Description Of Supply Chain Management Course
Supply Chain Management
The Supply Chain is a significant part of every business that leads businesses to great heights and drives crazy results. In the ever-evolving business world, effective Supply Chains ensure customer satisfaction. To be precise, it is a cross-functional approach that includes transforming raw materials into the final product using high-end technologies and skilled professionals.
In simple terms, Supply Chain Management essentially deals with designing, planning, executing, controlling, and monitoring various Supply Chain activities to build a highly competitive infrastructure and boost net value. To ace this domain, you need to hone your skills by enrolling in one of the Supply Chain Management certification courses.
Stages of Supply Chain Management
Supply Chain Management is a massive domain introduced by Keith Oliver in 1982. It involves a wide range of functions that might seem daunting at first. However, if you break it down into simpler molecules, the process can be easier and more effective.
Most experienced professionals around the globe have introduced five significant stages that Supply Chain operational references (SCOR) go through. These are as follows.
● Stage 1 – Plan
● Stage 2 – Source
● Stage 3 – Make
● Stage 4 – Deliver
● Stage 5 – Return
Stage 1 – Plan
The initial and most significant stage of the Supply Chain process is the planning stage which is also the strategic part of Supply Chain Management. Planning is a journey that involves a wide range of activities, including strategy formulation and identifying key components, without which the process will be incomplete. As is popularly said, planning is the blueprint of the end requirements and results.
During the planning process, the company understands the various pros and cons and tests multiple alternatives to land on the right one. While planning, companies should ensure that their Supply Chain Management strategies complement their business goals well.
Stage 2 – Source
The second stage of Supply Chain Management involves effectively organising the procurement of raw materials and components. Once you have answers to all the burning questions at the planning stage, it’s time to negotiate contacts and schedule deliveries. Supply Chain managers should rely on trustworthy suppliers for raw material, and the payments should be cleared when appropriate.
Stage 3 – Make
The third stage involves putting the plan into action. This stage is basically where well-designed functions are implemented to achieve the final goal. It generally deals with scheduling production activities, testing, packaging, and delivering the final product. During this stage, the results are quantified to ensure the maximum possible efficiency.
Stage 4 – Deliver
When the Supply Chain reaches the fourth stage, the manager is responsible for carrying out the distribution process that includes delivering the right product or services in the desired quantity at the right place and at an accurate time to build or maintain goodwill. Companies should have a proper channel that ensures smooth delivery functioning to eliminate chaos.
Stage 5 – Return
The last and foremost step of Supply Chain Management is handling returns. This entails analysing product conditions, organising and restocking inventory, replacing defective products, or making timely refunds. Though it’s a crucial part of Supply Chain Management, it’s not necessarily applicable for all goods and services.
Various Supply Chain Management professional certification courses can help professionals build a solid foundation and master multiple skills to pursue a gratifying career like this.
Components of Supply Chains
The simple toast and butter that we munch on almost every day go through a series of processes before reaching our tables, and that’s basically what Supply Chain Management is. Any break in this chain can seriously hamper our peace of mind; therefore, looking at its various components and getting an insight into them becomes critically important.
● Return of Goods
Everything good starts with an intelligent strategy that is the very first component of the Supply Chain. Before stepping into the production process, it is essential to formulate a plan, check the demand in the market, analyse the target customers, keep an eye on the competitors, check the viability, workforce, technology, and much more.
Without a well-established plan, the chances are high that it would be a disaster. Therefore, enough time has to be devoted while forming strategies, working on pros and cons, analysing long-term benefits, and employing skilled professionals. Once the planning process is almost over, it’s time to take action.
With the new market trends introduced every other day, there is a flood of valuable information. So, to be successful, businesses must stay up to date and match the changing expectations of the customers efficiently. The knowledge that is constantly updated is essential.
Suppliers play a crucial role in helping your business reach the top. Supply Chain managers need to be aware of this and pay attention to procuring the best suppliers. Let’s take an example, what would happen if a supplier fails to supply different sets of raw material on time at the right place and within the stipulated budget? The business is bound to suffer a loss. To protect the company’s reputation, suppliers need to ensure that excellent quality resources are available at the right time and on a budget.
Another essential stage of Supply Chain Management is inventory. Inventory is an asset that depreciates with time. Therefore maintaining it thoroughly and keeping it safe is necessary. Inventory includes raw material, ready-made items, and other essentials that make the process easier. Over a while, businesses have been more focused on this factor as, without proper inventory, the production and sale make no point.
If managing an inventory excites you, you could look at the several inventory management courses available for students.
Production is the real deal of the entire Supply Chain Management. This stage is where planning, source, and inventory form a final product to fulfil the user’s expectations. Further, the production stage is followed by packaging, testing, and delivery of finished goods.
Every profit-oriented business that wants to earn profits needs a location that works in its favour. For example, a garment shop cannot survive outside the city centre; a carbonated drink factory located where water supply is scarce will face hurdles. Hence, a suitable location that aids business survival and growth is essential.
For any business that wants to flourish, transportation plays a vital role in its growth. In terms of delivering the final product to the market or raw material to the production unit, at every stage, safe and timely transportation is the key to smooth business functioning.
Return of Goods
Once in a million times, even a machine may malfunction. Even the best inventories, raw materials, and other components may fail to impress under unavoidable circumstances. In such a case, businesses should take ownership, accept customer complaints, recall the product, and promptly generate refunds. It not only creates goodwill but also helps establish strong bonds with the customer.
Understanding various Supply Chain Management concepts can go a long way. Therefore, learning from experts and acquiring a credible Supply Chain certification can be one of the most satisfying decisions you ever make.
Evolution of Supply Chain Management
Supply Chain Management manages products and services from the point of origin to the end, that is, consumption. While it may sound accessible to some, professionals know the true story behind the curtains. Over the years, businesses have evolved, and so has Supply Chain Management.
The process begins with strategic planning, goes through the source, production, and transportation stages, and does not end even after the final delivery is made. Despite the changes, in every business, small or big, the motive hasn’t changed: earning profits and fulfilling the consumers’ needs.
Supply Chain in E-Commerce
Today the digital world has become a predominant channel that helps businesses maintain their online presence. Fortunately, the e-commerce industry is not limited to creating intuitive websites and selling products online; it also supports Supply Chain Management.
Buying and selling goods on the internet is a common practice that essentially needs quick and uninterrupted Supply Chain Management to dispatch the correct quantity of product at the right time to the right person. Customers expect secure delivery in the least amount of time.
Importance of Supply Chain in E-Commerce
Effective costs: Supply Chain in e-commerce means eliminating various distribution stages that include repairs, outlets, and distribution. Removing these stages gives customers a direct advantage in the prices compared to the products available in stores.
Improved customer satisfaction: For any business to run in the long run, customer satisfaction is an essential factor that drastically affects overall growth. Through Supply Chain Management in e-commerce, companies can keep track of customer demand and implement strategies accordingly.
Supply Chain during a Pandemic
What the world faced in 2020, and is still facing, posed significant challenges for Supply Chains globally. The continuous lockdown situation in multiple nations due to the COVID-19 pandemic blocked Supply Chains and disrupted manufacturing. The pandemic indeed created chaos and exposed unseen vulnerabilities. The pandemic also magnified the existing issues in Supply Chains and made them more evident for the world.
Surveys recorded that:
(Link to the source: Accenture)
● 94% of Fortune 1000 companies witnessed disruption in Supply Chain Management due to COVID-19.
● 75% of companies faced severe negative impacts on their business due to the pandemic and global lockdown.
● 55% of companies are planning to demote their growth outlook. And, out of which, a few of them have already taken action.
COVID-19 is a life-threatening disease that continuously disrupts the Supply Chain in various nations and multiple economies. As economies have started to resume slowly, Supply Chain Management has become a challenge to provide quick services with utmost security while making safety their priority.
Global Supply Chain Strategies
Going global through the Supply Chain opens doors for exciting opportunities, facilitates entry into the global market, enables business development, and provides access to new technologies by partnering with foreign firms.
Firms are entering the global market and adapting to international Supply Chain norms as it allows them to reduce production costs, ultimately leading to higher scale efficiencies. Also, it facilitates lower additional costs, including shipping charges and tariff-related charges.
So, to fulfil customer demands and offer optimum customer services, global Supply Chain Management establishes processes starting from production and ending with consumption. An uninterrupted flow of information, material, and finances should be weaved effectively through the Supply Chain to achieve success.
Essential Features That All Supply Chains Needs
Global Supply Chains lead to collaborations with the world outside, requiring focused efforts and improved services. Having a Supply Chain with a multidimensional approach towards processes, people, and technology will ensure a win-win situation.
The processes are the actions taken in the Supply Chain Management that begin and end intending to satisfy the end consumer. Every function right from production, sourcing, delivering, sales, customer service is part of the Supply Chain, and external services often perform these.
People are an asset to Supply Chain Management as they engage in various production, sourcing, storage, and transportation activities. The people involved must possess the necessary skills to fit in well in the overall Supply Chain functioning.
The technology effectively bridges the gap between people and processes. Top-notch technologies ensure companies’ survival and growth in the long run. It is thus essential to constantly innovate.
Supply Chain Management in the Digitization Era
With constant efforts to improve the performance of Supply Chains, many companies have successfully managed to unlock the unlimited potential in the digitisation era. In the past three decades, supply chain has witnessed a tremendous positive difference. What once was a purely logistics-based operational function now goes through an advanced planning process and leads to the decisions that keeps customers in mind.
The recent online trends have raised customers’ expectations, which has forced companies to redesign and reestablish their Supply Chain. To cope with the changing trends and requirements of the customers, companies put in a lot of thought while designing their Supply Chain. Here are some innovative features to consider:
● Automated production at the factory.
● Driverless trucks to warehouses.
● 100% automated warehouse.
● Eye on the order status.
● Last-minute delivery using drones.
With digitisation, Supply Chain Management is anticipated to grow phenomenally. It will lead to enormous job opportunities for young talents. Pursuing Supply Chain courses from renowned universities gives you an upper hand in the job market while ensuring your credibility.
The Role of Analytics in Supply Chain
Supply Chain Analytics generate data regularly that have a recorded effect on delivery, quantity, customer experience, and, of course, business growth. Supply Chain Analytics help organisations perform better, plan more ingeniously, and make efficient decisions. Its multiple benefits are the following:
● A survey held by Gartner revealed that 29% of organisations stated that they witnessed a massive growth in the Return on Investment (ROI) by using Supply Chain Analytics.
● A deep insight into Supply Chain Analytics provides a better understanding of the changing environment, existing and potential risk factors and helps predict future trends effectively.
● A quick understanding of Supply Chain Analytics helps one analyse customer data and predict the future that ultimately leads to increased accuracy in planning. It plays a vital role by assisting the organisations in deciding their next move.
● One can use Supply Chain Analytics to make informed decisions that will further minimise the complexities of the business.
● Supply Chain Analytics provides organisations with an edge as it prepares the companies for future happenings to make intelligent and optimal decisions.
Understanding Supply Chain Analytics is an exciting yet complex field as it involves developing and deploying technologies. It offers several convincing reasons to enrol in one of the top Supply Chain Management courses to attain a higher level of competency and proficiency.
The Different Types of Supply Chain Analytics
The following are the four central Supply Chain Analytics:
● Descriptive analytics
Descriptive analytics tells you ‘what’s happening now. It ensures clear visibility across the Supply Chain for internal as well as external systems and data.
● Predictive analytics
As the name suggests, predictive analytics helps organisations get a brief idea of the outcome in future scenarios. Using this, one can minimise risks and accelerate growth.
● Prescriptive analytics
Prescriptive analytics helps organisations understand how specific changes will leave a sudden impact on the Supply Chain and what the various outcomes will be. It also allows businesses to analyse bottlenecks and resolve them before it starts affecting the company’s reputation.
● Cognitive analytics
Cognitive analytics support organisations in naturally answering complex questions as if it’s just another team member suggesting ways of improvement. For example, how do we solve problem X, or what is the optimal method for improvement?
Key Features of Supply Chain Analytics
The better the company manages its Supply Chain Analytics, the better the chances of its survival. The five significant features of Supply Chain Analytics are the following:
● Cognitively enabled
Career Opportunities in Supply Chain & Operations Management
Supply Chain Management is a massively growing area that offers some of the most promising career choices, which can mean taking a step closer to your dreams. After pursuing a global Supply Chain Management certification course and an advanced training program, you may find several job opportunities knocking at your door.
Here are some of the job profiles you can choose after completing your certification course in Supply Chain Management:
● Purchase manager
● Strategic planner
● Material analyst
● Supply Chain manager
● Warehouse manager
The role of the purchase manager or purchasing director is one of the most coveted roles in the Supply Chain domain globally. Although their responsibilities depend drastically on the industry, they are known as professionals responsible for acquiring high-quality products and services at lower prices. If you consider a career as a purchase manager, a well-established company can fetch you an average salary of 4 to 5 lakhs per annum.
(Link to the source for the quoted figures: SSIM)
The strategic planner is the backbone of Supply Chain Management as their primary duty involves planning and strategising actions for medium- and large-size enterprises. They are responsible for the overall planning while keeping the business goal in mind. They suggest a detailed roadmap that takes companies closer to the end line. The starting salary as a strategic planner is around 3 to 5 lakhs per annum.
The material analyst is an exclusive branch of Supply Chain Management that maintains a systematic record and manages inventories in the organisation. The analyst is responsible for maintaining the company’s stocks and ensuring sufficient material for future use. With credible Supply Chain Management online courses, you can expect material analysts to earn up to 5 to 7 lakhs per annum.
Supply Chain Manager
A Supply Chain manager is an important profile that demands advanced Supply Chain degrees. The manager is responsible for managing every minute detail in the organisation from the beginning to the end. These professionals are mainly accountable for suggesting practical solutions to the bottlenecks, checking on the entire production process, and developing goal-oriented strategies to enhance sustainability. It is one of the most reputable positions in the SCM domain, with an average pay of 6 to 8 lakhs per annum.
Duties related to the warehouse, such as storing products, dispatching them on time, ensuring safe usage, creating receipts, and implementing operational policies, comes under the warehousing manager’s supervision. These professionals also provide a set-up for the layout, making enough space for products. If you lean towards becoming a warehousing manager, you can expect to earn 3 to 6 lakhs per annum.
Over the years, Supply Chain Management has revolutionised the entire business landscape and played a prominent role in ensuring a company’s success. As a highly rewarding domain, various reputable institutes like IIM Lucknow, IIFT, etc., provide Supply Chain Management programs and very advanced Supply Chain training that can give wings to your dreams. Explore various exciting courses at Talentedge today to develop your skills in complex areas.
SPJIMR (Formerly SP Jain Institute of Management and Research)
Meet your Instructors
Learn from skilled instructors with professional experience in the field.
Assistant Manager, Vedanta Limited
Today, I would like to share my online learning experience of my eMDP Professional certificate course on Supply Chain Strategy and Management from IIM Kozhikode. It was a 7-month long course with detailed insights about the subjects. We had learned the important concepts of Forecasting, Inventory management, distribution network, etc of Supply Chain Strategy and Management. The online learning experience was very smooth, thanks to the Talentedge team. The knowledge and experience imparted by the professors of IIM Kozhikode through the case studies were very precious. This course is highly recommendable for those who want to gain knowledge and build a career in Supply Chain Management.