Important Information On Supply Chain Management -


Important Information On Supply Chain Management

By Frank Ellis

The supply chain is a term that is used to refer to the movement of goods, financial resources and information from the producer to the consumer. Intermediaries (wholesalers and retailers) are often part of the chain as well. Supply chain management (SCM) is the act of overseeing this process and making sure that the movement is seamless. The process will be deemed as being effective if there will be a reduction in inventory.

The three types of flow (product, information and financial) all contribute the success of SCM. Product flow is simply the movement of goods (and services) downstream (from the supplier to the target consumer). Information flow is bidirectional. This means that it may originate from the consumer or the supplier. Financial flow is concerned with aspects such as consignments, payment schedules, ownership arrangements and credit agreements among others.

The adoption of web-based computer applications to assist with SCM by many companies has contributed to greater efficiency. The applications that are being used are of two main types: planning and execution. Planning applications are based on algorithms that facilitate the filling of client orders. Execution orders, on the other hand, are used to track and manage financial information and materials.

One of the most commonly used data plans is what is termed the open data model. With this plan, data is shared between different departments in an enterprise as well as between enterprises doing business with each other. Information is stored in data warehouses that will be typically located in different companies. The act of sharing data has been demonstrated to significantly reduce the time-to-market of products.

Business integration is another step that should be taken so as to make the most use of SCM. What this means is that rather than focusing on the management of individual units, the focus should be on integrating different departments and related enterprises. Suppliers, customers, product developers and other stakeholders should be facilitated to communicate each other if this is to be successful.

Sustainability and social responsibility are issues that have to be addressed by all companies. As a supply manager, you need to ensure that all the enterprises involved meet the minimum requirements. Environmental sustainability is in particular an important factor in modern businesses. Consumers are becoming increasingly environmental conscious and are likely to favor products from companies that share their beliefs. Choose suppliers that care about their environmental.

Supply chain managers need to be certified to increase their chances of securing employment opportunities. The first step in this regard is to acquire the relevant skills and knowledge in all the relevant areas. Such include, for example, transportation, warehousing of goods, inventory management and business continuity skills among others. Most countries have professional bodies that take care of the registration process.

Proper management of the supply chain is needed for goods and services to flow efficiently from the producer to the end consumer. A delay in the chain affects all that are involved. Sharing of information between departments and enterprises doing business with each other goes a long way into ensuring that everybody gets what they want when they want it.

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