Working Effectively Within a Supply Chain

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All good companies will have a supply chain and it is the aim of the chain to get the services or products from the organization to the customer as effectively and cheaply as possible. There can be many activities carried out by the chain depending on the nature of the business, and can be as basic as getting raw materials to their destination and up to providing a finished product, having carried out all of the activities in house.

Stages Followed

There will be a number of departments involved in the supply chain: –

  • Sales department – it is here that the process started and the sales team will have taken the order and given a price to the customer. This should be known by all departments.
  • Purchasing department – they will have been responsible for getting all of the parts needed to construct the item – sometimes they will have been pre-ordered, sometimes as the order comes in.
  • Construction – the item will be assembled and if required sent to product control to be tested and hopefully passed as suitable for sale. Changes can be made if necessary.
  • Dispatch – normally this is where the item will be packed and loaded ready to leave the warehouse. At this stage the chain is nearly complete.
  • Delivery – finally it will end up on a vehicle and will begin its journey to the customer.
  • In certain cases, there may be return journey if the product can be sent back and recycled.

Although supply chain is a word that is widely used, logistics is also used to describe the same process but only when it takes place within one company. Once it involves others, the name changes.

People Involved in the Chain

It is not only internal people who make this up, but will be a wide range of people the company is associated with. It could be the people who bring the raw materials to begin the process, anyone who makes them into the next stage whatever that may be. If the items are stored or modified in any way then they are also included.

It is imperative that all involved are working to the highest standard as it really is true that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. You can be at the top of your game in all areas, but if someone early on in the process messes up, no amount of hard work later on can change it. You don’t only have to know that you can rely on your own staff, but also staff at the companies you buy from or subcontract to.

Role of the Internet

The internet can be a mixed blessing in this area. A customer can bypass a wholesaler and go right to the manufacturer. Distributers are at the risk of missing out. A link has been removed from the chain and while this may be good news for the end user, there could be worrying times ahead for some companies.

Security

This has become a key word in the industry. Regulations around the world have to be followed and any help available is bound to be gratefully received. With a variety of companies involved, all need to make sure that they are covered as they could not only damage themselves, but the people that they are working with. Anaplan understands that times are changing and want to be able to help distributors move with the times. Chain leaders have to both think and move quickly and the platform enables them to see and react to any dips and rises in the market place.

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