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Supply chain maturity is an exciting – and constantly evolving – way of assessing the links that keep a manufacturing business moving forward. Applying a maturity model helps you analyse, optimise, and revolutionise each link in the supply chain.

The result is a streamlined operation with less waste and better productivity. But before we get there, let’s get a fix on the idea of “maturity” in your supply chain.

What is supply chain maturity?

Supply chain maturity is the idea that better performance throughout the chain leads to better financial performance. Of course, supply chain management is never quite that simple.

Applying a maturity model allows you to assess your own supply chain step-by-step, to determine (and fix) the shortfalls. The goal is a resilient, optimised and automated supply logistics chain. Mature logistics processes have:

  • Minimal material waste
  • Streamlined (often automated) ordering processes
  • Great supplier relationships
  • Smooth delivery logistics
  • Intelligent inventory handling
  • High reliability levels

Start to finish, mature supply chains make it easier for manufacturers to deliver a consistently high-quality product, with resources left over to innovate.

The supply chain maturity model in 5 steps

There are lots of supply chain maturity models out there. So many, in fact, that we couldn’t find an agreed definition for supply chain maturity.

So we chose the one most applicable for the Australian manufacturing industry.

This model has 5 levels, from the most basic (ad-hoc) to a dynamic (optimised) system that fosters profitable innovations.

Level 1: Ad Hoc

Logistics processes are undocumented and often chaotic. The supply chain requires a lot of oversight.

Level 2: Repeatable

Supply chain processes are (in part) repeatable at this level; however, there is no strict protocol and often no process owner.

Level 3: Controlled

We’re starting to standardise and document logistics processes. In this phase, manufacturers can lift their heads and look for improvements.

Level 4: Managed

Business goals, customer needs, process methods, and real-time metrics come together to support a managed, mature supply chain.

Level 5: Optimised

The supply chain more or less takes care of itself thanks to automation and data-driven intelligence. As a result, resources are freed up for innovation.

Assessing and improving supply chain maturity

Now let’s overlay the maturity model with 5 key result areas (KRAs) common to every Australian manufacturing business:

1. Planning

2. Sourcing

3. Manufacturing

4. Delivery

5. Return

Assessing your supply chain maturity means quantifying each stage against the model above.

First, look at the component parts to identify weak links in the supply chain. By taking steps like implementing Lean principles and Quality Assurance processes, you can strengthen individual stages in the logistics process.

Next, consider the overall picture. How do each of the 5 stages come together, assessed against the maturity model, to create a consistently high-performing supply chain?

If you can’t get a clear picture of your supply chain, you might need help from an ERP system like Jobman. Specifically designed to support growing manufacturing businesses, Jobman provides the data and automation capabilities your business needs to grow sustainably.

We help you think big, zoom in on the details and discover optimisation opportunities at every stage of the supply chain. Discover the features that help Australian manufacturers assess and optimise their supply chain maturity by clicking here.

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