Books are a source of great information for any business to start off or for any research. For instance supply chain management authors have written two good books. The first being The goal (Goldratt, Eliyahu. , M 1984) and Supply Chain Management: Strategy, Planning and Operation (Sunil Chopra and Peter Meindl). The first book details about how Romans and Greeks explored the strategies of supply chain management.
“Alexander the Great based his strategies and campaigns on his army’s unique capabilities and these were made possible by effective supply chain management”. (Michael H, Essentials of Supply Chain Management, Pg:8) Some of the basic modes of transport are rail, road, sea, air, pipelines and electronic transport. Similarly there are basic categories of inventory for choosing according to the requirement. (1) Cycle inventory which meets the periodical demands of customers which is why companies keep a sufficient stock.
(2) Safety inventory is maintained in order to meet uncertainty in demand forecast. (3) Seasonal inventory is maintaining of stock in anticipation of seasonal demand. For example winter season requires increasing number of sweaters and shawls to meet the product demand of customers. The importance of information is not less in supply chain management. Information is used for two purposes. (1) For coordination of daily activities requires four essential supply chain drivers which are production, inventory, location and transportation .
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The information that is pertaining to these four essential chain elements is kept readily available such as inventory schedules, production schedules and transport routes. (2) For forecasting and planning there are essentially projections of sales, requirement of raw material and production schedules in order to supply goods to the market. As a matter of fact, there has been lot of changes in implementation of old method of supply chain management and new methods of supply chain management.
Previously SCM used to function at a slow pace whereas now with the commencement of globalised companies, the goods move at a faster pace which means the entire scenario of SCM has witnessed a sporadic changes in the past few years taking the advantage of computer technology and software technology. Previously SCM chart was vertically integrated which was slow whereas with independent manufacturers and retail show rooms whereas now the markets are fragmented and goods are fast moving with the appointment of franchisees, distributors, dealers and retailers.
For instance Ford and Benz cars were not available in Asian countries in the past whereas now customers are evincing interest to purchase imported cars especially for Ford Fiesta and Benz cars in spite of the fact that there are low cost cars available in the domestic market which clearly indicate that the trend and mind set of customers has changed to opt for advanced technology goods whether it is in mobiles, computers, apparel, automobiles, cosmetics or personal care products. Catching up with the latest trend holds the interest of customers. Many pharmaceutical companies such as Alvidar.
com which manufacture medicines for thyro care offers quick delivery of medicine through the medium of Internet with an offer of discount. Such are the great new changes in supply chain management. In fact, for companies it takes immense energy, investment of capital, planning and execution of model of supply chain management in order to tap the market and to make the product as a success and for this reason, companies invest perfect planning and designing in supply chain management to counter-attack unforeseen hurdles that may crop up during the course of execution of supply chain management.
Supply chain management offers plenty of benefits which is why SCM is massively successful as Internet software solution provider to manufacturing and service organizations. Another important fact to be noted here that different techniques to improve efficiency can be developed through SCM depending on the working operation of an organization, as each organization has a particular method of operation and no two companies work in a similar manner or fashion. SCM has various facilities to develop, design, plan and monitor the workings of an organization for the purpose of satisfied customer relation management.
It is also important to note that a well developed SCM proves in efficient and smooth functioning of an organization as well in generating profits for business. Some of the best features of a successful supply chain management are : 1. There is a prompt quick customer service as well in delivery of goods. 2. While reducing costs, there is a greater productivity. 3. There is a reduced inventory in supply chain. 4. There is a definite forecast. 5. Scope for improved quality and products which are advanced in technology.
There is a clear communication and cooperation among employees and management. 7. Reliable financial information, data accuracy and less complexity in functioning. Conclusion Supply chain management has a great significance in business for the load of responsibility it carries. A company completes its job by supplying finished goods and loading it to the cargoes whereas it is the responsibility of supply chain management to see that the global customer has access to the respective goods and services.
In other words, the ultimate successful management of goods and services is executed by supply chain management and not otherwise. In the coming future, SCM is surely set to take off much advanced software solutions for designing perfect delivery systems through the medium of computer software technology. As of now, Internet has already blessed supply chain management with various companies web sites being set up for endearing goods and services through supply chain management.
An introduction to supply chain management Accessed February 21, 2008 from http://lcm.csa.iisc.ernet.in/scm/supply_chain_intro.html