Supply Chain Management
Find a supply chain management solution for your business
Supply chain management involves coordinating the functions of your business with all the other businesses involved in the supply chain to make sure that the production cycle runs smoothly and more cost-effectively for all involved. As with other areas of business management, a good supply chain management solution will not only keep things moving as expected, it will aim to improve performance. Learn about the supply chain, how it needs to be managed and the best tools you can use to improve its function.
The Concept of Supply Chain Management
From the raw material to the finished product, the supply chain is typically long and involved. Essentially, a supply chain begins at the source and ends at the customer; it's composed of several organizations that are linked together by the flow of products, services or information from one end to the other. The purpose of supply chain management is to help everyone in the supply chain collaborate with each other easily and predict customer demand, which will save time and reduce costs.
General management principles as well as a more specific supply chain management process will help to resolve common problems and keep the business on track. You'll need to consider the number and location of suppliers, mode of transportation used for delivery and the coordination of all the processes in order to minimize the total logistics cost. Additionally, you need to keep the lines of communication open and clear—various sections of the supply chain should be able to share valuable information easily, and records on inventory should be well-maintained and accessible.
Create a Supply Chain Management Solution
The key to good supply chain management is integration—all the departments and partners involved must be able to communicate freely and quickly to share crucial information as projects or issues arise. This means that the most useful tools will provide an overview of the whole process and show where everyone fits in; these tools will also act as a channel for interaction and response.
Supply chain management software is one of the most popular tools available, as it will allow you to complete supply chain transactions, manage your relationships with suppliers and allow you to track and control other related business processes. However, many specific tasks have their own specific software and rarely will one product cover every element. Browse through software packages to find versions that will suit your business, and don't be discouraged if some mistakes are made at first; supply chain management is a complicated process, and you'll likely have to fine-tune the system before it will work perfectly for your company.