Supply Chain Management and Logistics Insight

Supply Chain Management and Logistics Insight

Supply chain management and logistics is the lifeline of any business. This kind of management has become very popular in society because of its sound relevance. Before looking at the processes therein, it is critical to know what a supply chain is and how it affects the business. When a company buys raw materials from suppliers to create a product that will be sold, this is considered a supply chain. The major difference between different chains is that some are very simple and straight forward while others are complex and intricate.

Therefore, supply chain management and logistics are the processes that see the production of a product until it reaches the consumer. Business experts realized that it is in this process that proper management can be realized. In turn, cost effective methods to run the chain can be achieved. There are various stages that will constitute this chain as follows. These elements make up the supply channel or chain. The first element is the consumer or the market. Their role is very critical. When a consumer has the need for a particular product, they will go to the market to order their desired product. The sales department of a company will be responsible to sell the product to the consumer.

In this light, if the sales department does not have the product already manufactured, they will place an order to the production department. This is geared to produce the ideal product that the consumer needs. Planning of the production is another element in the chain. This will provide proper coordination to ensure that the goods produced meet the client’s specifications. Because raw materials are needed to create the product, the purchasing department will have a role to play. They will make purchase orders to relevant suppliers. After the raw materials are acquired, they can be stored in warehouses and inventory management will come to play in this regard.

The suppliers will send invoices to the company for having delivered raw materials. Supply chain management and logistics is centred on these vital processes. The next step will be to produce the product. When the goods or final products are ready, they can be stored until they are delivered to the consumer. Transportation is another element that will deliver the final product. The above chain description is necessary for companies. Apart from ensuring a smooth flow of activity, this management and logistics check is geared to helping cut production costs. Consequently, many companies have been able to bring on board cutting edge technology to make sure that the chain is optimized.

For example, the Internet and web based applications have enabled real time communication and feedback processing. The supply chain can now be managed in a more superior way. Companies with complex and intricate supply chains cannot survive without proper follow up and planning. For this reason, this management has automated processes to ensure that businesses are performing as they should. Another benefit is that companies are able to employ tactical solutions that will improve the overall performance. It is also a method to check flaws and make changes accordingly. In personal life or in business, this is a method to manage different aspects of life. The result is saving time, costs and increasing productivity.

supply chain management careers

For careers in supply chain management click here. Visitors and consultants from overseas working in the supply distribution & sourcing space are often required to have visitor health insurance to protect against the cost of accidents and illnesses abroad – click here for details.

There’s lots of further information about supply chain management on the website of Supply Chain Management Review.

Difference between Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Contrary to supply chain management, logistics first came into play in the early 1950’s. It deals with managing the succession of goods between the point of the departure and the point of arrival. Logistics involves compacting the information and the actual business aspect of the transaction. This includes factors such as: transportation, material handling, packaging, and security measures. The essence of logistics is vital, because without it the routing, scheduling, preparation, distribution, plan, procedures, departure and arrival times of the physical materials being shipped from point A to point B might be distorted.

Essentially, supply chain management and logistics go hand in hand, small details mark the bold differences. The overall spectrum is controlled by the supply chain management team, being that they are not only responsible for achieving customer satisfaction ultimately but also contributing to maximization of profit. Logistics is like the small puzzle piece fitting precisely into the supply chain management picture, being that it takes into account the projection of each step prior to the time of arrival of the expected product. Logistics and Supply Chain Management do not intertwine, in definition. None the less, mutual contribution by both leads to more than just shipping.

Supply chain management is the management of a network of interconnected businesses involved in the ultimate provision of product and service packages required by end customers. Ultimately the goal of managing the supply chain is providing excellence to customers by moving the product to the final destination and making it a priority to meet all requirements set forth by customers. This makes it possible for the business details to be monitored from an overall depth. From financial aspects, to how accurate the information is given and to how intricate the organization is. All the movement involved begins from the moment a customer agrees to do business. Like the term suggests, it’s a chain!

The Basic Concepts of Supply Chain Management

A supply chain provides a company and the activities involved in the business what is needed in designing, making, using, and delivering of services and products. Any business depends on the supply chain in providing it with necessary survival and thriving methods.
A supply chain is in all regards a network of distribution and facilities, which perform functions in procurement of materials, transforming these materials into finished products and distribute the products to clients. A basic pattern is evident in supply chain management as they each have their own set of market challenges and demands.
Production is an important aspect in supply chain management, as many things have to be taken into consideration such as plant capability, quality control, Workload balancing, and equipment maintenance.
Inventory has to act as a buffer in a supply chain in regards to how much inventory to keep as it is one of the most expensive demands on a supply chain. The location of facilities in regards to inventory and production also plays a large role on the supply chain. Transportation is another item playing a big role in regards to amounts moved to a location. The sum of these above decisions defines the effectiveness and capabilities of a supply chain and its effectiveness.
A company must establish whether they are there to serve a mass market or small communities and compete on that basis. Production in a supply chain focuses on a supply chain’s capacity to manufacture and store products. The facilities on the other hand are warehouses and factories. The inventory, which is spread throughout a supply chain, includes everything involved in the process in order to have finished goods ready to be delivered. The location of where inventory is kept is just the geographical siting of where a company keeps its products, which are reflected in its supply chain.

Common Supply Chain Challenges

The Supply Chain Council is assisting companies to take a close look at their supply chains in rooting out some major inefficiency. Their mission is advancement of supply chain knowledge and how to apply it in solving problems. Some of the following are challenges faced in a supply chain and how the supply chain council proposes to assist in solving them:
• Customer service is very important in the supply chain in delivering the right product, in the right condition, right quantity, right price, right location, right time, and right documentation. It does sound simple and straightforward but indeed, it is not. The council offers a supply chain operations reference model, which create a foundation for improvement. It will assist in evaluating cost performance; develop strategies for meeting customer expectations and respond to global as well as domestic market.
• Cost control which are constantly under pressure in any supply chain and the council offers their SCOR mark-benchmarking portal in order to provide organizations with metrics as the basis in measuring the success in the achievement of objectives.
• Risk management and planning is another challenge in a supply chain and the SCOR method will lead to faster implementation, easier coordination, comprehensive identification of potential risks and more. Users will be able to establish rules and strategies, coordinate responses, assign responsibilities, as well as monitor current conditions. Inside the SCOR model is a special inclusion of risk in addressing needs of a company.
• Supplier and Partner relationship management is the other challenge addressed by the council with their SCOR program. Organizations as well as department inside an organization have their own methods in communicating and measuring performance results and expectations. They offer a common language across all boards fro the classification and analysis of a supply chain. The use of a common language and framework make communications easier between teams, enhances evaluation of best practices and speed up benchmarking efforts..

Find a Suitable Supply Chain Management Course

Oxbridge Academy offers supply chain management course offering a qualification endorsed by SAIM. The modules followed will teach a student the fundamental elements of supply chain. Focus is also put upon procurement and sales that equips a student with relevant competencies and foundation skills.
Massachusetts institute of Technology offers a nine-month Master’s Degree Program in Supply Chain Management and Logistics. They offer a unique combination of master’s level coursework, industry interaction and professional development. A supply chain management will follow an intensive program including:

Extensive industry interaction
Leadership training
Communication skill development
Cutting-edge research
Thesis project
Challenging curriculum
These skills will allow a graduate the opportunity to demonstrate skills in software, distribution, logistics, retail, manufacturing, consulting and more in a wide variety of industries.
Michigan State University offers their supply chain management courses as a semester based academic admission and has selective admissions
Michigan Ross School of Business has their supply chain management program on offer which incidentally is ranked second in the nation. Students learn from the Ross’ world-renowned faculty in management and operations science and also researchers who are world-ranked in any business discipline. The program touches every functions of global commerce including: customer relations, information technology, inventory management, sourcing and marketing. They look at it in the light of a business function and not only as a tactical function.
Penn State World Campus offers their online Master of Professional Studies in Supply Chain Management and currently they are ranked as the highest ranking school for supply chain management. It is a two-year online course which will deliver students with a Master’s degree and during the course students will learn:
New technologies in Supply Chain Management
Industry best practices
Study proven theory
Design and manage effective supply chain
Improve operational efficiency of supply chain
Assess fundamental dimensions of logistics strategy
Evaluate supply chain vulnerabilities
Apply project management techniques in logistics context
Managing inventory, aggregate planning
Conduct demand forecast

Oxbridge Academy offers supply chain management course offering a qualification endorsed by SAIM. The modules followed will teach a student the fundamental elements of supply chain. Focus is also put upon procurement and sales that equips a student with relevant competencies and foundation skills.
Massachusetts institute of Technology offers a nine-month Master’s Degree Program in Supply Chain Management and Logistics. They offer a unique combination of master’s level coursework, industry interaction and professional development. A supply chain management will follow an intensive program including:
Extensive industry interaction
Leadership training
Communication skill development
Cutting-edge research
Thesis project
Challenging curriculum
These skills will allow a graduate the opportunity to demonstrate skills in software, distribution, logistics, retail, manufacturing, consulting and more in a wide variety of industries.
Michigan State University offers their supply chain management courses as a semester based academic admission and has selective admissions
Michigan Ross School of Business has their supply chain management program on offer which incidentally is ranked second in the nation. Students learn from the Ross’ world-renowned faculty in management and operations science and also researchers who are world-ranked in any business discipline. The program touches every functions of global commerce including: customer relations, information technology, inventory management, sourcing and marketing. They look at it in the light of a business function and not only as a tactical function.
Penn State World Campus offers their online Master of Professional Studies in Supply Chain Management and currently they are ranked as the highest ranking school for supply chain management. It is a two-year online course which will deliver students with a Master’s degree and during the course students will learn:
New technologies in Supply Chain Management
Industry best practices
Study proven theory
Design and manage effective supply chain
Improve operational efficiency of supply chain
Assess fundamental dimensions of logistics strategy
Evaluate supply chain vulnerabilities
Apply project management techniques in logistics context
Managing inventory, aggregate planning
Conduct demand forecast
Oxbridge Academy offers supply chain management course offering a qualification endorsed by SAIM. The modules followed will teach a student the fundamental elements of supply chain. Focus is also put upon procurement and sales that equips a student with relevant competencies and foundation skills.
Massachusetts institute of Technology offers a nine-month Master’s Degree Program in Supply Chain Management and Logistics. They offer a unique combination of master’s level coursework, industry interaction and professional development. A supply chain management will follow an intensive program including:
Extensive industry interaction
Leadership training
Communication skill development
Cutting-edge research
Thesis project
Challenging curriculum
These skills will allow a graduate the opportunity to demonstrate skills in software, distribution, logistics, retail, manufacturing, consulting and more in a wide variety of industries.
Michigan State University offers their supply chain management courses as a semester based academic admission and has selective admissions
Michigan Ross School of Business has their supply chain management program on offer which incidentally is ranked second in the nation. Students learn from the Ross’ world-renowned faculty in management and operations science and also researchers who are world-ranked in any business discipline. The program touches every functions of global commerce including: customer relations, information technology, inventory management, sourcing and marketing. They look at it in the light of a business function and not only as a tactical function.
Penn State World Campus offers their online Master of Professional Studies in Supply Chain Management and currently they are ranked as the highest ranking school for supply chain management. It is a two-year online course which will deliver students with a Master’s degree and during the course students will learn:
New technologies in Supply Chain Management
Industry best practices
Study proven theory
Design and manage effective supply chain
Improve operational efficiency of supply chain
Assess fundamental dimensions of logistics strategy
Evaluate supply chain vulnerabilities
Apply project management techniques in logistics context
Managing inventory, aggregate planning
Conduct demand forecast

Why You Need Supply Chain Management Software

Years ago, before the Internet took over all basic technology and doing things such as managing inventory manually, supply chain managers used to battle to make their supply chains run effectively and smoothly. Software devotees made it possible for companies and organizations to connect their own supply chains with those of customers and suppliers and with this vats network they can optimize opportunities and costs for everyone.
With the installation of supply chain management software companies can choose to share data with suppliers as this eliminates to much stock or too little stock. Suppliers as well as manufacturers know exactly how much to supply and demand from another and manufacturers knows exactly how much to manufacture whilst the supplier knows how much to stock. A retailer eliminates empty shelves if they share information with manufacturers and the accuracy of supply chain management software enables the manufacturing and shipping of only as many of a specific product as there is a market for.
This enables companies to reduce inventory amounts they keep and significantly reduce costs, but companies have to find the package which is right for them. Some companies track supply, demand, logistics, manufacturing status and distribution for example and they may need to share data with suppliers. Supply chain managers must accurately enter information into supply chain management software otherwise their supply chain will never work or balance as the software is only as good as the person adding the data to it. Also take note that if you have supply chain management software installed you must not try to combine it with manually managing inventory or your supply chain software definitely will not work for you either. Proper management of a supply chain will be cost effective and productive and no more excess goods will be stores or paid to be produced where there is no demand.

Job Descriptions of Supply Chain Positions

Supply Planning Project Manager
In this position the responsibilities and job description will typically but not always include the following: The Supply Planning Project Manager is responsible for system changes and leading process necessary for the support of changes in Top Line, Productivity Initiatives and Go to Market. Facilitate the process across Supply Chain functions such as manufacturing, planning Transportation, Warehouse and more. Development of new Supply Chain Planning and translation of business processes into IT solution requirements. Experience and qualifications may be a Bachelor’s degree, Supply Chain Planning Tool experience, strong analytical skills, Excel Project Management.
Supply Chain Quality Manager
This position requires experience in managing, implementing and developing of a Supply Chain Quality Program. It includes supplier qualification process, sustainability assessments, safety risk assessments, supplier quality issue resolution, incoming material quality metrics, audits, material specification development and improvement of process, quality and cost. A BS in a technical field and relevant experience are usually required for this position.
Supply Chain Leader
Is in fact a Procurement Manager and responsibilities includes managing and overseeing of overall supply chain, procurement of materials, capital and MRO expenditures, inventory management, supplier qualification. Vendor selection, improving efficiency, quality and productivity across the supply chain, interacting with clients and customers. Required qualifications are Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree.
Manager of Strategic Sourcing
Manager of Strategic Sourcing responsibilities are the increasing in sophistication of a supply chain as well as procurement practices. Managing the acquisition of services and goods and matching customer needs, monitoring supplier performance, identify margin improvements and insure continuous improvement of the overall supply chain, Analysis of market conditions, developing of project plans and more. Candidates of such as position will be required to have a Bachelor’s degree in a Business related major such as Computer Science, Supply Chain, Procurement, Finance and such.

Supply Chain Management Career

Career Opportunities
In Supply Chain Management there is no specific or standard career path to follow and individuals have hundreds of potential career opportunities available to them. Different organizational structures requires a diverse field of knowledge and skills and a potential employees should have a knowledge of supply chain process, business skills and the relevant work experience in a chosen firm.
Most employees starting their career in Supply Chain Management will only progress to a SCM position with greater responsibility later in their career as most individuals start as front line supervisors, analysts or trainee in management.
A supply chain manager has a large impact on the ultimate success of organizations and businesses. They engage in all business process facets, such as planning, production, purchasing, distribution, storage and customer service. They enable an organization to control expenses, maximize profits and boost sales.
A career opportunity is available in a very wide range of companies such as, retailers, manufacturers, third party logistics, transportation, service firms or government agencies. The nature of a supply chain position varies tremendously as there are office-based positions which focus on demand forecasting, supply management, performance analysis, inventory control and troubleshooting of customer problems. These positions fall more in the planning-oriented department.
Then you also have operations-focused positions in Supply Chain Management, which are action-oriented positions involving product flow and people management. SCM positions like this are most likely at operations centers, terminals, ports and distribution facilities.
A typical job for an entry level individual with no work experience will be a consultant and key duties will include some of the following:
Gathering and analyzing of relevant data;
Identifying of problems, risks and opportunities;
Working with client solutions
Facility visits and conducting client interviews
Evaluating and developing alternative strategies
Developing of reports
Presentation of reports to clients

Software to give Total Control of a Supply Chain

In order to have full control and total visibility of a supply chain you need reliable inventory management. You can streamline your inventory management process and be in control of your supply chain with NetSuite software. It will improve supply chain management significantly with inventory management, purchasing capabilities and manufacturing. The software will give you real-time and in-depth views of inventory, supplier, procurement indicators, and more.

Key Features of Software includes:
• Supply chain management, inventory trends, on-time supplier performance, stock on order, key inventory control
• Cut inventory costs with tight stock control level during increased operational efficiency
• Increased product margins with managing pricing effectively
• Inventory replenishment control
• Bin and lot management, demand based replenishment, landed cost, volume pricing, customer pricing, multi-location inventory
• Inefficiencies eliminated with online purchase orders creation
• Requisition processes streamlined, improved collaboration with vendors with self-serving access to key information and data, transaction histories and inventory reordering
• Eliminate errors and tracking of costs in creating a business process flow in receiving, purchasing and account payables
• Optimized manufacturing process
• Manage production work orders, seamless integration of back-office operations, creating of special orders purchase, building of multi-level assemblies
• Calculation of demand plans by levering sales forecasts and historical data
• Calculation of supply chain plans and automatic generation of work or purchase orders
• Modelling of expected purchase orders and sales in regards of inventory levels
• Demand plans calculation, sales forecasts, leverage historical data
• Generate work orders or purchases automatically. Calculation of supply plans
Benefits
• Complete and real-time visible control in supply, demand, costs, trends and fulfilment measures
• Manual inventory processes eliminated, vendor satisfaction improvement, procure-to-pay process
• Margins effectively managed with clear views of turn rates, inventory costs, inventory profitability
• Meet customer demand efficiently and effectively, maintain and drive customer service levels
• Providing self-service to partners, vendors and suppliers will significantly improve relationships

Definitions – SCM & LM

What is supply chain management?

Supply chain management encompasses the planning and management of all activities involved in sourcing and procurement, conversion, and all logistics management activities.  Importantly, it also includes coordination and collaboration with channel partners, which can be suppliers, intermediaries, third party service providers, and customers. In essence, supply chain management integrates supply and demand management within and across companies.

Boundaries and Relationships: Supply chain management is an integrating function with primary responsibility for linking major business functions and business processes within and across companies into a cohesive and high-performing business model. It includes all of the logistics management activities noted above, as well as manufacturing operations, and it drives coordination of processes and activities with and across marketing, sales, product design, finance, and information technology.

What is a supply chain?

The supply chain — a term now commonly used internationally — encompasses every effort involved in producing and delivering a final product or service, from the supplier’s supplier to the customer’s customer . Supply chain management includes managing supply and demand, sourcing raw materials and parts, manufacturing and assembly, warehousing and inventory tracking, order entry and order management, distribution across all channels, and delivery to the customer.

Due to its wide scope, supply chain management must address complex interdependencies; in effect creating an “extended enterprise” that reaches far beyond the factory door. Today, material and service suppliers, channel supply partners (wholesalers / distributors, retailers), and customers themselves, as well as supply chain management consultants, software product suppliers and system developers, are all key players in supply-chain management.

What is logistics?

Logistics management is that part of supply chain management that plans, implements, and controls the efficient, effective forward and reverse flow and storage of goods, services and related information between the point of origin and the point of consumption in order to meet customers’ requirements.

Boundaries and Relationships: Logistics management activities typically include inbound and outbound transportation management, fleet management, warehousing, materials handling, order fulfillment, logistics network design, inventory management, supply/demand planning, and management of third-party logistics services providers. To varying degrees, the logistics function also includes sourcing and procurement, production planning and scheduling, packaging and assembly, and customer service. It is involved in all levels of planning and execution–strategic, operational and tactical. Logistics management is an integrating function, which coordinates and optimizes all logistics activities, as well as integrates logistics activities with other functions including marketing, sales manufacturing, finance, and information technology.

Source: careersinsupplychain.org