supply chain management

Topics: Supply chain, Supply chain management, Customer relationship management Pages: 10 (2210 words) Published: March 8, 2014

Fierce competition in today’s global markets, the introduction of products with shorter life cycles, and the heightened expectations of customers have forced business enterprises to invest in, and focus attention on, their supply chains. This, together with continuing advances in communications and transportation technologies (e.g., mobile communication, Internet, and overnight delivery), has motivated the continuous evolution of the supply chain and of the techniques to manage it effectively. In a typical supply chain, raw materials are procured and items are produced at one or more factories, shipped to warehouses for intermediate storage, and then shipped to retailers or customers. Consequently, to reduce cost and improve service levels, effective supply chain strategies must take into account the interactions at the various levels in the supply chain. The supply chain, which is also referred to as the logistics network, consists of suppliers, manufacturing centers, warehouses, distribution centers, and retail outlets, as well as raw materials, work-in-process inventory, and finished products that flow between the facilities.

In this assignment, I present and explain concepts, insights, practical tools, and decision support systems important for the effective management of the supply chain. But what exactly is supply chain management? it as follows:

This definition leads to several observations. First, supply chain management takes into consideration every facility that has an impact on cost and plays a role in making the product conform to customer requirements: from supplier and manufacturing facilities through warehouses and distribution centers to retailers and stores. Indeed, in some supply chain analysis, it is necessary to account for the suppliers’ suppliers and the customers’ customers because they have an impact on supply chain performance.

Second, the objective of supply chain management is to be efficient and cost-effective across the entire system; total systemwide costs, from transportation and distribution to inventories of raw materials, work in process, and finished goods, are to be minimized. Thus, the emphasis is not on simply minimizing transportation cost or reducing inventories but, rather, on taking a systems approach to supply chain management. Finally, because supply chain management revolves around efficient integration of suppliers, manufacturers, warehouses, and stores, it encompasses the firm’s activities at many levels, from the strategic level through the tactical to the operational level.

What about logistics management, or value chain management, or demand chain management? Various companies, consultants, and academics have developed a variety of terms and concepts to stress what they believe are the salient issues in supply chain management. Although many of these concepts are useful and insightful, for the purposes of this text, we will use supply chain management as the generic name for the set of concepts, approaches, strategies, and ideas that we are discussing.

What makes supply chain management difficult? Although we will discuss a variety of reasons throughout this text, they can all be related to some or all of the following observations:
1. Supply chain strategies cannot be determined in isolation. They are directly affected by another chain that most organizations have, the development chain that includes the set of activities associated with new product introduction. At the same time, supply chain strategies also should be aligned with the specific goals of the organization, such as maximizing market share or increasing profit. 2. It is challenging to design and operate a supply chain so that total systemwide costs are minimized, and systemwide service levels are maintained. Indeed, it is frequently difficult to operate a single facility so that costs are minimized and service level is maintained. The...
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