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Opinion: The benefits of outsourcing the field service supply chain

Opinion: The benefits of outsourcing the field service supply chain

Running an effective supply chain can seem like a necessary evil for many businesses. With multiple touchpoints and high margins for error, supply chain management requires a comprehensive and considered approach. After all, being unable to successfully deliver goods to customers is detrimental to both service and reputation. For many companies, a solution to the supply chain conundrum is to outsource the operation – either in it’s entirety, or in parts – leaving them to focus on the day-to-day running of their operation and growing their business.

Supply chain collaboration goes beyond transactional relationships in warehouse management and transportation to encompass value-added processes, such as demand planning, configuration and returns management. At ByBox, we have made significant investments into effective parts management and increasing stock visibility. Our approach is to move the data, not the part. What does this mean? It enables us to take a holistic view of where all spare parts are, whether they are with an engineer, in a warehouse or stock holding facility, or in a secure location such as a locker bank. This view of the supply chain provides customers with new ways of getting an item from A to B.

Establishing a dramatic improvement in inventory visibility is at the heart of next-generation supply chain methods. Historically, pallets of parts have been moved blindly through distribution networks, only to be moved somewhere else the following day. Our approach exposes that data, helping customers make informed management decisions. All movements can be traced in real-time online to see at precisely what stage of the supply chain a customers’ part is located. As a result, businesses spend less money on same-day transport and unnecessary stock holding.

Modern logistics is constantly moving forward, with businesses trying to stay on top of the latest trends and technologies, while satisfying customers. Re-evaluating supply chain partners can help businesses to speed up service, improve customer experience and review costs. There are additional reasons for reviewing visibility within a supply chain:

1. Increased Efficiency – Working with a partner that understands the need for efficiency can help you increase it within the business. By exposing real-time data and full visibility of stock movements, your technicians always know what parts are available for collection. Visibility in a supply chain not only reduces stock loss, but also provides clarity over what jobs can be completed.

2. Saves Time and Money – When you outsource to an external partner, you can save a great deal of time and money by cutting down on wasted stock. Finding suitable space to store your products, a means for transporting them, and qualified staff to carry out the dispatch process can quickly add up. Outsourced providers can leverage economies of scale, and scope, to provide compelling value-added services.

3. Consultancy – Exploring more effective ways to manage and improve the supply chain could take up a great deal of time. The same goes for hiring a team of staff and providing them with necessary training. Working with a business that invests in spare part visibility can provide you with the information needed to reduce stockholding, while also increasing efficiencies and SLA performance.

4. Scalability and Flexibility – Outsourcing some of your supply chain management needs can lead to more flexibility to scale up or down, accommodating your current, and future, business requirements. As your business needs change, you’ll need to be able to adapt accordingly. Not having enough space, manpower, or transportation could prove detrimental to your business. By working with an outsourced company, you have access to their knowledge and resources, which means expert help in developing a more extensive and appropriate infrastructure.

5. Adapt to Customer Demand – Customers now demand 100% uptime of technology in the field and are intolerant of failure. To achieve this, businesses are required to get vital spare parts to field engineers as quickly as possible. At ByBox, we don’t believe this should come at a higher cost, which is why we don’t rely on same-day deliveries. Our unique technology is paired with app activated locker collection, so engineers can access parts delivered overnight, whenever they need them.

In conclusion, outsourcing your field service supply chain, focusing on stock management and visibility, can mean you’re better equipped to cope with changing business requirements, shifts in customer demands and changing market conditions.

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