A Note from the ENTOUCH CEO: Knowing your How, What, and Why

Supply Chain Facilities Management: It's More Than Just Facilities

Oct 30, 2023

Supply Chain Facilities Management includes unique challenges and requires out-of-the-box thinking to be successful.

Successful supply chain management includes successful Facilities Management, meaning the facilities must work at maximum efficiency to meet guest demands, explains Inbound Logistics. However, supply chain facilities can range from warehouses to forward-stocking locations in the supply chain network. As a result, Facilities Management in this industry can be much more challenging than retail or restaurant Facilities Management. Facilities Managers need to understand the top challenges affecting supply chain facilities, the role of effective, smart building solutions in this industry, and how to enhance facilities.

The Challenges of Supply Chain Facilities Management

Supply chains are volatile, and according to Expense Reduction Analytics, fewer than 30 percent of supply chain contracts are renewed annually. Few industries bear the burden of working behind the scenes that mirror the concerns of supply chain Facilities Management. Supply chains can affect virtually any industry, including healthcare, food service, education, retail, and corporate real estate providers.

For example, healthcare Facilities Managers may need to integrate systems for tracking cold storage and transport with medication dispensing units on each floor, explains Kayla Sutton of Healthcare Finance News. Or they may need to ensure all incoming materials are free from pathogens, like mold, mildew, viruses, and bacteria. Additional challenges of supply chain Facilities Management include:

  • Multi-site portfolios.
  • Extensive supply chain systems.
  • Organizational siloes.
  • Minor issues can become major disruptions.
  • Inventory risk is higher.
  • Staff members have a higher risk of injury or accident.
  • Customers’ demands are increasing.

Supply Chain Facilities Need Systems That Add Competitive Advantage

As with any Facilities Management department, the goal of supply chain Facilities Management is to add value and boost competitive advantage. In retail and restaurants, adding value is about building a better customer experience, and the same concept applies to supply chain entities as well. However, supply chains do not typically have customers heavily involved in the individual facility. When was the last time you saw a customer walking through a warehouse?

That is a trick question. Technically, wholesale centers like Sam's Club and Costco have characteristics of both supply chain warehouses and traditional retail buildings. However, supply chain Facilities Management in the context of this article focuses on entities that are not open to the public or the customers. This may include warehouses and distribution centers. As a result, customer experiences are defined by the end result, like receiving a product on time. Therefore, disruptions in the supply chain facilities could result in delayed product delivery. In business-to-business customer-supply chain relationships, this could result in the loss of countless customers, and indirectly, to customer sales, this problem will result in a lost competitive advantage. Ultimately, supply chain Facilities Management must focus on building competitive advantage by ensuring minimal disruption to the warehouse, transportation network, or other fulfillment centers, explains Infosys.

How to Promote Effective Supply Chain Facilities Management

Figuring out the best way to establish effective supply chain Facilities Management is not always clear, and Facilities Managers should follow these best practices for pushing disruptions to the brink of nonexistence:

  1. Integrate smart building solutions and energy management systems into the single plane of glass.
  2. Rollout systems and solutions across the entire portfolio.
  3. Train staff members on how to use systems properly.
  4. Automate Facilities Management activities.
  5. Leverage existing information, like AIDC technologies, to protect inventory.
  6. Gain insight into energy costs in the warehouse, shipping center, brick-and-mortar stores and yard.
  7. Make information accessible to on-site staff members.
  8. Retrofit facilities without the hassle of wiring installation and an expensive remodel.
  9. Use analytics to track asset performance.
  10. Implement a predictive, preventative maintenance strategy.
  11. Proactively manage work orders.
  12. Ensure technicians are properly certified to make repairs.
  13. Reduce risk to employees by outsourcing maintenance needs.
  14. Use robotics to streamline Facilities Management duties, like cleaning windows and floors.
  15. Consider outsourcing Facilities Management.
  16. Remember to include company-owned transportation assets.
  17. Tracking company-owned transportation assets reduces delays and boosts customer service levels.

Ready to Implement an Effective Supply Chain Facilities Management Program?

An effective supply chain Facilities Management program carries many of the same risks and needs of traditional Facilities Management, but Facilities Management teams may work behind the scenes in these organizations. Therefore, disruptions truly do mean the difference between success and failure in supply chain Facilities Management. If your organization is ready to get started with implementing a smart, innovative platform for comprehensive Facilities Management, contact ENTOUCH online or by calling 1-800-820-3511 today.

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