Supply Chain Consultants :: Middlebank Consulting Group

By: Middlebank  06-Dec-2011
Keywords: Logistics, Supply Chain

At Middlebank we work across a diverse spectrum of logistical and supply chain management areas.               Our consultants have expertise and experience which assists in developing solutions to your problems.

Middlebank’s areas of specialisation include:

    The logistics and supply chain requirements of companies today are becoming more complex in terms of immediacy and availability of product and information requirements. Utilising a 4th Party Logistics provider can prove very beneficial as their specialised skills help ensure a company sources the most appropriate service partners who will add the most value for them at all stages in their supply chain. This 4th Party Logistics relationship is made a reality due to the core competencies of Middlebank as we oversee and manage our client’s logistics and supply chain functions, to ensure that we optimise and maximise the performance of this crucial function within their company.

    At Middlebank we see the formulation and implementation of the company’s Value Chain strategy as being a crucial step in any business. The Value Chain strategy supports the company’s strategic, tactical and operational objectives, linking and balancing supply with demand.

    For the successful formulation and implementation of a company’s Value Chain strategy there are 3 key issues which need to be addressed, these are:

    1. Understand the company’s current position
    2. The formulation of Value Chain strategy is about choices
    3. Realising that strategy results from clear understanding

    To establish procurement policy and procedures which are effective and successful it is necessary to firstly understand what the difference between procurement and purchasing is. When talking about procurement it relates to the process where the company’s supply requirements are defined, and then matched and negotiated with a supplier(s). Purchasing is the day to day sourcing of materials and services in accordance with the procurement arrangements.

    Middlebank have a philosophy when establishing a procurement policy that it follow 3 guiding principles.    These are:

    1. Existing suppliers take preference
    2. Alternate suppliers help define best practice
    3. The only way to measure your supplier relationship is through KPI’s

    Middlebank employ various sophisticated tools to optimise the working capital within the business thereby ensuring that the investment in a company’s inventory is minimised while customer service levels are maximised.When working capital is optimised the company and its customers will benefit greatly from the results, while the Value Chain becomes more effective and efficient for all parties involved.

    Typical results you can expect are: 10% to 40% lower inventory levels, 1% to 10% higher product availability and service levels, realistic investment and service targets, reduced lost sales, reduced number of emergency orders, reduced obsolescence and inventory write-offs, and achieve capital productivity Return on Investment objectives in less than 6 to 12 months.

    At Middlebank we understand that the design and layout of a company’s warehouse is very important as it can significantly impact on the service performance as well as the cost. We undertake an evaluation process which aids in identifying the current warehouse design and layout, this evaluation lays the foundation for improvement and recommendations on how to maximise your warehouse efficiency.

    Freight management is a very crucial part of a business as it focuses on evaluating and balancing the service provided to customers with the cost of providing that service.

    It is also important to look at the process and billing of the freight to understand a number of factors within this area, such as are we being billed accurately, can we consolidate orders to reduce costs and is it appropriate to reverse bill?

    At Middlebank we can help in evaluating 3rd party service providers to determine whether outsourcing is a viable option for a company. Using a 3rd party service provider simply means using an outside company to perform all or part of a certain function within your company, such as logistics. To evaluate 3rd party service providers effectively, Middlebank work with clients on a 9 step evaluation plan to determine whether outsourcing is a viable option and if so, who the best 3rd party service provider is for that business.

    At Middlebank we believe that evaluating the performance of a company’s supply chain as being of paramount importance as a company needs to be able to assess whether their value chain has improved or worsened. Traditionally the tracking of a company’s performance has been done using financial accounting principles however this is not always accurate and potentially the process is flawed. It is important to identify appropriate measures to evaluate the performance of the value chain, and it is this reason that Middlebank work with clients to evaluate which measure will best determine the performance of their value chain.

    Auditing key functions within a company can also prove very insightful and introduce a level of depth into the understanding of a company’s key function, and can result in an improvement in those areas of the company which have the most impact on your business.

    These key functions are: The Logistics Audit, The Customer Satisfaction Audit, The Productivity Audit and The Cost of Quality Audit.

    When looking at Benchmarking it is important to realise that this is a continuous process where a company must strive to improve their processes which will result in an improvement in quality of their product and/or service. Benchmarking is done by comparing a process with the same process in either another part of the company, a subsidiary or from like other companies. After comparing whose process operates best, key learning’s are then transferred thus endeavouring to improve the initial process.

    At Middlebank we see benchmarking as an important process that helps company’s to introduce a culture of continuous improvement. We use an 8 step plan to process improvement which helps to focus a company on what they need to do in order to improve their business processes. Once a process is improved then another process should be selected to help the company to be continuously improving all aspects of their business.

    At Middlebank we see Re-engineering as a process where a better way is invented. This idea comes from the fact that re-engineering is the fundamental rethinking and radical redesign of business processes to achieve dramatic improvement in critical, contemporary measures of performance such as cost, quality, service and speed. The successful re-engineering of processes can result in an increase in customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, productivity and profits; making it a very beneficial process in any business environment.

Keywords: Logistics, Supply Chain