Supply Chain Management
Definition: Supply Chain Management is the discipline related to the management of the planning, manufacturing and operations necessary to bring a product to the market place, from the sourcing of materials through to the delivery of the completed product.
The deciding factor in the success or failure of any given product is in the efficiency with which it can be brought to the market place. If the revenue derived from the sale of a product does not create a required profit margin over the cost of its production then that product is doomed to failure, and the health of the enterprise that manufactures the product will suffer.
supply chain management softwareWith that in mind it is clear that the most important factor in the life cycle of a product is the budget and time frame within which it is manufactured. The discipline of supply chain management and the ranges of software used to control it have been developed in order to make this cycle more efficient and cost effective. The field is led by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP)
Aspects of Supply Chain Management
Supply chain management is a complex field encompassing every process involved in manufacturing a product. Supply chain management software assists enterprises in controlling streamlining the process through several logistical areas.
Customer Service Management: Customer relations provide information to the manufacturer on the level of demand for the product, and also provide feedbackto the customer on promised delivery schedules.
Supply chain management software provides reporting modules to track both current demand and answer a range of ‘what if’ questions to assist in the prediction of future demand depending on changes in strategy.
Procurement Process: Strategies are developed with suppliers to ensure that materials can be provided on time to meet both current demand and predicted demand for the future, avoiding the bottlenecking of resources that comes with inadequate procurement planning.
Supply chain management software can assist in resource planning for the manufacture of products, recommending order schedules to reduce manufacturing cycle times.
Product Development and Commercialisation: Product development managers must work to identify customer needs and preferences in developing new products, and then work closely with suppliers and the manufacturers to reduce cycle times and ensure that customer needs are met. While supply chain management software cannot advise on the development of new products it can be used to ensure best practices for their manufacture and distribution.
Manufacturing Flow Management: The primary aim of manufacturing flow management is ensure that the manufacture of goods is optimised to operate on a just-in-time (JIT) basis, manufacturing orders to precisely meet customer demand so as to maximise efficiency and reduce excess stock.
Supply chain management software can assist in this process by analysing past performance and future predictions to suggest the optimal manufacturing schedule, while ensuring that materials to meet that schedule are procured and available in time to synchronise with the manufacturing schedule.
Distribution: Once the product has been manufactured it is vital that there be an adequate structure in place to distribute it to the customer. Supply chain management software should assist in the process of planning and implementing an efficient distribution schedule by optimising manufacturing schedules to allow for the best possible distribution of the product.
Outsourcing & Partnerships: It is a fact that it is often more cost effective in the development, manufacturing and distribution of a product to form partnerships with other enterprises. Especially in the case of overseas outsourcing, it is often the case that another enterprise can...
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Supply Chain Management
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