What is Supply Chain Management?

Supply chain management is one of those essential parts of trade and wholesale business that most consumers aren’t aware of. It’s a sort of behind the scenes process that helps get product from the beginning of its life in manufacturing to the end – on the shelf with the consumer. But for someone going to work in retail, wholesale, or any part of business operations and manufacturing, it’s important to understand the process.

Ultimately, supply chain management organizes and manages products that are coming together in many different parts or from different organizations. Supply chain activities cover everything from product development, sourcing, production, and logistics and travel, as well as the information systems and programming needed to organize these processes. Moving parts from a warehouse in Las Vegas to a truck with other goods for a company traveling to Ohio where it gets moved into a storage warehouse where it waits to be packed and shipped from there – keeping tracks of all of these parts, pieces, shipments, and information is all part of supply chain management.

One of the main purposes for this kind of management is to control both inventory and cost – this kind of streamlined process is meant to carefully keep track of all products entering and exiting any product line or warehouse, as well as very carefully manage logistics costs. As companies grow, good supply chain management keeps product and company integrity.

Other important features of a supply chain are:

  • Boosts customer service: Supply chain management increases the ability to deliver product to customers in a timely fashion, growing better customer relationships.
  • Sustained economic growth: In addition to being a good way to watch and control costs, a fast delivery to the end user means more product is being purchased by customers and more inventory can be billed out, equating to greater money being made.
  • Day to day organization: While supply chain management obviously has great benefits for a company long term, it also helps give daily goals to workers on a day by day basis. An organized work place is a safe, efficient, cost effective work place.

In every market and every business, supply chain management is at the foundation of what they do. It is basis for sustained growth for the global economy through organization, service, communication, and cost effective measures.