Smart Made Simple Displays Supply Chain Intelligence throughout the Entire Production Lifecycle and Beyond

An Interview with Matt Carefoot, Smart Made Simple (SMS) Purchasing Manager

In the past, supply chains were considered just another part of the manufacturing process. But in the light of recent events, and with such fast-paced, disruptive, and unpredictable activity lately, supply chains have been brought to the forefront. Now more than ever, the benefits of a robust, transparent, controlled, and well- monitored supply chain are not only appreciated but crucial to business success. Finding a local partner who can source globally and effectively, all whilst balancing the four main factors of time, risk, cost, and profit, is essential.

As advanced software solutions transform the supply chain process, and devices become inter-connected to create the Internet of Things (IoT), companies can struggle to keep up.

SMS understands how to manage technology to transform the supply chain process in a manner that best fits each customer.

We asked Matt Carefoot, Purchasing Manager for SMS about his thoughts on supply chain, and how SMS is different from other contract manufacturers.

Please tell us a bit about the supply chain process.

 The Purchasing Department, or procurement function, is obviously related to procuring the material to support our customer demand.

The Planning Department plans all of our customers manufacturing production orders based on their sales orders. The New Product Development, or NPI, function is responsible is for developing new products in conjunction with our customers.

From a supply chain aspect, how is SMS different?

The way that SMS operates is to offer a full-turnkey solution to our customers, from concept to production. So, our customers can come to us with an idea or concept for a product, they can use our resources with our New Product Development function, and we’ll work closely with those guys to configure the prototypes and the NPI builds. Then we work to bring this to full-scale manufacturing and reach the market for our customers.

What are some of the challenges of managing supply chain? 

It all comes down to the relationships you have suppliers within your supply base and having open communications.

The challenge for SMS is turning the information we get from our customers into supply chain solutions. Being able to erect short lead times and use our suppliers as an extension of our resources to meet build requirements. It’s all about collaborating with our suppliers.

We are continually looking at different ways and solutions of adding value – we look at long-term agreements, supplier and vendor-managed inventory and consignment stock. The key for us is short lead times for our customers, well-managed inventory, and long lead times for our suppliers.

Right now, we are working on an RFQ for electronic components. Our goal is to reduce cost and lead-times. By having a collaborative relationship with our suppliers, we can meet this challenge.

What do you like about working in supply chain?

I love working in supply chain, been doing it for over 25 years now.

What do you like about working at SMS?

SMS has such a good work ethic – so collaborative, everyone gets on with each other. That’s essential to a good work environment because it opens up communication, and we’re really focused on being collaborative with other departments, our suppliers, and of course our customers.

At SMS, we understand that technological changes are transforming manufacturing and supply chains.

SMS offers customers a view of their total landed cost and complete supply chain transparency and traceability. By introducing them to a smart supply chain solution to ensure speed, transparency and traceability, avoiding risk, whilst reviewing their total cost of ownership for cost and profit control, SMS helps OEMs to effectively optimise their operational efficiency for success.

You can view Matt’s interview on SMS’s dedicated YouTube Channel here:

About Smart Made Simple – SMS

The U.K.’s leading Manufacturing Service Provider.

From concept to creation, to commercialisation, to customer, for all technology companies. Whether you are a start-up, or an established household brand name, if you have a design, engineering, manufacturing or supply chain problem, thanks to the diversity of our experience and scalable service, SMS has the solution.

Since 1920, SMS has manufactured electronics products from the same home in Nottingham, U.K. For almost 100 years, we have been the company behind the ideas, offering agile and adaptive supply chain solutions, that bring products to market faster, smarter and simpler.

Leader in the specialist low volume, highly complex manufacturing services market space, SMS has earned critical industry facility certifications, that brings full viability and credibility to the aerospace & defence, communications, industrial and medical markets. SMS brings the right scale, capabilities and competitive solutions to customers needing high-reliability attention, product realisation and supply chain optimisation.

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If you have any questions about this article or any services/solutions that Smart Made Simple (SMS) offer, please contact Director of Sales & Marketing, Steven Blyth.