Supply Chain Management (SCM) connects the manufacturers to their customers. It ensures the balance of demand and supply, inventory management and streamlining the sales and operation planning process.
Thus, monitoring and maintaining these processes is essential for the smooth functioning of an economy. Supply chain management is a dynamic field that calls for multifaceted, versatile individuals with a strong knack for logistics.
Want to learn about the roles and objectives of supply chain management? Read on to find out!
Aims of Supply Chain Management
The main goals of SCM are:
Making operations and production systems efficient
Knowledge of supply chain management enables the streamlining of business operations. It involves organising the production end and making effective distribution and supply strategies.
Monitoring and fine-tuning quality control
Supply Chain Managers are responsible for ensuring that the quality of the product meets industry standards. They are also responsible for formulating operations protocols. Incorporating sustainable and ethical practices while following safety guidelines is one of the primary objectives of SCM. Real-time tracking of product quality helps detect and remedy manufacturing errors promptly.
Bolstering logistics is critical to improving sales and production. Supply chain management aims to automate repeated processes such as placing orders for raw materials, tracking market rates, estimating demand and business costs, and generating operations reports. Efficient scheduling enables maximum productivity and utilisation of raw materials and human resources. A robust supply chain bridges the gap between manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and customers.
Controlling wastage and costs
Reducing expenses on raw materials and overheads is the primary goal for any company. It calls for a reduction in waste generation and the implementation of best practices. The supply chain should aim to be sustainable and minimise costs to maintain a healthy profit margin. Shortening the holding period of products and materials enables the seamless flow of goods from manufacturer to consumer.
Improving customer satisfaction
Pricing and delivery are two things a customer considers while purchasing a product. Applying supply chain management techniques ensures the continued availability of goods and heightens customer satisfaction. Selling products at the lowest possible price while maintaining profit margins aids customer retention.
Facilitating proper transport and distribution of goods
Transport and delivery are crucial supply chain components. Streamlining transport cuts down overheads and guarantees swift delivery of goods to clients. Automating inventory and distribution processes enhances the efficiency of supply operations and ensures the timely meeting of delivery deadlines.
Aiding sales and operation planning
Understanding demand and supply dynamics helps coordinate sales and production. Adjusting the supply chain operations to adapt to market trends in real-time ensures the company’s longevity in a volatile economy.
What is the Role of a Supply Chain Manager?
Supply Chain Managers lie at the heart of the operations of a business. Their role is often collaborative and requires the cooperation of different departments within an organisation.
The chief responsibilities of a Supply Chain Manager fall under five headings.
- Preparing blueprints for the supply chain structure of a company
- Forecasting market demand
- Calculating material and production costs
- Estimating and managing risks factors
Sourcing and Procurement
- Scouting vendors for raw materials
- Purchasing quality materials at fair prices
- Ensuring proper transport of materials
Storage and Documentation
- Maintaining inventory logs
- Implementing effective warehousing procedures
- Incorporating digital and automated solutions to the documentation of sales and operations data
Production and Operations
- Setting proper manufacturing and operations protocols
- Using new-age technology to improve production practices
- Enforcing best practices and following industry standards
- Identifying faults in the supply chain and coming up with solutions to fix them
- Reducing wastage and applying sustainable solutions to the production process
- Monitoring logistics and productivity
Sales and Supply
- Working with clients and setting realistic timelines for the delivery of products
- Ensuring the sale of the products at competitive market prices
- Tracking shipping and delivery of products
- Staying up-to-date with market prices to ensure maximum profit generation
- Improving the quality of products and customer service to ensure customer retention
SCM: Keys to Success
In addition to theoretical knowledge of SCM, several factors influence the success of the supply chain. Learning to use these factors to one’s advantage distinguishes a company from its competitors.
Some of these factors include:
- Establishing a network with industry professionals
- Improving the flow of transactional data throughout the supply chain system
- Applying new-age technologies and data analytics to business operations
- Knowing when and how to delegate and outsource work
- Creating strategic backup plans to prepare for unforeseen circumstances
SCM is essential for connecting product manufacturers with customers who need them. Supply Chain Managers are necessary to increase the company's competitiveness in the ever-changing economy.
Are you looking for a supply chain analytics course? Start a career in supply chain management with the Professional Certification in Supply Chain Management & Analytics by Imarticus Learning, offered in collaboration with IIT Roorkee. This IIT supply chain management course equips you with analytics know-how and in-demand SCM skills and gets you job-ready.