Smart supply chains and business growth

Effective supply chain management is essential to support business operation and growth, and its performance levels will ultimately make or break a business. Maintaining tight controls on inventories, production schedules, sales deliveries and vendor capacity is essential, particularly in challenging markets, or operating with small margins.

Good supply chain management – like so much in business – is being able to strike the perfect balance between cost and quality, to maximise returns, with efficient deliveries that drive customer satisfaction.

From initial product planning, purchasing and production, to shipment, staging and delivery, each component of your supply chain should efficiently connect the stakeholders and resources to complete their milestone.

But, shifting from entrenched cost-savings mindsets to focus on growth and opportunity can be tricky, especially when businesses are grappling with external challenges, volatility, supply shortages and negative economic features.

The fact is the benefits of positive supply chain action far outweigh the risks of doing nothing, because they cut costs, increase profits and free up cashflow. And supply chain management platforms have made it easier than ever to realise the opportunities, by visualising the process, managing the end-to-end product flow and streamlining business processes. 

Let’s illustrate the benefits with three examples.

1. This premium mixer brand has a significant and growing market sector in the United Sates, with high volumes moving during peak levels of congestion at US ports and low vessel space availability. 

We leveraged block space agreements with transatlantic carriers to guarantee cargo uplift and arranged land-side solutions, to ensure that containers were moved off quay before the expiry of free time, with 3rd party buffer storage, to avoid warehouse constraints in the US. 

The client were awarded exporter of the year in 2022.

2. We have been working with this owner of premium and popular brands for over ten years and are their preferred freight management partner for all inbound flows of finished products and raw materials.

Metro’s MVT platform provides the client with complete visibility of their supply chain from the initial PO, through production, call-off, shipment and delivery to DC. Buyers are able to see and manage their SKUs onorder, at any time through the supply chain process.

Most recently Metro supported their drive into the US market for ambient and frozen products into the US’ largest supermarket chains.

The post-Brexit environment presents a specific opportunity for traders that have established a robust brokerage platform to expedite products exported to and imported from Europe.

3. This British manufacturer of confectionery and snack foods is a new client, but opportunities to  enhance supply chain efficiencies and cut costs are usually quick to spot and simple to implement, which is why Metro’s remit has grown, with an additional 13 Ocean trade lanes and two further lanes, with inland distribution. Representing a 100% increase from the originally awarded lanes.

One of the first actions we undertake when working with a new customer, is to audit their supply chain, processes and participants, looking for opportunities in five specific areas: Efficiency | Existing/new markets | Cost savings | Enhancing quality | Agility

Well planned and managed supply chains support growth by responding quickly to market changes, adapting to shifting demand and mitigating risks. To learn more EMAIL Matt Paxton-Rhodes, our Head of Strategic Development.