Designing, Implementing and Monitoring Supply Chain Activities

Posted : 03/6/14 2:40

Saying that a “supply chain” is getting a product from point A to point B is simplistic, accurate, and a huge understatement. In actuality, a supply chain is very complex and an intricate part of the supply and demand network. No product has only one supply chain. To design a logical supply chain scenario, a business has to look at how the product gets not just to the customer, but how the raw materials for that product get to the business…and how those raw materials get to that business, and so forth. So designing a supply chain is much more complex than a simple “point A to point B” scenario. Let’s look at a ream of paper, for example. The company that sells that ream must ensure the paper gets to the end user. But the same company also has to be sure they receive that ream of paper from their supplier. And their supplier has to be sure the materials to create that ream of paper gets to them. All of these supply chains are linked together. A forest fire in the hills of California can interrupt the supply chains for each of these businesses. Complicating this complex scenario, federal, ecological, transportation, and other regulatory agencies form separate links in each supply chain. Managing, implementing and monitoring a supply chain, therefore, can be complex and time consuming. Models of supply chains have been developed that are excellent standards to help you develop your own strategies. The most popular supply chain models include: The SCOR (Supply-Chain Operations Reference) measures total supply chain performance, and covers chains from the supplier’s supplier to the customer’s customer. Included are delivery, order fulfillment, production flexibility, warranty, returns, processing, costs, inventory, assets, and other factors. The Global Supply Chain Forum is built on eight key business processes managed by teams incorporating logistics, production, purchasing, finance, marketing, and research and development. Key customers and suppliers, and customer/supplier relationship management are critical linkages in this supply chain. The American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC) Process Classification Framework (PCF) SM allows organizations to compare their business processes to others in similar industries. The PCF was developed to improve supply chains through process management and benchmarking, regardless of industry, size, or geography. The Supply Chain Roadmap uses an organized and systematic approach to ensure a supply chain is optimal and in line with that business’s management strategy. This method utilizes a map to compare your supply chain with others, to find gaps that can be evaluated and redesigned.