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Supply Chain Management

By HWA | Publish On: May 17, 2011 | Posted In:

Supply Chain Management Assignment Help

A supply chain is defined as a set of three or more companies directly linked by one or more of the upstream and downstream flow of products, services, finances and information from the source to a customer.

Management is on the verge of a major breakthrough in understanding how industrial company success depends on the interactions between the flows of information, materials, money, manpower and capital equipment. The way these five flow systems interlock to amplify one another and to cause change and fluctuation will form the basis for anticipating the effects of decisions, policies, organizational forms and investment choices.

The reasons for the popularity of Supply Chain Management are because:

  • Corporations have turned increasingly, to global sources for their supplies. This globalization of supply management has forced companies to look for more effective ways to coordinate the flow of materials into and out of the company.
  • Companies and distribution channels compete more today on the basis of time and quality. Making a defect-free product and selling it to customer faster and more reliably than the competition is no longer seen as a competitive advantage but simply as a requirement in the market. Customers demand products consistently delivered faster, exactly on time and with no damage. Each of these necessitates closer coordination with suppliers and distributors.
  • This global orientation and increased performance-based competition combined with rapidly changing technology and economic conditionsall contribute to market place uncertainty. This uncertainty requires greater flexibility on the part of individual companies and distribution channels, which in turn demands more flexibility in channel relationships.

But, there are not many corporations that actually take up the concept of Supply Chain Management very seriously. In a survey conducted by Accenture, Stanford University and global business school INSEAD tried to figure out why aren’t even big corporations are not inclined towards Supply Chain Management. It was found that more than half of the companies that tried to implement encountered unexpected problems.

  • Some companies complained that the technology implementation did not work out properly.
  • Some companies complained that the cost of the project was very high and it never came close to meeting service targets.
  • Some companies complained that the supply chain projects were inconsistent with the company’s current business strategy.
  • Some companies complained that it was too difficult in managing things internally and externally.

Now, a question arises, is implementing supply chain management so difficult? Yes, not all companies have succeeded in implementing supply chain management. Some of the companies which have successfully implemented it have for many years aggressively attacked their inventory problems, committed resources to improving its customer service levels and partnered with their key suppliers to take control of its supply chain.

Top performing supply chains do things a little differently than everybody else. Most supply chain companies:

  • They aim for balance. These companies may not be the very best in every category, but they are consistently good enough in all areas that they add up to be the best in class.
  • They increase demand visibility. Having a high level of forecast accuracy is the key to reach perfect order fulfillment, which is the holy grail of customer service.
  • They isolate high costs. The best companies know where they hold their costs and why, so that’s where they focus their best practices and technology investments.

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