Firms in the past have mainly focused on improving the material flow in a supply chain using various innovative methods like cross docking, Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI), Collaborative Planning, Forecasting and Replenishment (CPFR) etc. Firms have also used IT solutions to automate the material flow. Today, they have also begun to focus on improving the financial flow in the supply chain. Many firms have adopted best practices of cash flow management to improve the financial flow. One of the key elements which helps in efficient financial flow in a supply chain is the use of IT solutions in the purchase-to-pay and order-to-cash processes. By automating these processes firms can minimize inefficiencies and improve the effectiveness of the supply chain.Many firms have automated the same or all of the elements of the financial flow in a supply chain through implementing ERP systems and cash flow management solutions. However, most firms have not focused much on integrating the material and the financial flow in a supply chain.…Read More »
Posts Tagged: "Supply Chain Management"
Order-to-cash process consists of financial transactions with the customers in a supply chain. Order-to-cash process starts with the customer placing the order and ends with receiving the payment from the customer. The steps involved in the order-to-cash process are explained below.
The order is placed by the customer directly through phone, fax, or the internet. Then, the inventory is checked for the availability of the product in the quantity required by the customer. The firm then checks the customer credit status to decide whether or not to extend credit to the customer. For this, the customer’s credit limit and the status of receivables from the customer are checked. If the customer has placed the order within the credit limits and has nil or permissible receivables, then the product can be delivered to the customer. If not, the firm has to evaluate whether to fulfill the order or to reject it or put it on hold. If it is a new customer, the firm has to establish a new credit line for the customer.…Read More »
Purchase-to-pay process consists of financial transactions with the suppliers in a supply chain. Purchase-to-pay process starts with the buyer making the requisition and ends with the payment to the supplier. The buyer makes a purchase requisition and it is passed on to the purchasing department for approval. After getting the approval of the purchasing manager, a purchase order is sent to the supplier. On receiving the purchase order the supplier dispatches the shipment along with the invoice. On receiving the goods, the firm checks the shipment and the invoice to confirm whether the shipment matches the purchase order and the product quality/quantity is as desired. Upon confirmation, the accounts department pays the supplier.
Some of the measures to improve efficiency of purchasing transactions are discussed below.
Focus on reducing processing time and costs
There are various ways of reducing processing time and costs in order to expedite the purchasing process. Firms should allow the buyers (an employee who is involved in purchase activities) to order goods, up to a certain permissible limit, without approval.…Read More »
A supply chain is a network of manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, transporters, storage facilities and retailers that perform functions like procurement and acquisition of material, processing and transformation of the material into intermediate and finished tangible goods, and finally, the physical distribution of the finished goods to intermediate or final customers.
Components of Supply Chain
A supply chain may consist of variety of components depending on the business model selected by a firm. A typical supply chain consists of the following components:
- Customers: The customer forms the focus of any supply chain. A customer activates the processes in a supply chain by placing an order with the retailer. The customer order is filled by the retailer, either form the existing inventories, or by placing a fresh order with the wholesaler/manufacturer. In some cases a customer bypasses all these supply chain components by getting in touch with the manufacturers directly. For example in the case of an online purchase of a computer from Dell Computers, the customer places an order directly with the manufacturer.
Although there are many views of supply chain management (SCM), at present, many practitioners look upon SCM as the management of key business processes across the network of organizations that form the supply chain. A supply chain is a network of manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, transporters, storage facilities and retailers that perform functions like procurement and acquisition of material, processing and transformation of the material into intermediate and finished tangible goods, and finally, the physical distribution of the finished goods to intermediate or final customers.
According to the definition given by the Global Supply Chain Forum, supply chain management is the integration of key business processes from end-user,to original suppliers that provides products, services, and information that add value for customers and other stakeholders. There are eight business processes that are carried out across the supply chain. They are:
- Customer Relationship Management: Customer relationship management involves establishing a framework for building and maintaining relationships with customers. This involves identifying the customer-groups who form the target for achieving the firm’s business objectives.
The evolution of logistics and Supply Chain Management (SCM) in the 1990s can be traced back to “physical distribution management” in the 1970s when there was no coordination among the various functions of an organization, and each was committed to attain its own goal. This myopic approach then transformed into “integrated logistic management” in the 1980s that called for the integration of various functions to achieve a system-wide objective. Supply Chain Management (SCM) further widens this scope by including the suppliers and customers into the organizational fold, and coordinating the flow of materials and information from the procurement of raw materials to the consumption of finished goods.
The objectives of Supply Chain Management (SCM) are to eliminate redundancies, and reduce cycle time and inventory so as to provide better customer service at lower cost. The focus has shifted from the “share of the market” paradigm to the “share of the customer paradigm, wherein the goal is to create “customer value” leading to increased corporate profitability, shareholder value, and sustained competitive advantage in the long run.…Read More »