Optimize Supply Chain Costs

Create a strategic vision for supply chain cost management

Supply Chain Cost Optimization Strategies

Gartner research analysts found that supply chain cost management models remain short term and functionally focused.

Urgent budget pressure is real, but a strategic, programmatic cost optimization approach, versus supply chain cost cutting, helps to avoid risks to supply chain cost efficiency.

To optimize supply chain costs, it’s important to align business value with efficient supply chain operating outcomes.

Analysts identified 5 key levers to manage in pursuit of end-to-end supply chain cost optimization. Are you fully optimizing supply chain costs? Download the guide to find out.

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Uncover the 5 levers for supply chain cost optimization

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    Supply Chain Cost Management Challenges

    Gartner research analysts found that supply chain cost management models remain short term and functionally focused. Short-term cost goals are prioritized over long-term business value, and a narrow, function-specific focus limits the ability to pursue big change and meet full performance potential.

    Reducing supply chain costs is further complicated by supplier substitution, outsourcing, supplier refinancing and inventory changes.

    Not only do the best supply chain leaders control supply chain costs in the face of disruptions like pandemics, recessions and geopolitical shifts, but they also consider the relationship between diverse resources and networks. Instead of reduction targets, these supply chain leaders and their key stakeholders focus on aligning and collaborating around key operating outcomes to optimize supply chain costs. 

    Cost management remains short-term and functionally focused

    Steps Towards Optimizing End-to-End Supply Chain Costs

    To optimize supply chain costs, it’s important to align business value (customer experience, profitable growth, compliance and sustainability) with efficient supply chain operating outcomes (demand fulfillment, product supply and new products/business).

    Supply chain leaders must adjust how they engage with their key stakeholders and propose initiatives that achieve breakthrough cost improvements.

    Gartner research analysts recommend the following actions:

    • Drive collaboration and innovation around cost-optimized operating outcomes.
    • Develop cost analysis models that align to the scope and performance objectives of specific operating outcomes.
    • Justify investments based on their potential to improve specific operating outcomes.
    About 80% of employees expect cost optimization in their organizations in the next 12 months

    Steps towards optimizing supply chain costs

    To optimize supply chain costs, it’s important to align business value (customer experience, profitable growth, compliance and sustainability) with efficient supply chain operating outcomes (demand fulfillment, product supply and new products/business).

    Supply chain leaders must adjust how they engage with their key stakeholders and propose initiatives that achieve breakthrough cost improvements.

    Gartner research analysts recommend the following actions:

    • Drive collaboration and innovation around cost-optimized operating outcomes.
    • Develop cost analysis models that align to the scope and performance objectives of specific operating outcomes.
    • Justify investments based on their potential to improve specific operating outcomes.
    Leading organization are strategic and programmatic about cost optimization

    Supply chain cost insights you can use

    Partner with Gartner to create a supply chain cost management vision that drives tangible performance improvements while also increasing your leadership effectiveness, scope of business influence and strategic relevance.

    Reinventing Supply Chain for the Future

    Winning supply chains are disruption-tough. Download our 2022 eBook to discover the 4 priorities of the Future Supply Chain.

    Total Cost of Ownership: A Directive for Supply Chain Leaders

    Optimize supply chain costs through Total Cost of Ownership: Understand its benefits and get practical tips for moving beyond simple/unit price.

    Cost Optimization in Sourcing & Procurement: 4 Best Practices

    52% of procurement leaders think professional services are ideal for cost optimization. However, the most significant barrier to cost optimization exists outside of procurement. Explore four cost optimization approaches to resolving business resistance.

    Supply Chain Cost Management Checklist

    Take the 5 actions on this checklist to manage supply chain costs efficiently while also driving innovation.

    Questions about becoming a Gartner client?

    Gartner Supply Chain Cost Optimization
    Case Studies

    Engaging with Gartner over the last 2-2.5 years has helped us drive tremendous change in the supply chain organization: Structure our team, drive cost out, increase maturity. We’ve reduced our supply chain costs year-over-year consistently.

    Manufacturing Industry
    Resulted in savings of $1 million in expenses and 15x in membership cost.
    Case Study

    Implementing Network Design In-House to Reduce Costs

    To respond to increasing network costs and expensive corrective actions, a leading medical device manufacturer needed to create an effective network design strategy. Learn how Gartner helped the client to carry out their network design strategy in-house versus investing in software helping to save $1 million in expense and up to 15X in membership cost

    Experience Supply Chain conferences

    Join your peers for the unveiling of the latest insights at Gartner conferences.

    The Gartner Supply Chain Podcast

    The Gartner Supply Chain Podcast explores the latest ideas and innovations for driving sustainable supply chain success. Join your hosts Thomas O’Connor and Caroline Chumakov as they uncover strategic insights and tactical tips in conversation with global supply chain experts.

    Listen Now

    Gartner Supply Chain Top 25 for 2022

    See the 18th annual ranking to learn the standard for supply chain excellence.

    See the Top 25 List

    Optimizing supply chain costs: 3 use cases

    Supply chain leaders embark on cost optimization to improve operating efficiency. Improved operating efficiency stems from better planning decisions within and across functions. This is a short-term cost optimization effort that takes weeks to months, and involves simple planning models, reporting and analytics. Supply chain leaders are challenged to increase awareness, provide visibility and reduce waste. Gartner research analysts recommend:

    •  Optimizing Supply Quantities, Timing and Sequences
    •  Maximizing the Use of Lower Cost Capacity and Supply
    •  Reducing Demand Plan Error to Control Inventory Cost
    •  Protecting Inventory Value and Managing Obsolescence Risk

    Supply chain leaders embark on cost optimization to reduce structural cost. They do this by (re)designing networks, organizations and products. This is a medium-term cost optimization effort that takes quarters, and involves using models to evaluate design tradeoffs. Supply chain leaders are challenged by sunk cost constraints and change sensitivities. Gartner research analysts recommend: 

    • Right Sizing the Product Supply Network to Optimize Capacity Cost
    • Aligning Organizational Structure for Cost Optimization
    • Designing Products and Managing Complexity for Efficient Supply

     

    Supply chain leaders embark on cost optimization to improve cost competitiveness. By transforming processes and operating capabilities, an organization can improve its cost competitiveness. This is a long-term cost optimization effort that takes quarters to years, and involves the operating technologies that improve decision and execution speed and precision. Supply chain leaders struggle with investing resources and driving adoption of new processes. Gartner research analysts recommend:

    • Creating Management Systems and Organizational Practices that Drive Cost Optimization
    • Investing in Digital Operating Capabilities for Faster and More Precise Execution
    • Transforming Supply Planning to Agile, Optimized Network Orchestration
    • Developing and Leveraging Advanced Analytics Capabilities 

    Create a supply chain cost management vision

    Gartner experts are trusted advisors for 2,500+ supply chain leaders. Use our trusted insights and objective advice to optimize supply chain costs.