RSS

Tag Archives: Supply chain management

Putting The Trust Back Into The Supply Chain

supply-chainTo say this year has seen some scandals in the global supply chain would be a huge understatement. The horsemeat scandal has continued to dominate the headlines for the best part of three months now, and with the Asian market recently discovering rat meat being sold as lamb, this is clearly not something which is just going to blow over. The question is not only how long has this kind of fraudulent activity been going on, and what is going to be done about it?

Pressure is Building

Without knowing exactly how long this has been going on, and I think it is safe to say we are unlikely to never know the true scale of these scandals, it is impossible to say what the cause is. However, if this decision to substitute meats for cheaper alternatives without informing the consumer is a reaction to the current state of the economy across Europe, then there is at least some sense behind these crazy happenings.

Somewhere, decisions have been made to try and maintain the dwindling profit margins of companies and reducing their overheads by using cheaper meat products enables this. However, clearly this is at the expense of the consumer who is left paying over the odds for beef and lamb when they are actually buying lower quality and much cheaper produce.

Similar scandals have not been found to such a degree outside of the global food market supply chain, but what is clear is the pressure which is being put on companies which trade within it, and this pressure is likely to be felt across all supply chains worldwide as profit margins grow tighter and consumer demand continues to rise. The issue is, will consumer demand continue to stay as high as it is, especially when buying online, if there are questions asked about the confidence they can have in businesses if even going to their local supermarket for something as simple as meat can come back to bite them?

Trust Must be Restored in Supply Chains

It is all well and good saying restoring consumer trust must be the first port of call in moving onwards, but how exactly can this be managed? The first step must be for businesses that have been caught up in these issues to hold up their hands and admit they have made mistakes and are looking to put steps in place to make sure it does not happen again.

From there, the obvious step seems to be to put into place a series of rigorous tests on produce which is being traded throughout the supply chain, both before they leave the factory in which they are made, and once again when the retailer takes stock of the goods before selling them on to consumers. That way, if any issues are flagged up, there will be accountability, which in turn results in consumer trust being restored.

This can also be helped by firms using trustworthy companies to ship their goods across the globe; ones who they know will not compromise the quality of their products during what can be a very testing process, shipping produce across the globe under tight deadlines. Espace Global Freight is such a company, offering three kinds of top quality international freight; namely road, sea and air freight services.

By combining accountability, stringent testing of products and trustworthy companies handling the goods which are being traded within the supply chain, consumers can once again sleep well, knowing they are buying exactly what they expect when they next go to the supermarket for some meat.

Steven Capocci is a freelance writer who has studied supply chain mechanics in-depth and realises using trustworthy companies such as Espace Global Freight guarantees quality.

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

What Do I Need Warehouse Services For?

You may find that your business is expanding and growing quicker than you originally thought. If this is the case then you may need some more help with storing and distributing stock. If you are currently trying to distribute and store stock on your own then it may be useful for you to think about employing a third party logistics company to your business. This way you will be able to hand over all the logistic responsibilities to them.

What Will 3PL Be Responsible For?

If you do decide to employ a 3PL (third party logistics) company to your business then you will be handing over a lot of the responsibilities concerning your stock over to them. You can ask for different services off a 3PL. You may only want to use them for warehouse storage. If this is the case then you should find out the location of the warehouse prior to signing any contract. If the location is right for you, then you will be able to store your stock in the warehouse for an agreed monthly fee.

If you believe you will need more help from your third party logistics company, then you can also employ them for your distribution needs as well. You will be able to use the 3PL to be in charge of distributing your stock to your customers. However before you decide to use them for distribution you should check that they have the correct type of transport for your goods. If you work in food manufacturing, you may need a cold storage truck to transport the goods. You may also need to transport goods by train, air or sea. Not all 3PL will offer the same services, so it is important that you look around to pick the logistic services which are right for you and your business.

Some 3PL will also offer supply chain management. This will mean that they are completely in charge of your stock management. The 3PL company will track your stock and finances. They will control what stock you have in your business and alert you when you need to order more. If you are currently struggling to keep track of what stock you have in your company and where it is going, then it is a good idea to choose a third party logistics company who can offer you supply chain management services.

Employing a 3PL to your business is a good idea, if you are struggling with controlling your stock. Having someone else in charge of your stock and distribution will give you the time to concentrate on different areas in your business.

George runs his own business and uses http://www.fullers-logistics.com for his third party logistic needs.

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

How Global Supply Chains Bring Products to You

 

 

Carlsberg factory

The process of delivering goods and services has become more complex over the last century. Very few products are actually produced in the country where they are sold, and the supply chain is comprised of so many interlocking mechanisms that it’s difficult to say where something actually comes from. This enables companies to deliver products at lower prices because they’re able to hire laborers and buy materials from the regions where the things they need are cheap and plentiful. The modern world exists because of globalization, and it’s a process that everyone should be somewhat familiar with.

Where it Starts

Most supply chains begin with the regulation of various resources. While each element is at least somewhat important, the key thing is the political aspect. Local politicians need to be on board with what companies want to do before anything else is possible. Once that hurdle has been overcome, laborers can extract and refine the raw materials that will eventually become consumer products. This stage can have dozens of different parts to it depending on the materials in question, and sometimes companies will trade with each other in order to simplify certain parts of the process. The materials are then shipped to various storage units across the globe, and then they are finally transformed into products and delivered to stores.

The Different Kinds of Supply Chains

Different methods work better for different processes and products. Sometimes cost efficiency isn’t the only goal; economic growth in a particular area can serve as motivation for companies to utilize a supply chain that’s either less efficient or less lucrative. When profit is the sole concern, a globalized supply chain is usually the most favorable option, and even supply chains that focus on manufacturing items in specific locations may still involve imported materials.

The aim of all supply chains is to accomplish the stated goals in the most efficient way possible with the least amount of inventory. The incentives for choosing particular models are almost always wholly economic, but certain companies opt for more roundabout methods if they can gain something else of value for doing so. Since the push for globalization has destroyed a lot of manufacturing jobs in America, items that are produced within the US are very popular within the country, and the goodwill that’s earned by moving jobs into US communities can help ensure a business’ long-term viability. Sometimes the loss of efficiency can also be offset by raising prices, and that makes it so there’s no downside to establishing factories in areas with a higher standard of living.

Supply Chain Obstacles

As with any long and complex process, there are a lot of things that can go wrong between gathering materials and getting them to the final recipients. The fact that such errors are routine and yet no one ever notices is a testament to how stable the system is. Of course, sustainability is a big question going forward; there are plenty of issues with the current methods of production that could be problematic as resources dwindle, but the beauty of the supply chain model is that it’s extremely adaptable. It takes a lot of careful management to keep things moving as smoothly as they should, but at least the process keeps going even in sub-optimal conditions.

Dana Monty writes for several higher ed blogs. Interest in manufacturing and supply chains? Several universities offer MBA degrees including onlinemba.ohio.edu and www.unc.edu.

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Supply Chain Management

Depending on the type of product or service you provide, Supply Chain Management can be a complex job.  There are few companies that are lucky enough to be self-sufficient.  Most businesses rely on suppliers and outsourcing for at least part of their business, producing a delicate supply chain which can quickly fall apart if something disturbs any piece of it.  Supply Chain Management Software (SCMS) is designed to make monitoring and managing supply chain transactions easier.

There are several things that SCMS can handle, including:

  • Customer requirement forecasting
  • Purchase order processing
  • Inventory tracking
  • Warehouse management
  • Delivery tracking
  • Supplier management

While there are lots of vendors in the SCMS industry, there are a handful of key players that own the majority of the market share.  They include:

JDA

JDA offers Supply Chain Management Software for a huge range of industries, including grocery stores, aerospace and defence companies, pharmaceuticals, and the hospitality industry.  They offer a one-stop solution that covers supply chain management, transportation, and retail.  Their software is aimed at major enterprises.

SAP

SAP is a company that specialises in providing software for businesses.  Their Supply Chain Management solution aims to “transform your linear supply chain into a responsive network”.  It covers supply and demand planning, logistics, fulfilment, and delivery tracking.  SAP offers a range of solutions that will cater to most sizes of business.  They also offer SAP events where people can learn more about their products.

Intelex

Intelex have been producing business software for 20 years, and service hundreds of major businesses.  Their SCM software makes it easy to track supplier performance, evaluate and rate different suppliers, produce performance reports, and follow up on issues.

3PL

3PL Warehouse Manager is an enterprise-level supply chain management application aimed at the logistics market.  It offers automated reporting, EDI, and barcode scanning.  This software makes billing, logistics and tracking a breeze.

Accuware

Accuware’s ProActive Inventory Manager is a web-based inventory solution which has been built to run on Microsoft ASP.net and Microsoft SQL server.  This software is available in two forms – a self-hosted version, and a SAAS version hosted on ProActive’s servers.  ProActive Inventory Manager has a standard, inexpensive version for small and medium sized businesses, and a more sophisticated enterprise version.

Choosing Supply Chain Management Software

It’s important that you find the right supply chain management software early in your business’ life.  Investing in the wrong version can cause costly mistakes which could damage your reputation.  Deploying new software, and transferring over your existing inventory and orders can be a struggle.

Before you invest in any SCMS, consider attending a few industry events.  Whether you choose to attend SAP events and JDA events, and shop around in that fashion, or go to one of the major logistics conferences is up to you.  Consider taking up some free trials, and spending a weekend or two running test orders through different systems until you find one that you and your employees like to use.

Amy Fowler writes on technology, this post was written in conjunction with UK & Ireland SAP User Group, organisers of SAP events. For more information on their SAP events, click here.

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,931 other followers

%d bloggers like this: