Supply chain management has its origin from the; just in time production and logistics. It continues to flourish in the manufacturing sector although it is still largely dominated by logistics[ CITATION Rob97 \l 1033 ]. SCM however is more focused on covering the whole scope of the supply chain by attempting to view and solve problems from a supply chain perspective, while taking to consideration the interdependency that is evident in any supply chain. Its main objective is to ensure that, the myopic control of the supply chain that encourages increase in waste and problems is done away with at all costs[ CITATION Weg00 \l 1033 ].
Recent research, continue to justify the existence of waste and problems in the supply chain. This is largely attributed to myopic control of the system and the interdependency of interrelated stages in the supply chain. SCM is quite vital as it offers methodologies to combat myopic controls, consequently reducing waste and problems encountered in the supply chain[ CITATION Shi92 \l 1033 ]. One such methodology is the generic methodology which concerns itself with the better understanding and resolution of problem in the construction supply chain. Of great importance is its ability to offer direction for further development of supply chain management systems.
Supply chain management has for a long time been known by its basic concept that incorporates the use of tools like; just in time delivery as well as logistic management. It has continued to be used by manufactures as a method of controlling their supplies and effectively managing their suppliers[ CITATION Weg00 \l 1033 ]. The present concept of supply chain management is much brooder but still largely dominated by logistics.
This paper aims at explicitly and comprehensively evaluating the concept and methodology of supply chain management, its roles and limitations before giving an objective summary of the whole concept[ CITATION Rob97 \l 1033 ].
Concept and Methodology
Supply chain management has been viewed as, a network of organizations involved in upstream and downstream linkages, in the various process and activities that are responsible for the production of value with respect to products and services in the hands of the end consumer[ CITATION Shi92 \l 1033 ].
It majorly focuses on the entire supply chain as opposed to the entities, stages or levels involved in the chain[ CITATION Shi92 \l 1033 ]. As a result, it ensures increase in transparency and facilitates ease in the coordination and configuration of the supply chain; functional and cooperate boundaries notwithstanding. Its main distinguishing factor form the traditional supply chain management I s the approaches employed[ CITATION Sch97 \l 1033 ].
The traditional method of management employs a transformational approach on production. On the other hand the supply chain management system embraces a flow view approach of production. The traditional method is inclined to the notion of independent control of each stage in the production process while the supply chain management is more concerned about the control of the whole process or flow of production[ CITATION Shi92 \l 1033 ].
A number of methodologies are used in the execution of the supply management system. All these methods are structured to address the logical issues of the supply chain, which include; production costs, quality rates as well as inventories[ CITATION Rob97 \l 1033 ].
Pipeline mapping, supply chain modeling as well as logistic performance measurements is some of the key methods used to analyze the production methods across the supply chain. All this methodologies operate on common principles in a bid to enhance performance in supply chains.
They all first access the current process across the supply chain to determine the cause of waste and problems. They then introduce structural resolutions of the problems discovered. This is done through the redistribution of tasks and responsibilities among the key actors in the supply chain[ CITATION Sch97 \l 1033 ].
After problems have been mapped out and their solutions directed, the methodology begins to control the supply chain according to the new configurations. Monitoring systems are installed to ensure the smooth and efficient coordination of all the stages and levels. This is in a bid to enable the continuous establishment of new opportunities and initiative for purpose of development of the supply chain[ CITATION Sch97 \l 1033 ].
Execution of methodology
The methodology mentioned above, explicitly indicates that problems in the construction supply chain are largely contributed by inter dependency of the different stages. These resolutions are further gravitated by the myopic control of supply chains coupled with tradition trading and non-cooperative relationships. [ CITATION Shi92 \l 1033 ] Therefore, their consequent resolutions are complicated and need competent strategies to solve them.
The supply chain management system offers the much-needed strategy to fix the problems. This is done through methodologies that are capable of tackling the most basic of problems in the construction chain. In execution of the methodology of choice, a critical assessment of the existing chain is undertaken in a bid to unravel or attempt to discover the nature as well as the casualties of the problems.[ CITATION Weg00 \l 1033 ] This is carried out to get to comprehensively comprehend the problem intended to be solved. Clear comprehension of the problem enables facilitates effective resolution of the same.
After seeing the bigger picture by being aware of the real basics and causes of the problem, a holistic approach is employed. The approach is meant to aid in the unlocking of prospects that might aid in the effective improvement of the whole supply chain. [ CITATION Nya00 \l 1033 ]A holistic approach is crucial as it enables the visibility and tangibility of waste as well as problems, present in a chain, therefore making the detection of the root cause of a given problem and its eventual solution much easier.
Supply chain management redesigning and configuration is dependent on the partnership of the various actors in the entire supply chain.[ CITATION Sch97 \l 1033 ] This is done in a bid to enlarge the magnitude of the supply chain management as well as facilitate the resolving of interdependency-based problems and myopic control. The actors involve in the supply chain must share a common objective and view on the development and adoption of the methodology in a bid to improve opportunities and enhance productivity.[ CITATION Rob97 \l 1033 ]
Roles of Supply Chain Management System:
From the mentioned processes, the different models elucidated, approaches exhibited and the lessons learnt, it is quite evident that supply chain management can be applied in various sectors of the management.[ CITATION Weg00 \l 1033 ] Hence, it is quite evident that when it comes to the control of both basic and myopic problems, the application of the supply chain management in all the processes of the production of a product from the point of reception along all the processes to the point of consumption by the customers. Some of the roles may include:
Ensure the on time and cost-effective delivery of materials, equipment, and services
It has been asserted that the application of the supply chain management has brought about time efficiency utilization. Its ability to integrate duties sees it possible for the cost friendly delivery of materials, equipment and services.[ CITATION Nya00 \l 1033 ]
Effectively negotiation with suppliers and subcontractors
Before its application, there was a lot of time wastage when it came to price negotiation between suppliers and subcontractors. Supply chain management has a role to play in the definition of price controls in a construction industry.[ CITATION Rob97 \l 1033 ]
Manage superior subcontractor and supplier relationships
It has been hard to improve the affiliation that used to exist between subcontractor and suppliers. [ CITATION Sch97 \l 1033 ]Hence, with the kind of efficiency improvement that the supply chain management has, it makes it possible for the two parties to develop trust between them. Thus, Supply Chain Management has a role to play to manage that association.
Evaluate and select suppliers based on their value-added capabilities
In the current world of competition, many construction and other industries have cropped up. Hence, to be able to negotiate for a fair competition, it depends on what one can do. This calls for the value added capabilities that one possesses and the other does not.[ CITATION Sch97 \l 1033 ] Thus, Supply Chain Management has a role to play because its application enables the assessment of suppliers that one can select form to fulfill the obligation at hand.
Analyze and negotiate subcontracting services
The Supply Chain Management has a role to play in the provision of the guideline on the terms and condition that are applicable when it comes to the negotiation of the subcontracting services after the analysis of the same.[ CITATION Rob97 \l 1033 ]
Plan for, purchase, and lease construction equipment
Supply Chain does not only incline itself to the different process that occurs in the construction or manufacturing processes. Nevertheless, a management system also deals with the planning, purchasing and the leasing of construction equipment that aid in the processes undertaken to enhance the input and output.[ CITATION Nya00 \l 1033 ]
Enforce technology, safety measures, and information sharing to increase productivity and profitability
Supply Chain Management is an application system that aids in the leveraging of technologies, safety measures to be adhered to in the assimilation of the same and the enhancement of information sharing among different parties and departments to proliferate the rate of output and lucrativeness.
Apprehend the components of horizontal and vertical construction supply chain operating models
Supply Chain Management has a role to supplement the other techniques or procedures that are being applied to attain the mission of the construction company. Hence upon its incorporation as a system of management, it should aid in the understanding of the different components of construction, i.e. Horizontal and vertical construction supply chain operating simulations. [ CITATION Rob97 \l 1033 ]
Why Supply Chain Management
Supply Management system has enhanced distribution network configuration. It has aided in the determination on of number, location and network mission of supplies. For example, it enhances Inquiry, purchase, and leasing of production facilities, i.e. the number of centers to distribute the outputs i.e. warehouses, cross-docks and the end consumers of the outputs in terms of products and services.[ CITATION Weg00 \l 1033 ]
It determines the distribution scheme. It acts as a guideline towards operation control. It acknowledges the different application tools and methods applicable such as the monopolization, regionalization and the pooled delivery schemes. Examples might include; directs shipment, cross-docking, pool point shipping.
It also enhances the achievement of the activities taking place in a construction industry coordinated in a manner to achieve the lowest total logical cost, (Trade-Offs) Which are crucial in developing the greatest proficient and in effect Logistics and Supply Chain Management strategy.[ CITATION Sch97 \l 1033 ]
The integration of the processes by the application of Supply Chain Management heightens the rate of the collaboration among the personnel and activities in these processes by the manipulation of information by sharing it among them.
The application of Supply Chain Management incorporates inventory management in terms of the capacity of inventories, comprising raw materials, departmental progresses and the broad-spectrum output.[ CITATION Sch97 \l 1033 ]
Within The supply chain, the approaches appropriate and terms of payments in interchange of funds transverse in all the units is quite possible.
Fulfilling the Supply Chain Management Methodology
After the argument of the reasons behind the implementation of the Supply Chain Management, What must be considered to really fulfill this obligation?
Accomplishing the Supply Chain Management
Regarding the above reasons why we need the Supply Chain Management, discernment has been gained by understanding its significance. Hence, the main problem comes in, when it comes to fulfilling the reasons that seem to be the major issues that, the methodology has to decipher.[ CITATION Shi92 \l 1033 ] Because most of the problems affects a considerable part of the construction process which calls for solutions that hinders the fulfillment of the industry’s mission. Some might include:
Remodeling the supply chain structure, i.e. synchronizing the supply chain according to the new model embraced. e.g. the joining of the different parties like suppliers to agree on reengineering the procurement procedure to achieve a product development program.
The counteracting of adversarial relations with other actors like partnership to enlarge the magnitude involved in the Supply Chain Management to bring about new ideologies based on the problems affecting the construction industry and the myopic control. [ CITATION Nya00 \l 1033 ]
Order information transparency is very essential. This is because according to the implementation of the supply chain management, the integration of the duties requires the need to share related information concerning their different field. Hence, advocating for information transparency between the parties involved is very essential for fulfill the supply chain management goal.[ CITATION Rob97 \l 1033 ]
Reduction of variability in the procedures involved construction industry. This is to say the concern is how to condense unpredictability and how to make the supply chain forceful when facing improbability. Deviations to orders, patenting from the sphere of influence of the client, the enterprise team or the main freelancer, are reasonably normal.
Synchronization of material flows. The issue is how to coordinate the availability of materials for assembly. It is familiar to see that materials are produced in an order suitable for the supplying factory, and delivered to the site in a mode minimizing the transportation costs.[ CITATION Sch97 \l 1033 ] Thus, other considerations than the needs of assembly dominate. This aids the enterprise in the concentration of other essential issues affecting it.
Management of critical resources, this is to ensure that the identification of critical resources, lay out a critical path network and put the effort on reducing the workload of critical resources.
In addition, the evaluation of the current situation of the current supply chain applicable and see how it can be diverted to suit the current needs. For each department needs a version of a supply chain management that will fulfill its current needs as per the projects terms of implementation.
The introduction of this introduces and familiarizes us with the different concepts of Supply Chain Management, the methodologies the roles it plays, and reasons why we should embrace Supply Chain Management. As its concepts and significance as a system of management, it is quite evident that it is crucial for a construction industry incorporates Supply Chain Management in its operation for it will enhance the general production of the industry. From the point of manufacturing of the products or provision of the services to the final output of the same in terms of products and services Supply Chain Management is very important. Hence, it should be applied to supplement the management of the construction industry.
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