Key Growth Patterns (KGP’s) to Monitor in the Supply Chain

Key Growth Patterns in Supply ChainWe have discussed KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) here on the Redwood Logistics blog in the past. We discussed what they are, which ones are important, and how they are beneficial to the supply chain when they are monitored well.

Today, we are going to be taking a look at the top 3 KGPs (Key Growth Patterns) to monitor for healthy supply chain resiliency.

Where Key Performance Indicators dig a bit deeper into the details and data collection of very specialized areas of your operation, Key Growth Patterns are much more generic but none less useful. By monitoring these 3 core areas of your business, you can begin to build a solid profile of your company that will give you a blueprint of where you are headed in general.

Compare these KGPs with your KPIs, and you will have a powerhouse of a scaling weapon right at your fingertips that will keep your company growing and expanding with relative ease.

Customer Relations

Customer relations has found its way into the number one position on our list and for very good reason. Good customer service management and strategies are the cornerstones to any thriving business.

Your customers are the very lifeblood of your company, and without them, you have flat sales across the board.

When I am evaluating a company’s logistics strategies and looking at their customer base, I am always reminded of a famous saying from the movie Field of Dreams. Yeah, you know the one I’m talking about; “Build it, and they will come.”

While building up all of these intricate internal processes designed to help your backend systems run more smoothly is great, it shouldn’t be the sole focus. Your main focus should be on the interest and happiness of your customers.

Do you have a plan for when one of your providers has an inventory shortage? Do you have the space to grow with your customers increasing needs and demands? How do you deal with a large string of returns due to damages? Are your delivery times up to par with national or regional averages? All of these things must be considered because they are the building blocks of positive customer relations.

Customer service is a crucial component of your company growth efforts and it is the first step that should be taken into account, at all levels, when attempting to scale your supply chain. By analyzing this data and customer trends, you can begin to pinpoint links in your supply chain that could be modified to provide your customers with a better experience.

Client and Partner Relations

On about the same level as customer service is client acquisition and relations. With customer relations, you are working more often than not with the general public. When it comes to client and partner relations, you are dealing directly with any other partners or private clients that you either provide services for or work in conjunction with in some way.

When you acquire new clients or are trying to bolster relations with existing clients or partners, you in-turn build a wealth of knowledge through the process. This data can then be used to make more calculated and educated decisions regarding taking on future clients.

How are you building high-visibility between yourself and your clients? Do your partners’ policies and services help to bolster your customer relations in any way? Do you have a manager or ombudsman to mitigate claims or investigate and resolve complex service-related issues that may arise?

When you begin to monitor, analyze, and structure your data regarding client and partner relationships you can begin to build stronger links in your supply chain and build better collaborative planning, forecasting, and replenishment (CPFR) processes that are mutually beneficial.

Cycle Time Metrics

Cycle time in the logistics industry is understood to mean the time it takes goods to go from its point of origin to its final destination.

In a broader sense of the term, it includes every process from the time the product arrives at the warehouse to the time it leaves the docking bay. This includes a lot of various fulfillment roles but includes things such as packaging, stocking, loading, unloading, transference between LTL shipping methods… and the list goes on.

By focusing your attention on this set of data, you may be able to find areas in which you could speed up a certain process to get goods out the door with a quick turn-over rate.

Is inventory management unorganized and leading to delays in finding goods? Are you scheduling shipping to be done throughout normal business hours, or are your packages sitting at another port or warehouse for days before being sent to the next stop? Are your customers being kept in the loop with real-time tracking?

All of these things directly impact your business with clients, customers, and partners alike. Monitor your cycle time metrics and evaluate your process every six months to determine where improvements to your deliveries and shipping times.

Final Thoughts

Monitoring and working with all your KGP metrics can immensely benefit your company and logistics management efforts. Keeping these metrics balanced and moving forward is the key to keeping your operations running smoothly and keeping your clients, customers, and partners happy and working with you to continue improving.

Don’t really know where to begin? That’s okay, we’ve got you covered.

Reach out to us here at Redwood Logistics and let us see what we can do to get you moving in the right direction.