Minimising downtime: The importance of reliable supply chain partners

Minimising downtime: The importance of reliable supply chain partners
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MINIMISING DOWNTIME: THE IMPORTANCE OF RELIABLE SUPPLY CHAIN PARTNERS

NEWS RELEASE, October 5, 2021

As a dredging provider, managing and meeting the expectations of clients is essential. It is crucial that timelines are adhered to, as any delays could mean significant opportunity costs for the client administrating the waterway in question. Fault for any delays will inevitably be attributed to the dredging provider, regardless of whether the fault is that of the dredging provider directly. Ultimately, responsibility for choosing supply chain partners to effectively support the dredging operation falls on the dredging provider themselves, which is why choosing reliable partners is of the utmost importance.

Dredging is very much a team effort, and the slowest and least efficient component of that team will be the limiting factor that will determine the overall speed and therefore cost of the project. In order to minimise downtime, it is essential for dredging companies to perfect their supply chain so that only the most professional and competent partners are chosen to provide operational support, this in turn establishes reliable relationships that provide peace of mind and a trustworthy partner for all future projects.

“Damage to environmental protection equipment and delays in their delivery can cost multiple times the cost of the equipment itself. Indeed, reputational damage is also risked if the equipment fails and results in damage to the environment. The peace of mind of having a supplier that you are confident with, that will deliver high-quality products on time is very valuable, particularly if the project preparation period is short.”client representative of a leading international dredging firm.

Here are the most important considerations when selecting suppliers to make a supply chain more efficient:

  • Dredging experience: What experience does the supplier have with working on dredging-specific projects? A supplier may have significant experience providing support for other water-maintenance-related projects, but do they understand the nuances and idiosyncrasies involved with dredging projects specifically? Inexperience results in inefficiencies, which results in greater downtime and costs.
  • Local expertise: As any water maintenance professional will know, factors to take into consideration can vary significantly by geography and region. Legal requirements differ, and so do environmental variables. Having a provider who understands the local context and how to navigate it will ensure the seamlessness of the overall dredging operation.
  • Transportation efficiency: How quickly is your provider able to deliver the products to the location? With an added margin of error to account for delays, how likely is it that they can deliver on time? What is their track record of delivering products to that region? Do they have established delivery routes and partners that they work with?
  • Product quality: In all circumstances, but particularly in those of a more volatile nature, with high current speeds or debris concentration for example, or in long-use projects, the quality of the products used is of the utmost importance in ensuring cost optimisation. It is likely that products that may appear more affordable initially will end up costing you more down the line. Products that are perceived as being “cheaper” are likely to not be fit for purpose and to wear or demonstrate faults more quickly, which will require greater downtime for repairs or sourcing replacements, as well as undermining the obligations of the dredging project. Invest in higher quality, more durable products that will ensure your peace of mind throughout the project.
  • Deployment of product speed: Once products have been delivered, how quickly can they be set-up? Can it be self-installed, or will there be a team on the ground to assist? And in the case of the latter, will the team arrive with or ahead of the equipment to minimise wasted time and opportunity costs?
  • Customisation: Do your suppliers have the ability to customise their products to suit case-specific needs, or do they have an off-the-rack range that is one-size-fits-all? The former is preferable to ensure the avoidance of any complications throughout the duration that may disrupt operations, and to increase the chance that products carry out their intended function to the highest degree possible, keeping your clients happy.

Therefore, it is clear that cost cannot be the only factor to consider when choosing a supplier to provide dredging project equipment. A risk cost analysis must be conducted when evaluating suppliers. Though one supplier may provide cheaper equipment, several other factors need to come into account, all of which can affect the project duration and therefore the cost of the operation, which can be considerable.

Choosing partners who increase downtime duration through poor performance will ultimately reflect poorly on your business, so finding a proven and reliable supplier that you can trust is one of the most important decisions that you can make. Get in touch to know more!

This piece was first published in DredgingToday.com

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