A supply chain is complex just taken from a logistics standpoint. Things need to come through the chain at the right time in order to keep production flowing at a consistent and profitable rate. Logistics are not the only piece of the supply chain. They need to be coordinated, managed, and optimized. None of this can happen without precise communication. In order to give a broader understanding of communication’s role in the supply chain, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Having meetings with stakeholders and suppliers can often be the best way to communicate. This way, nothing gets lost in email or unanswered calls. Meetings are best for big updates and to make large decisions. Face-to-face communication also gives you more time to work through any issues and to come up with solutions that are meaningful to all parties.
This should go without saying, but no matter how you communicate – be specific. Vague emails or long-winded conversations that fail to cut to the chase don’t help anyone. Everything from proposals to timelines need to be specific. Without clearing all the details, processes will be slowed down by difference of opinion and interpretation. All parties benefit from clear and succinct communication, so it’s in everyone’s best interest to always put it into practice.
When interacting with people, they can tell the difference between personalized messaging and generic. With customers and partners, always take the extra time to personalize your interactions. Doing so builds a stronger relationship and also provides you with the opportunity to highlight specific aspects of the project that directly affect the party you’re interacting with.
Communicating effectively can come in a variety of ways. Essentially, you want to always communicate in a way that makes sense for the situation. If something can be done with a simple phone call, take the time to do it instead of shooting off an email. In person and phone communication is normally the best course of action – when possible. Email is a fantastic communication tool, but some things need a different approach. Knowing the most effective form of communication for any given situation will lead to better business transactions and less miscommunication.