The supply chain plays a critical and crucial role in the growth of online and e-commerce businesses. It is significant to be aware of the SC operations while developing the SC network and system. However, the SC process comprises various operations and they all have unique goals, objectives, flow, and movement. Today, we’ll discuss the activities in supply chain operations; its definition; how to develop its strategy; and activities involved in SC operations.
What are Supply Chain Operations?
Before jumping into the discussion of activities in supply chain operations; it is significant to discuss its definition. The supply chain operations outline activities, methods, processes, and systems that collaborate with one another for the flow of goods from suppliers, vendors, and retail merchants to the end consumers. Companies should perform various operations in their daily routine and it requires coordination and collaboration among various parties and stakeholders; they’re as follows;
- Warehousing services
- Last-mile delivery services
- E-commerce businesses
Let’s say a company has the capability to develop a remarkable product; run perfect marketing campaigns, and sell it to a state-of-the-art website. If the company doesn’t have an efficient and effective supply chain network to deliver the product to the customers’ doors; then it would find it difficult to establish a customer base and customer satisfaction level.
However, well-optimized SC operations would make sure following;
- Efficiency and quality
- Fulfilling customer orders
- Positive customer experience
- Repetitive purchasing
Developing SC Operational Strategy
You can develop the supply chain operational strategy in the activities of supply chain operations and they’re as follows;
SC operations comprise various partners and stakeholders. In order to establish a better relationship with customers and suppliers, it requires you to share updates, concerns, and issues. It is significant that you should clearly communicate duties, roles, dates, goals, and expectations. In order to ensure open communication in SC operations, you should invest in tools and equipment that would amplify visibility and transparency.
Following popular seasonal trends plays a key role in demand forecasting operations, and you should also keep in mind some of the industry trends. The SC industry is rapidly changing with the latest technological developments, tools, and software. Automation of manual processes would help you to improve accuracy and save time, money, and resources.
Agility and resilience
The performance of SC operations would be best if they reacted to the changes in the market. The data would help you to recognize patterns in the customer demand, they aren’t sufficient to establish agility and resilience. It is significant that you should have a contingency plan for SC disruptions, weather disasters, and delays.
Activities in Supply Chain Operations
Some of the main activities in supply chain operations, and they’re as follows;
Demand forecasting plays a key role in SC operations and it focuses on predicting the demand of products. It is to make sure that you have sufficient stock of inventory to satisfy the demands of customers. However, the process of demand forecasting comprises studying the sales and purchase data and recognizing the trends, it allows you to predict the future demand for the product.
The procuring process comprises various activities involved in the purchase of raw materials and supplies. Some of the main activities that the procuring manager and team have to perform are as follows;
- Sourcing and researching the material
- Negotiating the price
- Preparing the purchase agreements
- Assessing and analyzing the raw material
- Developing purchase order
- Coordinating transportation from the manufacturing facility to the warehouse
The production and manufacturing stage comes after the purchase of raw materials and supplies. It focuses on transforming and converting raw materials and supplies into finished goods. Some companies have got their own production facilities and others do it from the 3PL.
Inventory management comprises of how the company receives, tracks, and stores finished goods. It starts with checking and counting the finished goods to make sure that you have received the right quantity and stock of goods. However, inventory management also consists of tracking inventory and analyzing the inventory levels to make sure that you have the right stock to satisfy customer orders.
Warehouse & Fulfillment
It comprises of storing finished goods in the warehouse until the placement of customer orders. After receiving the order confirmation, the picker would pick the specific inventory unit, pack the customer’s package, and ship it to the customer’s address. The fulfillment centers would pick and pack the inventory packages.
Transportation & Shipping
As the name implies, it comprises fulfilling customer orders by transferring goods from the company’s warehouse to the customer’s doorsteps. Last-mile delivery or transportation is out of the control of the company, various service providers would perform the delivery like FedEx, UPS, or USPS.
The role of SC operation doesn’t finish after delivering goods to the customers. Rather it comprises offering support and assistance to the customers after delivering the package. However, it comprises of following;
Conclusion: Activities in Supply Chain Operations
After an in-depth study of the activities in supply chain operations; we have realized that SC operations are highly significant for online and e-commerce platforms. If you are learning about the activities involved in supply chain operations; then you should keep in mind the abovementioned operational activities and components.
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