Cutting edge simplicity

Managing your supply chain can be complex, but it needn’t be. As humans we have a tendency to make things complicated. The illusion of complexity gives the impression that something is more sophisticated, better or worthy of greater consideration. That’s actually far from the truth.

Simplicity is often the best route to solving a problem, directness the best path for a process to take. Applying Occam’s razor – focussing on key elements and eliminating improbable options – slices through the mess of situations. It’s a model I-Tel applies to supply chain management.

“The simplest solution to a problem is usually the correct one,” says I-Tel’s Managing Director Melvin Gauci. “For example, we often find that clients aren’t monitoring their spend, so they have no real idea where their money is going. By simply looking at how much and with whom they are spending, we can make recommendations to save money.

“Equally we find that simple solutions like automating paperwork or consolidating the supplier pool give our clients more time and allow them to be more efficient. Companies spend a lot of money on complex processes and procedures aimed at increasing productivity; something simple like automating their purchasing and invoicing paperwork is far more effective and easier to implement.”

Mel adds that I-Tel approaches each client with an open mind. They make no assumptions about what they can improve until they have the relevant data to work with. It means that decisions and solutions are rooted in fact rather than assumptions, and that those solutions can be actioned quickly and effectively – and with little disruption.

That ethos is applied to how I-Tel delivers its service too. The platform it provides reduces the supply chain for its clients to a single platform, a single contact and a single network. It takes a lot of the guess work and uncertainty out of buying goods, aspects that frequently create problems in supply chains and compound over time.

“Supply networks are complex, as are businesses and the people that work in them,” Mel says. “That leads to erratic spend patterns, to issues with quality and to problems with overall consistency. We can’t control the market, businesses or people that work in them. But we can make buying easier for them by reducing it to a single platform and single point of contact.

“The tech that powers our platform allows our users to achieve consistency of spend and to get consistently good quality – they don’t have to worry about. They’re protected from fluctuations and bottlenecks and supply issues because it’s taken care of.

“Essentially it makes indirect procurement as easy as it should be for our clients, and that’s the way it should be.”

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