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7 common frustrations every supply chain manager would recognise

Posted by Gary Plant on Mar 28, 2016 11:00:00 AM

There are days when being a supply chain manager can test your patience and question your career decision! Thankfully, these moments only last a short period of time and are completely normal within the industry. Here’s 7 common frustrations that you will probably recognise already…

Not enough time in the day to do anything you wanted to do

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Ever feel like the day is running away from you, leaving you with the same pile of work as you had at the start of the day? As the supply chain manager for your organisation, jobs such as ‘monitoring your suppliers’ and ‘dealing with compliance’ often fall to the bottom of your list. If only there were a clock that counted backwards some days.

That time of year when you need to review all of your supplier compliance documentation

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Sifting through reams of documentation is hard enough, but when those documents are compliance related and require 100% of your focus, it can seem like a never-ending task. Supplier insurance certifications, financial details and contracts all need checking with a fine-tooth comb to ensure you’re fully protected, not to mention H&S, CSR, AB&C and the modern slavery act.

It is also important that you have appropriate continuous monitoring of compliance information, as information could go out of date as soon as you've assessed it!

Every time you finally approve a supplier

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The paperwork may have taken you all night to complete, but thankfully, you have a supplier you can approve for work at the end of it! Just don’t think about the five others you have to approve before the end of the month.

You find out one of your sub-contractors didn't follow the site rules

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Can you believe it?! After speaking to your sub-contractor on numerous occasions AND agreeing the work they will do, they still go and break the site rules. It’s inevitable that some sub-contractors will go above and beyond their remit, for all the wrong reasons, and that is why implementing controls and restraints to manage compliance is so important.

When one of your suppliers promises they have the right insurance but can't provide the policy document

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How many suppliers have tried to get away with not submitting the right insurance details? Of course, insurance is so important to protect you, your suppliers and the rest of your supply chain too – agreeing to work without insurance is dangerous, no matter how urgent the job is.

Every time you find a non-compliant supplier

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Desktop and on-site audits are a great way to keep your suppliers compliant, but failure to do this often enough can lead to serious problems. Most situations can be retrieved with non-compliant suppliers, but if the situation continues to get worse, you just know that supplier has to end up in the bin.

Waiting for sub-contractors to finish the job they said they’d finish two weeks ago

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Despite setting out the job to your sub-contractor and agreeing on a date on when it will be finished, how many times have you been left waiting for the job to finish? Delays in completing jobs are common, especially when the unexpected happens. But for sub-contractors that take longer than expected, and ultimately fail to hit their KPIs, there isn’t a supply chain manager in the world whose patience wouldn’t be tested.

Making your job simpler

There will always be frustrations that you will feel as a ‘middle man’ in your organisation, but by implementing the best practice procedures for managing a supply chain, a lot of your frustrations can be taken away.

Download our free Introduction to Supply Chain Compliance Best Practice and discover how you can:  

  • better assess the capability of new suppliers,
  • improve your supplier management to mitigate risk
  • implement KPIs to improve supplier performance.

Click here to find out more and download your free copy.

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