What is Supply Chain Management ?

Introduction: Supply Chain Management

The administration of processes involved in the manufacture and delivery of a good or service, from the sourcing of raw materials to the delivery to final consumers, is known as supply chain management (SCM). In other words, supply chain management entails all procedures that convert raw materials into finished commodities. 

It is also concerned with controlling the flow of goods and services. It entails the deliberate simplification of a company’s supply-side operations in order to optimize customer value and achieve a competitive edge in the market. In order to improve overall efficiency and effectiveness, cut costs, and boost customer happiness, it entails optimizing procedures and activities both inside and across the various businesses and departments engaged in the supply chain.

Objectives and Importance of Supply Chain Management

The primary goals of supply chain management are to make sure that the proper goods or services are provided to clients in a way that benefits the company financially. Supply chain management must take into account all of the processes involved in the production, distribution, and delivery of goods or services in order to meet these goals. This covers the administration of vendors, stock, logistics, warehousing, and customer support.

All supply chain participants, from suppliers to customers, must work together in order to successfully complete the goals of supply chain management. Supply chain management needs to be able to combine all of the operations involved in the supply chain in order to be effective. The definition of goals, creation of plans, and application of tactics all fall under this category. Although supply chain management has many various goals, some of the most crucial ones are listed below, which we’ll be going into detail below;

Cost Reduction

The primary goal of supply chain management is to lower the overall expenses of maintaining the supply network. Costs, both directly and indirectly, are included here. Businesses can boost their earnings and competitiveness by cutting costs. There are various approaches to lower supply chain costs, including process optimization, enhancing collaboration and communication, and task automation with technology.

Increase Value for Customer

The improvement of customer value, which will boost the value of the brand, is another crucial goal of supply chain management. Customers’ value can be increased by offering them the proper service or product that will meet their needs and improve their purchasing experience. Making clients as happy as possible can encourage them to return and recommend your business. As a result, it is one of the most important and perhaps the main goal of supply chain management.

Quality Improvement

Assuring the highest quality of delivery of goods or services is one of supply chain management’s most important goals. Effective quality control and assurance procedures, supplier management, and customer feedback are just a few ways to ensure superior quality. Customer happiness will be directly impacted by quality, which is crucial for every organization.

Logistics Improvement

It is crucial to streamline the logistics in order to lower costs while maintaining a constant supply of commodities. This entails controlling the distribution, storage, and transportation of goods. Supply chain managers may cut waste and maximize resources by enhancing logistics. Any supply chain’s foundation is logistics, thus enhancing it can benefit the whole thing.

Enhance Distribution

Improving the distribution system is one of the main goals of supply chain management. It ensures finished products and services are accessible to clients at the appropriate time. This goal is achieved by making sure that finished products are available when needed in the appropriate location and quantity. Businesses may boost sales and profits by providing greater customer service and satisfaction levels.

Increase Coordination

One of the goals of supply chain management is to improve communication between the different departments and organizations engaged in the supply chain process. Supply chain management ensures that the procedure goes smoothly and effectively by coordinating the actions of several organizations. Planning and carrying out numerous tasks, such as production, shipping, storage, and distribution, are included in coordination. It makes sure that everything is done in a timely manner and within the schedule.

Delivery Optimization

The goal of supply chain management is to make sure that products reach clients on schedule and in optimal condition. It might become difficult because there are so many variables that could affect how quickly and in what condition the goods are delivered, such as the weather, congestion, and supplier problems. An effective supply chain management must take into account each of these elements to provide the best possible client delivery. Customers may become disinterested in the brand and finally move to another if delivery efficiency is lacking.

Increment in Demand Fulfillment

To meet customer demand, the complete supply chain is necessary. Businesses may boost customer satisfaction and loyalty by making sure that customers get the goods or services they desire, when they want them. This could ultimately lead to more sales and a larger market share. Any supply chain must begin with demand, and its goal should be to satisfy that need as effectively and efficiently as feasible.

Improvement in Technology Integration

One of the most important goals of supply chain management is to decrease or eliminate manufacturing defects. Business organizations ought to integrate their IT platforms in order to accomplish this goal. Businesses can lower the likelihood of human error and communication issues by merging technologies. Additionally, automating operations allows firms to save time and money as well.

Barriers to Supply Chain Management

Supply chains have gotten so big because of the growth of globalization and outsourcing that they are almost impossible to manage using only conventional methods. While major corporations frequently manage supplier portfolios totaling in the tens of thousands, small businesses frequently deal with hundreds of suppliers, ranging from one-time vendors to recurring service providers. Many people aren’t even sure how many providers they have.

Even supply networks for lone product lines have the potential to grow incredibly complex. Even worse, the degree of complexity frequently only becomes apparent after a catastrophe. We must, therefore, be aware of the obstacles that can impair a company’s supply chain management. This will, in order, keep the company one step ahead of any such crises. The list is as follows:

Excessive Amount of Time in Background Checks

The company that sold the client the goods or service is always the one to take the heat when it doesn’t live up to their expectations. This is very common in organizations. Organizations must conduct all the background checks on potential suppliers before signing any contracts since they will be held liable for the majority of any reputational, financial, or legal harm. These are especially more crucial in fields like finance and healthcare that are heavily regulated. Know Your Customer/Supplier (KYC/KYS), Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and credit checks are just a few examples of such background checks.

Lack of Interconnectivity between Departments

Information silos are one of the most typical obstacles to business expansion. It becomes increasingly difficult to track inventory across numerous warehouses and outlets when departments are unable to effectively communicate with one another. This happens when employees have to update numerous internal systems to add and manage vendors. Using manual data entry and convoluted business procedures to transmit information results in a lack of consistency and a significantly higher likelihood of error.

Onboarding of Smaller Suppliers is Taking as long as that of Larger Ones

If we apply the Pareto principle, or 80/20 rule, to supply chain management, then 80% of your suppliers are large ones with marginal effects on growth individually. Spending more effort on lesser suppliers’ onboarding and maintenance than on their strategic ones is therefore detrimental. However, each supplier still needs to be managed properly for the reasons of sustainability and compliance. Meanwhile, too drawn-out onboarding procedures are certain to turn away smaller suppliers, making your organization less desirable as a business partner.

Increasing Burden of Meeting Compliance Demands

Even if many data security and compliance violations take place further down the supply chain, the firm that sells the finished product is nonetheless held liable. While the obligation to preserve assets may be shared among several parties, organizations have a moral and legal obligation to pick their partners and suppliers wisely. Never has it been more crucial to rigorously assess potential suppliers. The difficulty of onboarding and maintaining suppliers is only increasing as the emphasis on compliance increases across all industry sectors.

Deteriorating Supplier Relations

Strong supplier connections are essential for firms looking to reduce costs and for maintaining a good supply chain. Poor supplier connections can have very negative long-term implications, including late shipments and subsequent reputational harm, late payment costs, and abandoned agreements. Relationships soon begin to deteriorate as managing supply chains at scale gets exponentially more difficult.


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