly. It really is the key to the whole thing. That’s because you can go into a company and effect all the change you want — make the line more efficient, increase throughput, get the operation lean and mean, whatever else is needed — but none of it will stick or do the good you envision it will do without managing the change correctly. The bad news: Change management is not intuitive or easy. The good news: We’ve developed several change management best practices along the way.

Change management best practices

Here’s some of the secret sauce we put into our change management recipe for success.

Remember, it’s about human behavior

When we go into a company, our goal is to identify gaps in performance and rectify whatever is impeding the operation. But when it comes right down to it, everything revolves around behaviors. Whatever the change you’re making, it’s going to involve people behaving and working in a different way. So at its core, effective change management requires helping people transform their behavior. And as we all know, people don’t necessarily love that, especially if they’ve been getting the job done one way for the duration. Research shows 62% of people don’t like leaving their comfort zone. As Operations Manager Chris Smith says, “It takes time and it takes a lot of intent.”

Generations are different

Effecting change within a company isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. Boomers have one set of expectations. Millennials look at things differently. And Gen Z has its own lens. “You have to take into account who you’re coaching and what they’re willing to put up with,” Smith advises.

Reassure people their jobs aren’t going away

This is one of the biggest misconceptions about consultants — that we’re going to swoop in, slash and burn, and paper the shop floor with pink slips. That couldn’t be further from the truth. We never go into a company intending to cut jobs. Just the opposite. We believe people are a company’s biggest and most important asset. Making the operation more efficient might mean people’s jobs change, but it’s not our tactic to boost the bottom line by cutting staff. Still, people seem to have a universal suspicion that change is going to usher them right out the door. Let them know their jobs are safe and you’ll get less resistance to whatever change you’re proposing.

Involve people at all levels

We can’t overstate how important this is to the process of change. It’s crucial to involve people at all levels of the organization, from the C suite right down to the people getting the job done on the line. Not only will you get a wealth of ideas by listening to all of them, the buy-in that comes from getting people involved at the outset is crucial. That way, the change that you’re implementing won’t be happening to them. They will be a part of it. With that kind of mindset, you’re setting yourself up for success.

Recruit advocates

Of the employees who are part of the process, ask some of the more enthusiastic and excited among them to spread the word about what you’re doing and why it will be a positive step. Consider leveraging your informal leaders to weigh in. Making it their idea goes a long way toward acceptance among the rest of your working group.

Be clear on the “Why”

While it’s crucial to involve people at all levels, you’re not going to be able to involve everyone. For those who are not a part of the process, it’s important they understand why the change is happening. It could be that the company’s throughput is lagging. Or profits are down. Or supply chain disruption is grinding things to a halt. Whatever it is, identifying the problem is a big step toward getting people on board with the solution.

Communicate early and often

“Transparency” is a big buzzword these days. But all it really means is telling people what’s going on. Don’t work in a vacuum or people will wonder what you’re doing, why, and if their jobs are on the line – if you don’t provide information your employees will likely make up their own. Let people know what’s happening, what you’re finding and what they might expect.

Stay the course

This is one of the biggest differentiators between USC and the other guys. We don’t simply hand upper management a file of recommendations for change, pat them on the back and walk out the door. We stay on site to help implement the changes we’ve recommended, iron out any glitches along the way and make sure everything’s running smoothly. We’re a true partner for our clients.

Utilize these change management best practices to ensure the process improvements you make last. Get in touch today if you’d like to talk about how USC can help your company become more efficient and effective. We’ll help you manage that change, guaranteed.

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At many organizations, managers often opt to come up with new ideas or solutions to dilemmas using their own resources and employees, rather than bring in an external consultant or firm.

In these cases, management-level decision makers have typically been averse to the idea of setting aside further funding to pay for services perceived to be already available in-house — a mindset that may hinder progress and overall efficiency. Sometimes, the only way to come up with the most common-sense solutions involves bringing in a set of fresh eyes as a means of weighing all available options.

Organizations that have traditionally avoided consultants have had provided understandable reasons for doing so, whether it be that they are concerned about consulting fees on the specificity of a project’s scope, that consultants can be too independently minded, or that bringing them onboard will impact the morale of regular employees. If handled correctly through strong communication and undertaken with a clear approach in mind, organizations can avoid these issues when hiring a consultant or consulting agency — and reap only benefits.

Why hire a consultant?

As objective, independent arbiters that can analyze any aspect of an organization — past, present, and future — consultants’ decisions are not inherently biased in that they are influenced by ongoing practices that may, in turn, be the cause of any operational deficiencies. While internal employees may have some of the expertise needed to solve a problem, consultants can specialize specifically in a number of different fields, from manufacturing and human resources to finance and information technology, according to Mind Tools.

While internal employees may have some expertise needed to solve a problem, consultants can specialize in a number of different fields.

As Consultant’s Mind notes, consultants are hired based on their “ability to make the complex simple, and drive decision making and action” and to “help leaders make change” to ensure their organizations move forward, and not in reverse. Other areas that consultants focus on include leadership development, change management, and overall organizational strategy.

Some common situations in which an organization may bring in an outside consultant for assistance include crises or mergers and acquisitions. Due to the fact that many are hired on a contractual basis, consultants are also convenient because their contract can be terminated more easily than an in-house employee if desired results are not achieved.

While they are hired for relatively limited timeframes, consultants carry out work that can affect an organization for years to come. As a result, a client should develop a knowledge management plan to observe a consultant’s work and observe his or her techniques and approaches. In conjunction with cross-training teams of employees on these skills before a consultant’s contract ends, a knowledge transfer process should also be incorporated into a project. After all, once the consultant or consultancy team leaves, a company’s own employees will be responsible for picking up where the project was left off.

Problem solving with fresh eyes are some of the benefits of consultants

How to maximize consulting success for all involved

Many businesses today seek to make the most of their existing resources to create growth to avoid investing in any new, expensive and time-consuming capital improvements. In some cases, the lack of performance in improvement teams isn’t tied to a lack of investment, but from high-level organizational issues. For instance, three scenarios that USC Consulting Group consultants encounter in projects that lack strong performance from their improvement teams are unrealistic or overwhelming demands, flawed operational objectives, and workflow processes that are reactive, rather than proactive. Consultants can help identify those organizational issues to enhance how internal teams work.

Many businesses and other organizations today are seeking to make the most of their existing resources to create growth, but without investing in any expensive and time-consuming capital improvements.

To begin the consulting process, Mind Tools recommends that both the client and consultant should establish a balanced relationship in which the latter’s role is clearly defined and controlled in terms of the limits of its project scope. At this point, the consultant should be provided with a company’s mission or vision statements and other important information, such as key stakeholders and (in some cases) ongoing office disputes. It is further advised that a hired consultant begin getting acquainted with or starting the project as soon as possible; often times, consultants prefer to work with measurable “smart” goals  Organizations should always monitor and track their new contractors’ progress and provide feedback to ensure the entire process is comfortable and convenient for both parties involved.

Solutions employed by consultants in response to clients’ issues include aspects like communications improvement, creating and quantifying new operational metrics and the implementation of auditing and easy-to-deploy training programs. Often times, an organization’s internal improvement teams are siloed into their own operations because they do not maintain or even develop lines of communication with other teams to facilitate organization-wide progress. With regard to the quantification of new metrics to help drive an organization away from reactive practices, a consultant might suggest the adoption of certain key performance indicators. In doing so, teams can direct more of their focus to work on more overarching goals and projects with the purpose of driving growth and increased revenue. While businesses may have consistent training programs in place, poor quality documentation and auditing can in turn result in programs that are not aligned with what are truly best practices and workers end up learning substandard processes.

At USC Consulting Group, our consultants have implemented solutions that help businesses improve their bottom lines for over 50 years. Connect with us today to speak with one of our consulting professionals about how we can help your organization improve operational performance.


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