A Supply Chain Management Guide to Mastering Logistics End to End

By Irfan Syed  

Last updated on Jan 6 2021

A Supply Chain Management Guide to Mastering Logistics End to End

 

What is Supply chain management (SCM)?

 

The flow of different goods and services is managed efficiently and effectively, and this management of the flow is denoted as supply chain management. It considers all the processes that make up the transformation of various raw materials into valuable final products. SCM considers the supply side activity of a business and helps in streamlining it successfully. The streamlining of these activities leads to maximizing customer value and gaining an edge over the competitors in the corresponding marketplace. 

The supply chain management shows all the efforts that the suppliers put into developing and implementing the supply chain most efficiently and economically possible. Everything comes under the supply chain, from production to product development to the information system needed for directing these processes. Managing all these aspects is a tactful job and requires great skill. The organizations get a sustainable advantage in the business with the help of supply chain management. The companies give conscious and constant effort in developing and running the supply chain productively. This system management helps coordinate all the business activities that are associated with the building of finished goods and services. 

 

The supply chain management has a base concept that consists of two main ideas as follows:

 

  1. The first idea represents that all the products that reach their designated destination show the complete effort of multiple parts of the organization. All these parts of the organization altogether consist of the supply chain.

 

  1. The supply chains are present in organizations from an excellent period. Due to the supply chain's presence, the organizations mainly focus on the things that go on inside the four walls! Some of the businesses that are much less managed to understand that the complete supply chain concentrates entirely on delivering the final product to the customers. 

 

 

Two types of flow are linked together to form the supply chain of an organization. The two different flows are physical flow and information flow. 

 

  1. Physical flow: It involves transformation, storage, and the movement of various goods and different materials. These elements consist of the visible part of the supply chain of the organization. It is equally essential concerning the information flow of the supply chain.  

 

  1. Information flow: This flow helps different partners in the supply chain to coordinate long-term plans. It also helps in controlling the day-to-day up and down of the goods and services in the business's supply chain. 

 

 

The process of supply chain management considers the integration of planning and execution measures of the process required for managing the whole situation of making final products out of the raw materials. The complete process of supply chain management depends on an organization's business strategy and the software that they have specifically to control this process. It also involves the collaboration of the work of the organization. SCM is pretty complicated and expansive. This requires the organization's complete workforce to work effectively to bring the necessary result out of the process. Proper communication is essential to take up the whole process of supply chain management productively. If the organization manages risk together with efficiency, then the hectic process can simplify easily, and the change initiated by the methods becomes easy to adapt. 

 

Stages of Supply Chain Management

 

The process of supply chain management can be categorized into five different stages, making it a whole. These stages are:

 

Planning stage: This stage considers the creation of strategic plans to meet the customer's required demands for a specific product. Planning helps the organization overcome the bullwhip effect and carry on the later stages of the process productively. The planning stage of the process takes the help of supply chain analytics and material management in the ERP system. The first stage is immensely crucial in taking forward the process of managing the supply chain. 

 

Source of the supply: The source from which raw materials come is a point give stress on. The organizations correctly and efficiently identify as well as verify the vendors. They select the vendor who can provide them with the required raw material in a streamlined manner as per the specific agreement. The term supply chain collaboration comes to play at this stage, and it is an important aspect that works throughout the process of managing the supply chain. 

 

Making the product and service: The necessary products are manufactured at this stage of the management process. Scheduling the production, testing, packaging, storage, and compliance with the client’s requirements all come under the third stage of the process. The release of the product from its manufacturing unit is also a part of the third stage. Several machines and human resources are involved in this stage to carry on the activities in a streamlined manner. The larger the company, the more resources are used for taking forward the operation in a successful way. The use of recent technical advancement also helps in the practical completion of the required work. 

 

Delivering the final product or service: The fourth stage of the process consists of the logistics segment and focuses majorly on providing the final product to its specific customer. The different mode of transportation is also decided for the delivery of the products. The leaders of the supply chain tend to work more closely to provide more outstanding customer service. Inventory management is carried forward, and the management system of the warehouse is taken care of. Both these types of government are fundamental at this point in the supply chain management process. 

 

Return of the defective product: This is the final stage of supply chain management, and it is equally important as the other processes. The return of defective products is a part of this stage. The products that are no longer required or supported also fall into this category. The elements of different phases, like transportation and inventory management, also form part of this stage. 

 

Benefits of Supply Chain Management

 

A better option for collaboration – One of the biggest challenges in the companies' flow of information. Many companies lack the presence of automatic information flow throughout the supplier chain. Several companies consider that if information flow happens in the fragment, there are fewer sales opportunities. With the help of integrated software solutions, we can remove the bottlenecks, allowing the seamless sharing of the information in a seamless manner. It provides a bigger picture of the management of the supply chain from one end to another end. The improvement in accessing the data helps the leaders in the supply chain get in touch with the information that they need to make necessary decisions for the organization.

 

Improvement in quality control: The different stages of supply chain management focuses on quality control immensely. It helps in checking the quality of the product at each step, leading to fewer problems at the end of the process. The organizations check the quality of raw material and also work in progress inventory. Keeping a check on the manufacturing products' quality leads to less stress while providing the customers with the final product. The implementation of quality control has additional benefits like on-time delivery of the product, a decrease in the number of defectives, and enough time to resolve the complaints. It creates more significant customer satisfaction as the customers get the right quality product in the stipulated time frame. 

 

Efficiency rates increase – The companies can quickly implement individual plans for back up when they have accessed the real-time data concerning raw material and the delays occurring in manufacturing. In this case, they can source the material from other suppliers who act as a backup and prevent more uncertainty. Without real-time data, the companies do not generally have a second plan if the problem goes wrong. This results in adverse situations like the inventory going out of stock. It can also create conditions where the customers get the late shipment. The efficiency of the organization and supply chain increases with the help of supply chain management. The automation solution should be smart enough for the organization to prevent loss and increase their productivity with greater efficiency.

 

Reduction in overhead cost: Predicting the demand for the product accurately can reduce the organization's overhead cost. Overhead cost is a significant cost factor in the organization. If the inventory is present in the organization according to the customer's needs, then the business can stay away from the higher cost factor. This reduces the warehouse cost and cost of managing the inventory to prevent their damage due to less use and demand. There are individual wastes in an unnecessary company, and identifying these spending can help the companies cut their overhead expenses. 

 

Risk mitigation increases: Analyzing the supply chain properly can help understand the potential risks that the company may face. Forecasting the risk to a certain extent beforehand can help in mitigating it efficiently. The organization can have numerous backup plans to reduce the predicted risk and save themselves from last-minute troubles. Supply chain management takes into consideration quality control and works towards increasing the efficiency of completing the work. All these aspects prove beneficial when it comes to the mitigation of individual risks in the process. The companies can ignore several negative impacts with the help of managing the supply chain and using the necessary tools for it. When the organization understands the risk, it becomes accurate with its operation. A better understanding of the risk associated with the supply chain helps organizations change their methods and adapt to the necessary changes. 

 

Improvement in cash flow scenario – All the benefits that supply chain management provides to an organization make the organization decide wisely. They tend to choose the right supplier and partners for their work and improve the cash flow scenario. They even predict individual future designs and take economic decisions in line with those predictions. The decrease in random cost leads to an increase in profits and increased positive cash flow rather than the negative one. Supply chain management has excellent primary as well as secondary effects on the working of the organization. The elimination of unnecessary expenditure can also be considered a positive cash flow. 

 

 

Elements of Supply Chain Management

 

The strategies of supply chain management differ from organization to organization. But certain aspects and elements remain common in the case of all the industries and organizations. These elements form a significant part of supply chain management. 

 

Structure of the network: The network structure of the supply chain consists of the physical system and the logistic segment. The physical form considers different factors like manufacturing, outlets, warehousing of the inventories, and realizing the customer's location. The logistic and the organizational philosophy segment make sure to focus on where and how to handle the process. 

 

Ethical standards and legal framework: The organizations should always consider the traditional standards relating to the procurement of the supply chain management techniques. They should also take care of the fact that the organizations comply with the ethical measures not to hamper the principles of corporate responsibility and environmental standards. 

 

Software and technology associated with the process: A few software and various technologies form part of the supply chain management process. These technical advancements help in finding practical solutions to multiple problems coming as the result of the functions. The software carrying out the complete process of managing the supply chain also forms part of this element under consideration. 

 

Policies of sales and operation planning: Of course, supply chain management does not operate in a vacuum! The decisions and the strategies with which the process aligns itself should align with the corporate policy. It should also make sense for the financial language to be accepted appropriately by the supply chain partners. 

 

Profile of the suppliers: The strategy with which supply chain management occurs should mention the partners associated with the company. The system should say with whom the company carries on the business and if the product quality is met or not. It also keeps a view on the timely delivery of the product. 

 

Functions of Supply Chain Management

 

The significant tasks of supply chain management are as follows:

 

Purchasing: Th primary and significant function of supply chain management is purchasing. The procurement of raw material and various other resources required for the organization to find its place under this function. The coordination of the suppliers and the organization is necessary to ensure the timely delivery of raw material to initialize the production process. 

 

Logistics: Coordination is essential for this function of supply chain management. After manufacturing the products, the necessary storage is required before the shipment of the products. The organizations need to make local arrangements for warehousing. The products face changes in warehousing before they reach their final destination. The logistics work is to ensure that the products get to the final destination without any significant glitch. 

 

Operations: The planning for the production and carrying out other activities of the process happens under this function. The organizations need to anticipate or forecast the demand of the market and seek raw material accordingly. They also need to convert the raw material into the final product, keeping in view the stipulated time and quality measures. The anticipation of demand plays a significant role in satisfying customer demand and reducing the organization's unnecessary loss. All these factors come under the operation function, which is why it plays such a crucial role in the complete process. 

 

Resource management: All the productions take various resources like raw material, labor, technology, and time. All these resources should be managed effectively and efficiently to keep supply chain management intact and productive. This function plays a significant role in the organization, and the companies should take special care concerning the management of all the resources and the human resource. The allocation of resources should adequately occur to ensure that the right activity happens at the right time. This eventually can lead to the optimization of the overall production and reduction in unnecessary cost. 

 

Information workflow: Sharing and the distribution of the information are essential for keeping the connection with the other functions associated with supply chain management. The communication of information and workflow information needs to keep all the other activities on track. When lousy communication or improper information workflow arises, the entire chain faces the problem of downfall, resulting in severe mismanagement. 

 

Continuously think about your assets before focusing on practical use. Your business is more modest, ensure your novel prerequisites are at the highest point of your psyche. Your answer shouldn't use up every last cent with unnecessary unpredictability. Discover a framework that suits your pay and that can develop close by your organization. A paramount sticker price doesn't mean a framework is an absolute necessity have; no arrangement is a one size fits all answer.

 

What kind of arrangement do you need? 

 

On-reason or cloud-based organizations accompany their points of interest and detriments. In any case, the cloud is filling in fame in light of current circumstances. Lower cost of section, almost limitless capacity, straightforward entry, versatile highlights, and ongoing redesigns make cloud-based frameworks appealing. That security is the name of your game, on-premise arrangements are difficult to beat.

 

What sort of help and preparation is advertised? 

This is a significant point to cover with a seller before you choose their framework or not. Continuously guarantee a seller has a solid history of help. Not just that, having different roads of preparation can help raise workers to an acceptable level on another framework snappier. Numerous merchants give accreditation classes that grow a client's information base and make for incredible considerations on a resume.

 

What is the all-encompassing supply chain? 

The all-encompassing supply chain incorporates all organizations that add to an item. This implies that the all-encompassing supply chain includes the providers to your providers just as the clients of your clients.

When organizations experience supply chain issues, the underlying activity is to get some information about the circumstance. Notwithstanding, associations that screen the all-encompassing supply chain have the alternative of coming back through the essential provider to the organization that provisions parts to the crucial provider. For instance, if a mainstream baseball cap isn't accessible from the producer, the head supervisor's typical response is to contact the maker.

Nonetheless, if the retailer screens the all-inclusive supply chain, the head supervisor would realize the producer was experiencing difficulty getting the edge. On the off chance that extra advantages won't be accessible to the maker rapidly, the retailer would have the opportunity to look for an alternate provider.

 

What is the effect of globalization on the supply chain? 

One of the principal reasons organizations made worldwide supply chains was to exploit lower compensation in different nations a quarter-century prior. As a rule, it was genuinely simple to off-set the expanded transportation costs coming about because of distant assembling. In any case, compensation exchange favorable circumstances are disintegrating as wages in cheaper nations are rising, improved cycle and advanced mechanics permit plants to be worked with far fewer individuals, and nearby firms turn out to be substantial rivals in basically every industry.

One of the worldwide supply chain upsides has been the capacity to spread licenses and assemble locales worldwide. This permitted organizations to report benefits in nations with low corporate assessments. Nonetheless, a significant number of these plans are being tested.

In 2016, the European Commission requested Apple to pay Ireland 13 billion in back duties, deciding that Apple's assessment concurrence with Ireland added unlawful state help. The antitrust head of the European Union, Margrethe Vestager, as of late started exploring Amazon's European duty rehearses. The European Union is additionally examining Google and other innovation firms.

 

What effect do blockchain and brilliant agreements have on the supply chain? 

A brilliant agreement computerizes the "if this occurs, at that point do that, in any case, accomplish something different" part of customary arrangements. PC code acts in an anticipated manner without experiencing the etymological subtleties of human dialects. In principle, a keen agreement permits undertakings to sign a typical paper contract that incorporates a pointer to PC code typified in a blockchain. The gatherings concur that both will comply with the outcomes the code produces as long as the agreement is in power.

The keen agreement's target is to diminish the time and cost of agreement authorization by characterizing contract terms so accurately that many PC rules can uphold them. This takes out the legal advisors, legal officials, and other go-betweens who encourage the creation, stockpiling, and organization of authoritative reports. Surprisingly, it limits the occasion to sue since contract terms must be normalized and exact to deliver them as PC code; no statements can be left to human translation.

 

Top Quality Management Certifications:

 

Lean Six Sigma Green Belt

Lean Six Sigma Black Belt

 

To get full details about the popular certifications that will help you get ahead in your career, chat with course expert. We offer training for several high paying certifications in online, live online or classroom mode, reach out to us for best offers on your selected course.

 

 

 

About the Author

Sprintzeal   Irfan Syed  

Irfan is a technical content writer in the education niche with vast experience in creating content for certifications and training programs. He creates engaging, easy-to-understand, and valuable content for both beginners and professionals aspiring to enhance their career. 

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