As the world welcomed January 1st, most of us, buoyed by the optimistic spirit of the New Year made lofty promises to ourselves: to be healthier, eat better, have a more concrete savings plan. Now a week into 2014, as sure as you’re still writing the date with a crossed out ‘2013′, a good number of us have already lapsed in our quest to finally reach our ideal weight, stop smoking, stop weekend outings or stop chewing Miraa and whatnot.
Most of us also set targets for our supply chain management firms to reach by the end of the year; goals that are equally at risk of slipping through the cracks before mid-month. So how do you prevent your company’s resolutions from going the route of “eat less greasy take away foods” in your journal?
When setting goals for your logistics firm to accomplish over the year, it is important to be realistic. While “Achieve 500% increase in profits” may look good up on your notice board, it is highly unlikely to come to fruition. Such excessively optimistic targets usually have one of two effects: either employees and management will be unable to cope with the pressure of expectations, leaving them unmotivated and disappointed in themselves, or they will not take the goal seriously and consider it too absurd to try to reach for.
When setting goals, it is important to assess previous company performance and growth rate, factoring in for industry growth or opportunities in the near future, using the resultant data as a solid, credible baseline for desired growth that is attainable and grounded in reality.
Your New Year’s resolutions for your company can be selected from various arenas of its functions: you can choose to aim for greater efficiency in transfer of goods, you may want to keep better inventory, or reduce losses caused by pilfering. The motive behind a resolution is specific to each participating supply chain manager. What is constant, however, is that depending on the direction you would like your firm to take in 2014, you will need to identify your areas of weakness or potential expansion, then work to strengthen or build upon them to reach intended targets decided upon.
A common failing in the usual “jog more often” resolutions is that people tend to make these goals then fail to put in place structures for accountability. As savvy logistics managers, this is a pitfall we intend to avoid. Involving all department or firm employees creates a network of individuals working towards a common goal who can be utilized for good: assigning different groups of employees the duty of policing specific resolutions will ensure that there is always someone keeping track of progress and reminding those tasked with furthering company dreams of their responsibilities. This type of “policing”, usually with enforcers reporting updates to management personnel, ensures resolutions are not quickly forgotten, along with abandoned treadmills and brand new jogging shoes.
Goals meant to stretch to the end of the year need also be broken down into ‘bite sized’ bits: monthly checkpoints that can be referred to in determining whether the logistics firm is on track to meet goals by the end of the year. An example would be where, say, a supply chain management firm hopes to move 120,000 units of product by the end of the year. Instead of waiting until December to tally numbers, each month can have a separate target of 10,000 units. In this way, should January only see activity of 6,000, the failing can be quickly noticed and the February target adjusted to 14,000 units to compensate. This ensures that there are no surprises at the end of the year, good or bad, as management has a fair idea of whether targets will be met as the deadline closes in.
With a bit of employee support, dedication and rejecting the temptation to build “double the lorry fleet in 3 months” castles in the sky, you too can guide your supply chain management firm towards true success in 2014, and meet your every target. We wish you a prosperous new year, and to you all, best of good luck.