Supply Chain Management

Written by Linda Alexander
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Supply chain management (SCM) is the process of overseeing materials, money, and information through a network of storage and transportation connections. It usually applies to manufacturers, wholesalers, and consumers. Managing the supply chain involves coordinating the flow of these materials from manufacturer to wholesaler to consumer, and in reverse, for customer returns.

Integrating the steps along the supply chain management process is key to a smooth operation. There are many IT solutions that will synchronize each step and communicate any changes instantly to the people involved. SCM software can determine the best way to fill an order, and it can also track the status of each link in the chain and communicate it to those who need to check on orders.

Real Time Supply Chain Management

This information should be available in real time. Automating supply chain management leads to cost savings. Lower production costs and better quality help companies save money. Customers help companies save money by controlling demand--if they are able to shop around to find the best deal, manufacturers will not make more of a product than is needed.

If you are looking for help managing your supply chain, there are many companies that specialize in this. You can outsource many functions, including order fulfillment, transportation, warehousing, and call centers. If you lack the expertise to handle these logistics, or if you simply want to make it more efficient, an outsourced management company might be the right choice for you.


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