Supply chainsare involved in the flow of material, or information, and transformation of raw materialsinto final products through a set of integrated activities. Itis a process for companies to offer what the end user needs. The primary objectives of any supply chain are to:
- Oversee and optimize the process of acquiring inputs and raw materials from suppliers
- Convert them into finished products
- Ensure that the final output reaches customers in satisfactory condition, well within time
These three important points lead us to various questions. Where to set up a warehousing facility? What is the best way to route goods and materials between those facilities?Where to source raw material from? How to ensure full compliance?
Supply chain management is all about finding answers to those questions and reaching concrete answers that will help the profitability of the company. It is about integrating disparate functions in an organization and linking them in a way that keeps the company compliant, frugal, and capable of creating customer delight.
Today, in a digital world, supply chainsare not just support entities. They are the backbone of organizations, and more of a funnel through which consumers and businesses get what they need—at the right place and the right time.
As supply-chain leaders have started to realize that their organizations are not about just pushing the final products to customers,they have shifted their focus totranslating strategy into action and transaction. Nothing is too idealistic these days.Strategies have to materialize both, within and beyond their organizations. While processes are important, so are people. You need the right skills to be able to build an effective and seamlessly connected supply-chain network.
It is the combination of people, process, and technology that goes into building disruptive improvements, which are meant to raise the bar in customercentricity.
How a true leader thinks
As a supply-chain CEO, one needs to work out how to optimize the network. You need to understand how you can be more efficient with fewer resources at your disposal. Emerging challenges will be due to a number of factors such as greater global production and distribution.They make the overall effortmore challenging amidst increased risks. The marketplace demands more transparency and of course, there is the question of compliance at all levels. Making supply chains work at their best levels requires tight cross-functional coordination and the right decisions and trade-offs across the organization. Supply chains need to become adept at knowledge building andplay a critical role to help their partner companies exploit their untapped potential.
Leadership through innovation
Innovation is the key to creating supply chain networks that lead to profitability and competitive advantage. The first step in that direction is bidding goodbye to functional silos. Keeping customers at the forefront and then building innovative technologies, you can turn supply-chain execution into a powerful source of competitive advantage.
We observe supply chains evolving quickly. Companies like Amazon are known for their disruptive technologies. But what makes the organization the very best is that fact that it continually evolves and reinvents its supply chain. By being an ever-evolving company, you are better placed to manage risks, respond to changes, and face competition.You can also exploit new opportunities more effectively than your competitors if you allow innovation to flourish in the right direction. Beating your own benchmark is the single most important factor that will help you sustain in a customer-dominated space.