Articles on Supply Chain Management

Supply Chain Management is the art of management of providing the Right Product, at the Right Time, Right Place and at the Right Cost to the Customer.

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IT is one of the most important enabler of the Supply chain in modern complex world of Global Businesses. Global business has been fuelled and enabled by the IT Technology which has redefined all aspects of business today.

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Logistics is the backbone on which Supply Chains are driven. Logistics refers to management of flow of goods and supplies involving information, data and documentation between two entities or points.

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In this topic we shall examine the role and functions of Third Party Service Providers a little closely to understand how they make a difference to the supply chain activities.

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Supply Chains ride on Logistics Networks and IT Applications / Internet. In this topic a brief introduction to each of the Logistics Function / Industry is attempted.

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Finished Goods supply chains are very dynamic and are the backbone of a good sales organization. A number of departments are responsible to work in coordination and seamlessly to ensure Finished Goods reach the markets and the customers.

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FG Supply Chain consists of all activities involved in movement, storage and distribution of Finished Goods from the Delivery point of Plant to the Point of Sale.

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Ensuring minimum down time is the key factor that drives the spare parts process which involves logistics service providers, warehouses, customer service teams and technical teams working in tandem to ensure customer satisfaction.

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The entire supply chain network of spare parts involves the Logistics department of the principle company, inventory planners, test repair center teams and outsourced 3PL warehousing partners.

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Reverse Logistics deals with the planning, process and flow of finished goods inventory, packaging materials and parts of finished product back from end customer to the product company as sales return or warranty return or unsold inventory with trading partners.

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Reverse logistics has been successfully adapted as marketing strategy. Reverse Logistics offers several advantages to the company in terms of both tangible and intangible benefits.

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Supply Chain activities constitute multi modal transportation, customs clearance and warehousing activities. In cases where the operations size and processes involved are more than just a warehouse, normally it is referred to as Contract Logistics.

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RFQ document is prepared normally by the business function manager along with project lead and procurement leaders. RFQ should contain complete details of the said project to enable the 3PL to propose a solution and prepare a solution design document.

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VMI involves a collaborative and continuous inventory supply owned, managed and replenished by the Manufacturer right up to the last stocking point or point of sale to end customer.

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Documentation is important for the physical logistics operations involving multiple agencies engaged in the entire chain, the financial, trading and accounting processes of the both buyer and seller organizations.

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The article discusses about the building blocks of an ideal Warehouse Management System. It also discusses about the operations and functions of a WMS.

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The 3PL service providers market is filled with players of all sizes and competencies. Selecting a 3PL service provider to provide warehousing services needs careful considerations on the part of the SCM manager.

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Before you start looking for a 3PL partner, internal alignment with management, clarity of the project and criteria for selecting 3PL Partner is to be worked out in detail.

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Warehouse Design element aims to maximize the utility of space, equipment and efficiency of operations. We will briefly cover the various elements of a warehouse design and understand their importance.

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Managing Warehouse Operations is akin to playing symphony with people, systems and processes. As long as these elements are balanced and in harmony the operations go on smoothly and efficiently.

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Inventory health in a warehouse refers to Physical Inventory Accuracy, the way inventory is physically kept in locations and discipline maintained in transactions, inventory maintained in the system.

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In this article, we would cover pricing mechanism aspects of a small warehouse like a consolidation center or finished goods flow through warehouse which need not be dedicated to the buyer alone and can be a shared facility.

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In this topic, we shall explore the costing and pricing methods as practiced in the industry. It may be noted that there is no relevant study or data available in the market as bench mark and varies from case to case.

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The need for an inventory migration can come about due to reasons like - Non Performance of 3PL Service Providers, Change in Policy, Change in Business Model, etc.

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Inventory Migration is a big exercise involving internal teams as well as many external agencies. Detailed planning, process, simulation and training are the basis to ensure successful inventory migration exercise.

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The process of Warranty Management has evolved over a period of time. Warranty Management is today a separate function of Service Parts Management Stream in the organization.

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Supply Chain Networks in recent times have evolved from simple sequential and liner process networks to highly dynamic processes which call for information and sharing and visibility to be available across the network.

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Designing Supply Chain Network for each industry involves arriving at a satisfactory design framework taking into all elements like product, market, process, technology, costs, external environment and factors and their impact on the business.

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Customs Departments are the government designated authority. The article discusses about the area of operation of the Customs department, Customs and Trade Logistics and the Documentation required in Customs Clearance.

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Internet enabled technologies have impacted supply chain in major way. On procurement front, e-commerce has give birth to E Auction, Online Bidding and Global RFQs being floated with vendor evaluations being conducted through video conferring etc.

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Procurement function is considered to be a strategic initiative and seen to be adding value to entire business process. Modern day procurement managers manage procurement and sourcing function both at strategic and operational levels.

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Supply chains are integral to a firms’ strategy. This article discusses how rationalization of supply chains can lead to greater profitability and lesser costs resulting in overall efficiency and synergies in the supply chain. The key theme of this article is that supply chains can be sources of competitive advantage if firms’ outdo their rivals in extracting more value from their supply chains.

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