When the morning sun blazes in and the coffee maker kick on, the aroma of fresh coffee looms in the air as you brace yourself for a bright day ahead. The supply chain takes the onus of transporting those coffee beans from across the world right to your kitchen. Something that is so trivial for you, takes an extensive deal of planning, forecasting, procuring and transporting to shift those beans to local sellers while they are still fresh and intact. With the absence of a strong supply chain system, all the products that you use on a day-to-day basis would be severely limited.
What is a Supply Chain?
In a nutshell, supply chain strives to achieve a perfect order fulfilment from the point of origin to the point of consumption. Consider the flow of fresh food supply chain – the seller has to stock your preferred product, process your order, ship it to you and deliver your product on time without damage and at the right price.
There are several processes that have to take place in this flow and because of this each company requires supply chain managers. This opens the door to varied Supply chain management courses and careers for you.
The Processes of Supply Chain Management
Several people are involved in a number of different processes to make available the end product to you. Think of it as a cricket team with each player contributing their assigned duties like batting, bowling, fielding, throwing and more. The Supply chain game also requires well-coordinated players to execute the following processes:
- Planning – The blueprint for how much product is needed and forecasting of the customer demand is done in this phase.
- Procurement – All the raw materials that go into the production of the final product is to be bought from the respective parties and stored
- Production – The actual making process that includes the manufacturing, conversion and assembly of all the materials to the final product. Key materials should be available when needed to assist in the production
- Inventory – Once the goods are produced, there needs to be a place for it to be stored under the right conditions so that there is no damage and it can reach the customers on time.
- Distribution – The logistical flow of goods from the factory to the end consumer encompasses this phase. Logistics firms ensure that goods flow out safely to the point of consumption at your local store
- Customer Interface – The whole crux of the supply chain management process is to satisfy the end customer and fulfil their orders perfectly.
Supply chain management is an enriching and important process that is essential to deliver the end product in a timely, safe and cost-effective manner. From inventory management to planning, there are several supply chain management courses that will help you become an expert in this field.