Everyone is quite familiar with the term supply chain, but still wonders the basic meaning and functioning of it. We will discuss the basic fundamentals and functioning related to supply chain for better understanding of the industry. Let us start the explanation with a little example. Suppose we take the case for rice; a farmer sows and grows the rice and business man filters it and sell it to various places including wholesalers and retailers. The whole network that interconnects the businesses of primary and secondary sectors to the final market is supply chain. Basically, supply chain is the network path between the production sectors like farmers sowing wheat, and sectors offering finished goods like bakery making bread from wheat and selling it.
Millions of things we consume these days are just possible due to supply chain functioning. I think no sector can survive without this sector of supply chain. If we remove the supply chain sector that includes transportation and deliveries, the whole economy will go down undoubtedly. The raw material cannot reach the other firms that will draw finished goods from it. Finished goods will also not avail to market if these supply chain measures are unavailable. Supply chain management weaves its way around all of the products we use or consume in our daily lives, creating a harmonious and productive atmosphere. Any break in this chain will cause a domino effect, causing the system to be disrupted. Supply chain management is made up of a few key components that are both essential and vital to the system’s success.
Major Components of Supply Chain
This is one of the most crucial levels. It is important to finalize and implement plans before starting the entire supply chain. Checking demand for the product or service, as well as viability, costing, benefit, and manpower, are all essential. It would be almost impossible for the company to gain successful and long-term benefits without a proper plan or strategy in place. As a result, this step must be given sufficient attention. Every company requires a strategy that is based on a plan, blueprint, or roadmap. Planning aids in the identification of consumer demand and supply patterns, which aids in the development of an effective supply chain management system.
Warehousing as the name suggests is the process of storing up the goods at large warehouses. For long term transportation, the process of warehousing is must for supply chain. Warehouses and hubs are an integral part of supply chain. Short term deliveries of products can still be managed but long term goals with long distance and heavy volumes cannot be managed without warehouses. Warehouses are not only used to store the goods, rather it is also used for processes like tagging and indexing of products. After indexing the products can be sorted for hassle free delivery. Last mile delivery companies in India feel that indexing is crucial stage for the efficiency of last mile delivery. So, warehouses play a vital and an indirect role in overall performance of the whole supply chain process.
The movement of people, animals, and goods from one place to another is known as transportation. Air, rail, road, water, cable, pipeline, and space are all modes of transportation. Infrastructure, equipment, and operations are the three categories in which the sector can be divided. Transportation is important because it allows people to trade with one another, which is necessary for societies to grow. Since it is where the rubber meets the asphalt, the transportation role is vital to the supply chain. A business can have the right product in the right warehouse at the right time, but it won’t get to the consumer on time if it doesn’t have transportation.
Customer experience is the key for the survival and growth of any business competing in todays’ tough market. But, the matter of fact is that the customer experience is highly dependent on last mile delivery services. Last mile delivery process is the only vertical in supply chain that comes in a direct contact with the final customer. No other vertical like warehousing, indexing comes in contact with customers directly. Obviously, other aspects related to products should also with due respect to customers’ orders. These days all users are having expectations of having timely delivery. If the product is appropriate but the delivery is late or not to the proper location, customer satisfaction will automatically decrease drastically. Timely delivery and appropriate delivery are the key measures for successful business these days. So, in short keep an eye on last mile delivery for better customer retention.
It is important to keep and maintain an inventory in order to provide a highly efficient supply chain management system. A ready list of goods, raw materials, and other essentials needed for the product or service is referred to as an inventory. This list must be revised on a regular basis to distinguish between available and needed stock. Inventory management is essential to supply chain management because it is impossible to manufacture and sell a product without it. Because of its effect on the supply chain, businesses have begun to pay more attention to this aspect.