On the athletic field, the race may go to the swiftest. But in business, it's likely to go to the most cost competitive. And in an age where cost competitiveness largely determines business success, the pressure to reduce costs has become the supply chain manager's constant companion.
But cutting costs doesn't require the latest management program or the newest software. Cost reduction opportunities typically abound within today's operations; you just need to know where to look. When it comes to the supply chain, areas to investigate include the following:
How much might any of these cost reduction efforts be worth? It's hard to say without knowing the individual situation. Years of experience suggest, though, that double-digit improvements in productivity, in throughput, in transportation cost, in labor cost, and in inventory investment are well within the realm of possibility— even probability.