Supply Chain Management (SCM): Understanding Supply Chain Logistics

Many businesses work to ensure that their manufacturing and fulfillment activities take place in an efficient and productive manner. However, some businesses fail to pay the same amount of attention to the chain of events that occur outside of their buildings.

A supply chain refers to the entire series of events surrounding a business’s product from the time an order is placed to delivery. The extent of the supply chain typically depends on the size and scope of the business; as well as where they deliver their products and how.   

What is Supply Chain Management (SCM)? 

As you may have guessed, supply chain management refers to the management of the activities within the supply chain. Oftentimes, there will be other companies involved in the process of moving a product from point A to point B. This is despite a supply chain being created by a representative of the primary company within the chain. 

The Benefits of Supply Chain Management 

When your company’s supply chain is well-managed, all parties involved can save in many areas. This can include; operating costs, increase overall revenue, and properly utilize all of the assets at their disposal. Generally, there are no downsides to a well-managed supply chain. 

Why Is Supply Chain Management Important? 

The quality of your supply chain management directly affects your customers in a variety of ways.

One way is the time your customers’ order will get to them and in what state. Therefore, it’s extremely important to maintain a well-managed supply chain. Doing so will help keep your customers happy! Additionally, you’ll be able to enjoy a competitive edge over similar brands; as well as an increase in the value that your customers receive from their brand loyalty.   

How Does Supply Chain Management Work? 

Supply chain management involves all hands on deck and proper utilization of the assets at their disposal.

With effective management, all of the channels within your supply chain can work at top efficiency. Furthermore, this will allow you and your customers to reap the benefits. 

There are 5 components of supply chain management that you should know, which include: 

1. Planning 

In order to properly meet the demands of your customer base, you’ll have to plan ahead. Design the extent and responsibilities of your supply chain based on the level of demand that you expect from your clientele. 

This stage may change throughout the year based on your specific products, but for many companies, the demand forecast stays relatively constant. 

2. Sourcing 

During this stage, you’ll select the suppliers that will have a direct hand in manufacturing your product. It’s important to be strategic while choosing supplier contracts. You’ll also want to be thorough when you’re overseeing ordering, receipt, and management of the goods and materials provided by your suppliers. 

3. Making 

It’s no secret that the product manufacturing stage is extremely important for your customers, as well as the livelihood of your business. Some of the activities in this stage that need a high level of management include reviewing raw materials from suppliers, product manufacturing, testing for quality, and proper packaging. 

4. Delivering 

The delivery stage is one of the most logistics-based steps in the supply chain. You will be responsible for receiving and coordinating orders, scheduling and carrying out shipments, invoicing for the shipping, and receiving payment from customers. 

This process can be especially complicated for companies that create fragile or specialized products that require more hands-on delivery practices. 

5. Returning 

A huge part of the customer experience is the return process, should they choose to send back a product for a refund or replacement. Your supply chain management plan should account for what will be done with defective or returned products.

SCM Solution:  Third-Party Logistic (3PL) Providers 

Many companies choose to recruit a third-party logistics company to handle their supply chain management. Whether your business is large in scope or currently growing rapidly, a third-party logistics provider (3PL) could be a wise investment for your company and the quality of your supply chain. 

Benefits of 3PL Providers in Supply Chain Management 

As a business owner, you likely have a great deal of logistics to manage within your own “four walls.” But it can be easy to drop the ball on certain portions of your greater supply chain. A 3PL is dedicated to the smooth management of your company’s supply chain, taking the pressure off of you and your internal management teams. 

Save On Costs 

When your supply chain is efficiently managed by a third-party logistics company, every link in the chain can perform optimally. That means you’ll save significantly on extraneous costs, as well as unnecessary losses throughout the supply chain. 

Access to Experienced Experts 

3PLs are specifically designed for supply chain optimization. You can trust that your 3PL will know exactly what to do in order to make sure your entire supply chain is properly managed. With a high-quality 3PL partner, no details fall out of place, which in turn can lead to continued and improved customer and employee experience. 

Focus on Your Core Competencies 

With a 3PL, you’ll be able to focus on what you do best:  Creating the high-quality products that your customers expect. Having your SCM handled externally provides more free time and manpower to increase advertising, develop new products, and connect with your customer base. 

Enable Flexibility and Scalability 

Businesses grow and change in scope and purpose over time. A 3PL can work alongside you to redesign and rescale your supply chain as your business needs it, all while maintaining a high standard for logistics management. 

Improve Your Customer Satisfaction 

When the supply chain is properly managed, your customer experience can be secured. Delivery of a high-quality product starts with a well-organized supply chain. 

Partnering with Print Bind Ship for SCM 

As you can see, proper logistics and supply chain management are crucial for the success of your business and the experience of the customers you serve. Are you in the SCM planning stage with a startup? Utilize our startup voucher and get your onboarding costs for 3PL supply chain integration covered. Contact us to learn more and to get a free consultation with an SCM expert.