Importance of Communication in Supply Chain Management: Avoid Loss and Breakdowns
Importance of Communication in Supply Chain Management: Avoid Loss and Breakdowns
Lina Yakunina
Product Marketing Manager
/ Last updated:
March 31, 2022
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Effective communication is a vital component for business success. A recent Grammarly study estimates that businesses experience a $1.2 trillion loss each year due to poor workplace communication.

Supply chain managers are experiencing the pressure of loss as the rise of the global pandemic caused many supply chain teams to reconfigure their operations due to staff shortages and shipment delays. As a result, the importance of communication in supply chain management has never been more crucial.

Importance of Communication in Supply Chain Management and Logistics

Communication between stakeholders, suppliers, and your internal team determines positive outcomes. Lack of communication amongst a team can result in:

  • missed opportunities
  • damaged client relationships
  • poor inventory management
  • negative company reputation
  • late deliveries
  • loss of revenue

As a supply chain manager, your responsibilities are vast. From purchasing materials to maintaining inventory and product deliveries, a lot goes into ensuring a positive outcome for clients and your internal team.

The past two years have made supply chain management even more problematic. Shipment delays due to the global pandemic caused labor and inventory shortages. With inventories remaining subdued, surging prices continue to impact the majority of the population. Without a clear indication of when supplies will meet demand, companies will continue to experience supply chain disruptions.

To maintain operations without disrupting processes, supply chain teams need a concrete infrastructure to keep a clear line of communication between team members.

How to Avoid Negative Implications in Supply Chain Management with Effective Email Management

Communication helps your team stay in touch with stakeholders and suppliers to ensure a positive end-to-end experience. And effective communication spans far beyond face-to-face or mobile interactions. Email and other written forms of communication take up to 50% of the workweek and contribute to the success of an organization.

Email best practices and project management must be prioritized to avoid potential revenue loss. This is to adjust to changing circumstances and build effective communication amongst a team. Here are some helpful tips to follow.  

Reduce Back and Forth Communication With a Shared Inbox Solution

A supply chain team will have multiple inboxes to manage, such as dispatch@ or orders@. A shared inbox can help your team navigate all email accounts from a single platform right from their personal inbox. Shared inboxes have revolutionized the way teams operate. They allow managers to assign team members’ emails for better organization rather than create numerous email threads where important details can be lost.

Many logistics teams find they need to collaborate with other departments throughout the day. To streamline communications, email notes can be used to build informative, real-time conversations right on the side of an email. Email notes prevent additional email threads and conversations outside of email from occurring.

Keep Important Emails Organized

Getting your inbox count to zero is next to impossible, but organizing the influx of assignments can help minimize the load. Organizing emails into folders or labels keeps a detailed record of where every important email is located.

For a supply chain manager, you may prefer your folders to be labeled according to a project name or one designated to certain team members. For example, you may use "shipment orders" or "order invoices" folders. This will ensure that every email pertaining to that category can be separated for easier access. If your team uses Gmail, labels can be used on the left side of the interface.

Gmelius, a collaboration platform for Gmail, offers shared Gmail labels for teams operating out of a shared inbox.

Gmail shared labels make it possible to organize your team's pipeline, manage customer inquiries, and delegate emails – directly from Gmail.

Every team member will be able to see where each email is going for better project management.

Maintain Uniform and Professional Responses

Meeting customer demand is half the battle in supply chain management. A damaged relationship with a supplier can result in late deliveries or a lack of supplies. To maintain professionalism and retain positive customer relations, building structured email policies and procedures for responding to clients is crucial.

Email templates can help get your team on the same page regarding how to respond based on company standards. Templates can also be used to automate workflow if you are delivering repetitive emails.

Gmelius offers shared email templates and shared email drafts for Gmail. Teams can work together to build uniform responses and share them amongst your team.

Automate Where Necessary

With thousands of emails pouring in, it is difficult for management to address each one adequately without taking up most of the workday. However, not addressing emails can result in poor customer relationships and an email backlog.

To avoid email overload and maintain timely responses, automate wherever possible. Automation helps streamline workflow and reduces distractions caused by inbox clutter. Gmelius can help your team maximize productivity by automating menial daily email tasks with our simple automation methodology.

Setting rules to automate with Gmelius is simple. If an email contains the word “shipment,” then the email can be directly assigned to those working in shipment. This rule can also be applied to Gmail labels. If an email containing "shipment" comes in, it can also be set to send to a Gmail label. This eliminates having to assign emails as they come in manually.

What’s more, your team can automate email templates to improve response times and ensure service level agreements (SLAs) are met. Since Gmelius integrates with Gmail, replies can also be personalized to build better customer relationships. Instead of using an automated system that makes every customer feel like another number, Gmelius ensures company outreach is met with a positive interaction.

Manage Tasks Visually to Maintain Organization and Workflow

Visual project management solutions can help organize emails as tasks to ensure each email is sent through the necessary process to ensure successful completion.

For example, suppose your team begins by communicating with a stakeholder. In that case, you may want to create a task that displays that the initial stakeholder conversation took place, and now the supplies need to be ordered from the supplier.

Internally, your team will have designated employees assigned to each area of expertise. Gmelius helps teams delegate assignments to team members with a Gmail Kanban board.

Managers will be able to see the amount of work each team member has as well as what stage the task is at. Each shared inbox address can be assigned a board, so whether you are managing a support@ inbox or info@ inbox, you can visually see where each email is in the process.

Effective communication is a critical element to the success of supply chain management. While many errors can occur in the supply chain process, effective email organization habits create long-lasting solutions for your company.

The importance of communication in supply chain management can mean the difference between success and failure. To learn more about how Gmleius can help, check out our features and integrations and learn how Gmelius is built to improve team communication and collaboration. Ready to get started? Sign up today!

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