This book details the processes and activities involved in the supply chain management. Some of the processes discussed in this book include purchasing of goods and services, processing of raw material, as well as distribution of finished products to the consumer market with the aim of meeting consumer needs. The processes of transforming raw materials into finished goods are also thoroughly discussed in this book. The author of this book explains that the supply chain is commonly found in both the manufacturing and service industry, where the degree of complexity of the supply chain varies from one industry to another as well as between firms. The book also shows that the supply chain for one product may be different from the supply chain of another product, which is depending on the nature of the product and processes used to complete the lifecycle of each product.
One thing that is important to bear in mind is that the process of processing and production is shaped by the prevailing market dynamics. Some of the dynamics in the consumer market are consumer tastes and preferences.
Many manufacturers and the consumer market have to adjust their production processes so that their products can be congruent to the consumer tastes and preferences. Manufacturers and service industries that are able to adjust to consumer tastes and preferences are in a position to favorably compete with other firms that produce the same goods and services in the consumer market. Another important factor that shapes manufacturing and service industries is technology. Many businesses and firms have in recent years adopted high levels of technologies that allow firms to produce goods and services in large scale and in more efficient manner. However, it is important to understand that the flexibility of firms to adapt to new technologies differs. This is because the adoption of new technology requires the use of resources thereby shrinking the marginal profits of manufacturing firms and the service industry. Firms that are able to adapt to new technologies can be able transition from one form of product to another. In addition, manufacturing firms and the service industries have in recent years used technology to market their goods to consumers through advertisements both in the social and mass media. This means that through technology firms have been in a position to develop a loyal consumer base.
The supply chain ensures proper networking for the smooth flow of the product from the processing stage to the consumer market. This book gives a great introduction to the types of chains involved in the handling of different goods and services. The author highlights the idea the length of the supply chain of each product is based on the nature of each product under consideration. The important steps and order of each supply chain is emphasized in order to facilitate easy understanding of the whole chain.
The supply chain requires a smooth plan and flow of activities in order to facilitate reduction of costs, while at the same time improving the quality of service delivery to customers. This can only be achieved through appropriate utilization of time between the processes in the supply chain. Effective supply is necessary in reducing time wastage between processes in the supply chain. This calls for concentration of energy and time in each stage of the processes to make the whole supply chain smooth and fast in the delivery of quality goods and services.
In the context of this book, location decisions in the supply chain have been adequately discussed. Logistic decisions refer to the nature of the geographical location of the units of the supply chain. The nature as well as long term effect of the geographical location is highlighted in this book so as to make sure the accessible to costumers in a timely manner. The location of both the customers and factory should be carefully planned and analyzed in order to ensure that the supply chain is reduced. This helps in reducing the transportation costs. This will further assist faster service delivery to the customers. Location therefore has an overall effect on the productivity of the company in relation to profits, costs and revenue. The logistical issues concerning location decisions should be taken into consideration in order to facilitate efficient and effective service in the supply chain.
In the context of production decisions, the strategic decisions like what to produce, how to produce and allocation of the produce should also be given emphasis in order to ensure that there is efficient allocation of the inputs as well as production of profitable products. The production decisions discussed in the book are of essence since they have an impact on the levels of revenues as well as costs of production of the specific products. This will help in determination of the best products to produce and what levels or volumes of each product should be produced.
The book also outlines the ways in which to manage inventory including handling measures. The book has taken considered inventory in relation to the optimal levels and flow of goods. The stochastic control techniques should be used in determining the levels for stock replenishment so as to ensure that there is no delay or slack in the transfer of stocks in the supply chain. Management of inventory should also take into consideration the nature of goods, for instance perish ability or fragility of goods being handled in order to avoid damage of goods in delivery. The critical stock levels should be determined in order to evaluate the levels where the stock needs to be replenished.
In relation to transportation decisions, strategic issues and decisions have to be considered in order to ensure that the goods are transported in a timely manner to the customer market (Handfield & Nichols, 1999).The improvement in transportation will help efficient transportation of goods and promoting the whole supply chain. Transportation will therefore streamline the whole supply chain. The fastest mean of transport should be adopted to eradicate inefficiencies in the supply chain. Inconveniences in the transportation of goods and services may in some cases create huge losses for manufacturing firms and service industries that are involved.
In conclusion, the supply chain should adopt technological innovations in various stages of the production chain in order to facilitate the efficiency of operations in the supply chain. Technological advancements will enable tracking of goods in the supply chain in order to facilitate a smooth flow of all activities. This will also enable quick procurement operations thereby eliminating the need of many intermediaries in the supply chain. The use of network design methods should also be implemented in order to ensure there is effective coordination in the supply chain.
Handfield, R. B., & Nichols, E.L. (1999). Introduction to Supply Chain Management. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.