Supply Chain Management

Getting your product to customers in competitive time

Supply Chain Design

The design of your supply chain has a key strategic influence on the competitiveness of your organisation.


What is your response time to a customer order? What should it be? What is your product or service cumulative lead time? Are you a build-to-stock, build-to-order or configure-to-order organisation? How strong are your relationships in the supply chain? How much consignment inventory do your suppliers hold?  Are pull systems implemented such that your response times beat the competitors, hands down?

Can you charge a premium price for faster delivery, at no extra cost to your company?

All the above questions are key to determining your company competitiveness in the marketplace. All too commonly however, we work with an inherited supply chain model, and are unaware that alternative models exist that would serve the company better. Development of a lean supply chain for your organisation is a vital step in improving product and service delivery to customers. It will strengthen your supply chain and improve competitiveness, and enable your company to reduce exposure and grow margin.

Bernie Rushe, Managing Director

Bernie Rushe of Lean Ireland is a former Dell employee with a first class honours master’s degree in lean supply chain management. She is also a former lecturer on the APICS training programmes, is CPIM certified, and is a former lecturer on the undergraduate and post graduate programmes in Supply Chain Management at the University of Limerick.

Lean ireland will help you to identify the advantages and disadvantages of your existing model, and improve your supply chain robustness. Please see below for guidelines on Supply Chain Risk Management, and details of our Seven Step to Supply Chain Success training programme.

Supply Chain Risk Management

At regular intervals, a local crisis occurs in some country around the world, and the ramifications on global trade are felt for months afterwards. We can all probably name political coups, ash clouds, earthquakes, and tsunamis that have had a devastating effect on many sectors for months after their occurrence.

Benjamin Franklin famously said “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail”. This phrase couldn’t be more apt when it comes to dealing with anticipated and unanticipated risks in the supply chain.

Supply chain risk can be defined as the probability of an event occurring that will influence (usually negatively) the ability of a business to serve its customers. Effective identification and management of risk will enable an organisation to guarantee continuous cash flow and profitability.

If you would like support in identifying and mitigating risk in your supply chain please contact us to discuss your needs. 

The Seven Keys To Supply Chain Success

Our “7 Keys to Supply Chain Success” interactive workshop series is designed to strengthen your supply chain effectiveness, and can be facilitated on a modular basis, to allow for change implementation and evaluation between modules.

The programme is aimed at assisting senior and middle managers to understand the fundamentals of best practice in supply chain management.

The workshops enable participants to make decisions which lead to shorter customer service cycle times, improved supplier performance, reduction in inventory write off, reduction in inventory levels and of course marked improvement in customer satisfaction.

The workshops also enable candidates to work effectively in cross functional supply chain improvement teams.

Supply chain training modules

1. Scan the environment

Topics include: changing consumer and customer preferences, trade surveys, organisation strategic review, competitor activity, labour issues, technology updates.

2. Partner with the customer

Topics include: Customer needs identification, process mapping the customer’s use of product, freight terms, inventory hubs and consignment inventory, communication, systems integration, paperwork, labeling, troubleshooting, responsiveness, pricing.

3. Partner with the supplier

Topics include: Supplier selection, validation, contract negotiation, freight terms, inventory hubs and consignment inventory, communication, systems integration, paperwork, labeling, troubleshooting, responsiveness, pricing.

4. Reduce lead times by implementing pull systems

Topics include: Value stream mapping – current state, goal setting, creating flow, identifying projects, error proofing, value stream mapping – future state, key metric identification and measurement, service, quality and margin improvement.

5. Educate and train the workforce

Topics include: Developing the management team, spreading understanding throughout the workforce, identifying future improvement opportunities, planning customer & supplier visits.

6. Use IT as an enabler

Topics include: System integration, online sales, customer and supplier portals, order tracking.

7. Outsource non-core activities

Topics include: Make/buy decisions, bill of material configuration, developing sub-contractor relationships, contract negotiation.