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Supply chain flexibilization

A flexible supply chain ensures that businesses are able to compete in a volatile market environment and reduces the amount of fixed order commitments with suppliers.

Long lead times, intercontinental supply chains, global delivery bottlenecks and fixed order commitments pose considerable challenges for companies today, both in a financial sense and in terms of service.

Strong fluctuations in volume and lot size, material management processes and methods that are not aligned with the distribution process and critical inventory levels are all classic situations companies are confronted with.

And that is where flexible supply chains enter the picture. The vision: Get the entire supply chain in sync with your customers. To do so, inventory has to be reduced drastically, response times have to be shortened, and modern supply chain concepts need to be implemented.

Benefits of supply chain flexibilization

When the supply chain is made more flexible, processes and structures are created that are optimally configured for volatile market conditions. This way costs in the supply chain can be reduced sustainably. Typical improvements that 4flow consulting achieves include:

  • Reduction of order commitments with suppliers by more than 80 percent
  • Optimization and automation of order processes
  • Less material inventory in manufacturing and finished goods
  • Reduction of replenishment times for production materials
  • Significant reductions in obsolete inventory
  • Introduction of all-encompassing logistics agreements and adjustment of Incoterms

Solutions from 4flow

It all begins with creating transparency. Few companies really know their current degree of flexibility.

4flow flexibilizes all supply chain processes sustainably – from customer to supplier.
4flow flexibilizes all supply chain processes sustainably – from customer to supplier.

One important first step is designing an optimal supply chain. Setting the order penetration point correctly and working out product structures and times are important elements of the solution. A self-regulating supply chain based on customer demand or consumption is the objective.

Then supply chain management is next. Flexibilization of the supply chain with the approach we take at 4flow is based on holistically analyzing network design, the management process and implementation from customer to production all the way to the suppliers. Existing processes and structures are then compared with best practices in similar industries and areas in which action is required are identified.

A key component of the planning phase is cross-functional analysis. Companies often lack the experience required for such projects – we can provide the assistance you need. In addition to a plan that takes the whole chain into consideration, 4flow supports implementation in all dimensions and often drives large-scale changes.

If required, 4flow also takes over the extensive training of individuals in the organization and holds workshops and can also negotiate with suppliers on a client's behalf.

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