Supply Chain Solutions
The management of the supply chain is critical to any business. Procuring the raw materials for the manufacturing process, delivery to a retail outlet or distribution center, and delivery to the end customer are all critical links in the chain. If any of the links fail, the delivery system falls apart and the business faces potential fiscal disaster and failure. Keeping the supply chain moving efficiently and effectively is a crucial aspect of business success.
Supply chain and the bottom line
From the procurement of raw materials to the delivery of the final product to the end user, there are potential pitfalls and inefficiencies which can hurt the bottom line. High shipping costs and bottle necks at the supply can mean slow-downs in production and dissatisfied customers. Assembly lines standing idle are costly. Back-orders are a customer’s worst nightmare. Breakdowns in the delivery of product to retail outlets or distribution centers can create a backorder black hole, forcing end-customers to seek their needs elsewhere. Supply chain management is an important way to protect profit margins and decrease losses.
The efficient supply chain
An ideally efficient supply chain will deliver exactly the amount of raw materials needed to the manufacturer, allowing for the optimum number of products to be created, which are then distributed to the retail outlet in perfect condition and distributed to the end customer in the correct proportion to demand. Unfortunately, the realities of the market mean that perfect conditions rarely, if ever, exist. Supply chain management solutions include studying each aspect of the supply chain, understanding customer needs and demand, cutting unnecessary costs, adding value and recognizing necessary trade-offs to create the lowest cost at the highest rate of efficiency all along the chain. A supply chain is a living organism, not just a cold, sterile system, but an entity which is always growing and changing in response to the demands and desires of the market.
Supply chain management solutions
Supply chain management solutions include the use of a distribution center, coordinating relationships between suppliers and manufacturers, and systematic, strategic coordination of business tactics across the functions of the company. An effective manager will recognize not only efficient systems, but the needs of both the customer and the laborers hired to put the system into place. This requires both a strong understanding of systems management and the ability to study the workplace and understand the ergonomic applications of each system solution.
Role of a 3PL company in supply chain management
A third-party logistics, or 3PL company is an outsourcing solution that offers supply chain management tools in an efficient package. A 3PL company might offer distribution center and warehousing services, as well as re-packaging and branding. Stock control and management are handled in an effective system which allows for product to be delivered undamaged and in a timely manner to retailers, increasing customer satisfaction. Since a 3PL is relationship-based, companies can enjoy benefits like lower costs due to the ability to buy raw materials in bulk, and opportunities to create and expand industry networking contacts.
With a 3PL’s supply chain management experience and expertise, a company can enjoy more efficient operations with higher customer satisfaction and lower distribution costs.