Supply Chain Management

The Need for Agility

Having understood the impact and the undisputable success of the lean philosophy applied in many organisations world over. Can we come to a conclusion that the next milestone, after the craft production and mass production, is going to be the lean production? To answer this question, one needs to first establish whether the lean approach can fit to all business environments now and in the future. Researches and literatures so far appear to believe the otherwise.

The critical argument here is that the lean system was developed from a forecasting based volume production industrial sector where the market differentiator is reliability and cost, and today large part of our global market is variety dominated and the differentiator is speed and responsiveness. Hence, lean probably is not a cure-all approach after all.

One of the important issues in supply chain management is to design and plan out the overall architecture of the supply chain network and the value adding flows that go through it. This means that managers should step back and looks at the supply chain as a whole and formulates strategies and processes that maximise the total supply chain value-adding and minimises the total supply chain costs.

 To date, our world market is dominated mostly by many well established global brands. Over the last three decades, there have been a steady trend of global market convergence – the tendency that indigenous markets start converge on a set of similar products or services across the world. The end-result of the global market convergence is that companies have succeeded on their products or services now have the whole wide world to embrace for their marketing as well as sourcing.

What is supply chain management

What is supply chain management: basically this is group of independent organisations connected together through the products and services that they separately and/or jointly add value on in order to deliver them to the end consumer. It is very much an extended concept of an organisation which adds value to its products or services and delivers them to its customers.

But what is the benefit of understanding the value adding from the supply chain perspective? Why managing supply chain is becoming necessary and important to today’s business success? These are some of the fundamental questions that must be first addressed before discussing the “how to” questions.

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