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Importance of Communications in Supply Chain Management

 
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Why does your supply chain need effective communication? The question is quite loaded. From timely deliveries to employee morale, communications touch every aspect of any business.

According to a report from EPS News, one in three organizations experience communications related disruptions, like untimely deliveries, that cost them $1 million or more in losses.

The losses reach further than monetary – they can hurt brand image, damage client relationships, and disrupt productivity.  Don’t worry though – effective communication has huge benefits.

Proper communications efforts can take months, or even years, to develop. Once the process is in place, it’s important to have proactive team members who will adopt the processes and continually work toward improvements. Think of your communications plan as a ‘living’ document.

In order to start the process of effective communication, you need a chain of command. This can follow an already established chain, through management, or you can elect trusted team members who will engage in multi-directional communication both upward and downward through the chain.

When employees feel as though their voice is heard throughout the organization, morale will make a significant improvement. Managers will also benefit from gathered insight and different perspectives on many aspects of the business.  Research by Holmes (a global public relations firm) shows that companies whose leaders champion for effective communication had 47 percent higher return to stakeholders over a five-year period.

There are some key questions you can ask yourself – no matter your title or department – before developing any kind of message. These apply to things as small as emails to your team, and as large and presentations given to an external audience.

  • What is your goal?
  • What is the message?
  • What does your audience care about?
  • How will this be best delivered?

Hopefully, these questions are easily answered, and if they aren’t, you have a trusted person to rely on for help.

Most importantly, gather feedback. In some situations, you can get specific numbers, like email open rates. Pay close attention to these and be prepared to test different approaches and content styles. In other instances, you might send a survey or simply poll your team on effectiveness and retention. Feedback is important to keep your plan ‘living’ – and adjusting your communications appropriately to ensure positive business practices.

You’ll be surprised at how much more efficient your business can be, and how much morale can be boosted with an effective communication plan! Want to learn more about creating effective communication? There are tons of trusted communication research sources available – and don’t forget your internal communications team – they’re your go-to for any type of question regarding effective communication and upholding brand image. 


 

Roos, G., & Roos, G. (2016, December 9). Report: The Cost of Supply Chain Disruptions.

Solomon, L. (2017, October 25). Two-Thirds of Managers Are Uncomfortable Communicating with Employees.

Author: Liz Rouech

Liz is a communications specialist with the Bastian Solutions marketing department, working out of the Indianapolis office. She has a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Central Michigan University and three years of experience in the realm of corporate communications. At work, Liz loves to edit content with her red pen and brainstorm communications strategies with her team. When she’s not writing content, she loves playing with her pup Archie, water sports and cracking dad jokes.

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