In any industry supply chain optimization is critical. Suppliers must work together with customers to get them the components they need, or everything falls apart. A sheet metal producer needs raw ore. A metal fabricator such as IMH Products needs sheet metal. Original equipment manufacturers rely on companies such as IMH Products for components. All of these are individual processes that are critical, and a breakdown in one causes problems in the others. Supply chain management and optimization in metal fabrication is the ultimate form of teamwork, and companies are always looking to improve in this area in order to pass on savings to customers.

What is Supply Chain Optimization in Metal Fabrication?

Several factors go into supply chain optimization in metal fabrication. In short, it is a critical business process that is crucial for a successful customer experience. It makes use of technology and resources to maximize efficiency and performance in a supply network. There are three key aspects to it:

Supply Chain Design – This describes network design processes. The location of warehouses and product flows between them is just one example. So are strategic objectives like demand forecasting, establishing supplies, and the planning and scheduling of manufacturing operations.

Supply Chain Planning – Inventory planning, coordination of assets, and the creation of a strategic supply chain deployment plan are done to insure that delivery of goods is optimized. This is also where industry professionals work with suppliers and customers to improve efficiency.

Supply Chain Execution – This is actually working the plan. It is focused on execution-oriented applications and systems. Some of these systems include warehouse and inventory management, transportation management, global trade management, and other execution applications.

The Importance of Supply Chain Professionals

Developing supply chain professionals has become so critical in today’s world that many firms are seeking those with specialized skills in order to maximize operations. Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana offers a Master of Science degree in Global Supply Chain Management that is designed to equip individuals, “with the experience you need to succeed in today’s supply chain industry.”

Supply chain optimization is also important to address the following issues:

Silos – Siloed data lacks end-to-end visibility. That eventually impacts customer needs. A supply chain optimized through connected technology is the best solution for informational silos.

Client Needs – Supply chains must be flexible an able to innovate in order to meet rising customer expectations.

Competitive Advantage – Optimization of supply chains is the key to building competitive advantages and protecting the brand, with a focus on execution-oriented applications and real-time decision support.

Agility & Sustainability – The ability to respond quickly to changes and also provide components in a sustainable and ethical way is even more important today. Modern supply chains must be agile to remain competitive, because disruptions cost time and money.

Supply chain optimization keeps supply chains on schedule — even when conditions become less than optimal. At IMH Products, we combine technology and the expertise of our workers to keep our place in the supply chain running smoothly. For more information on how we can become a supplier of U.S. made metal components contact us at