Supply Chain Management is principally supply chain visibility and transparency and is where the continuous examination, design, planning, execution, control, and monitoring of supply chain activities respond to the end-user and organizational needs to ensure the security of the product for the consumer. SCRM Solutions previously mentioned operate at the micro-level, supply chain management operates at the macro-level. In other words: attentive to the uninterrupted flow of the river. SCRM Solutions are focused on physical elements, supply chain management is focused on socio-economic aspects. Several non-inclusive elements of supply chain management are discussed below.
The global supply chain is complex, multi-tiered and difficult to manage. Customers may have good visibility of first and possibly even second tier vendors/suppliers. But beyond those vendors are more and more to the nth tier. This lack of visibility of all the potential suppliers that affect your product must lead to the question: do you know who your critical vendors are? and the first priority: Create an inventory of these vendors. Employment of this inventory leads to choosing vendors who offer a well-organized technology infrastructure, provide transparency and ease of communication. Impress upon these vendors that the vendor management program has executive leadership, that compliance with the structure of the program is not optional and is mandatory. Discuss measurable program objectives with critical inspections and testing. Share quality improvement goals. Transparency is a key goal and primary focus of vendor relationships.
One of the emerging predictive logistics trends in supply chain management is the concept of precise Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) or the ability to know when and where a product will arrive with great accuracy. The availability of inexpensive sensors and Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity has made supply chain visibility easier. In fact, it's possible to know exactly where your goods are at any time and, in many cases, what condition they're in. But knowing exactly when you're going to get them is becoming more likely as IoT and sensor data increasingly combine with AI, Machine Learning and Big Data Analytics to aid supply chain visibility.
The success of a supply chain often depends on efficiency which is largely the result of the ability of managers to conduct accurate inventory forecasting. Demand planning uses analytics that examine historical inventory data, customer orders, shipments, current orders, and demand trends, consequently enabling smart decisions about inventory. Sharing demand planning information with vendors/suppliers increases supply chain visibility and improves vendor ability to meet demands.
In order to maintain a successful supply chain, proper inventory control in real time will ultimately ensure that educated business decisions are made. Inventory management/control is an essential input to Demand Planning.
Supply chain management for sustainability has become increasingly important with the growing awareness of the potential disruptive effect on the supply chain of global warming, energy security, natural disasters, terrorists' attacks, and the need for cyber security. This subject can be classified into several, but not inclusive categories: socio-economic issues; environmental issues, political issues, financial crises. Risk management for disruptive events in supply chains requires a methodology of monitoring and resilience to mitigate disruptions. Globalization forces globally distributed enterprises to act more quickly when a disruptive event occurs.
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