Outdated processes and planning are stifling UK businesses

For companies that trade globally, the levels of risks are growing as supplier networks get more complex and major economies face uncertainty.

According to global supply chain consultancy Crimson & Co, a failure to use advanced planning and scheduling (APS) systems could see firms facing higher costs and reduced flexibility when it comes to responding to changing market conditions.

Robust planning and the ability to respond quickly are key to tackling any issues as soon as they occur, while businesses must also be prepared to work with a growing number of suppliers and partners.

The firm highlights the importance of being able to adapt to any situation with regards to logistics, although research also found that many firms are still over reliant on outdated planning tools.

Not only does this slow response times, but many of these methods also carry far greater levels of human error than other technological alternatives.

They also tend to be more costly to implement and maintain, which is why businesses can benefit from putting updated processes in place.

Innovation is a lot more difficult when using older technology, such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, although Crimson & Co found that more than two thirds of firms still use such systems.

Moving to an APS system could save a business around 20% in working capital, alongside lesser reductions in logistical costs and those associated with the sale of goods.

It means that businesses could be paying more than is necessary for certain services, which in turn might be placing needless pressure on their finances.

An independent business review (IBR) can highlight areas of a company that could be improved, while also providing stronger, more practical approaches.

Any individual that holds a financial interest in a business can request an IBR, which may then highlight deficiencies in the firm’s supply chain, its management or its general structure, among any number of other factors.

Not only does that allow a company to find the most efficient ways of doing business, but it also ensures that it stays in control of its finances.

By Phil Smith

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