Global Supply Chain Management – Drivers and Activities of Global Supply Chain

Nowadays with globalization, global supply chain management is becoming a very important issue for most of businesses. The main reasons of this trend are procurement cost reduction, purchasing risks control, revenues increasing and etc. For instance, companies may set up overseas factories to benefit from tariff and trade concessions, lower labor cost, capital subsidies, and reduced logistics costs in foreign markets. Moreover, easy access to abroad markets and close proximity to customers result better organizational learning. On the other hand, improved reliability can be obtained as a consequence of closer relationship with suppliers.

There are some issues that should be considered in managing a global supply chain. First of all, the company should decide about its general outsourcing plan. For whatever reason, businesses may prefer to keep some aspects of supply chain nearer to home. The second issue that must be incorporated into a global supply chain management strategy is supplier selection. It can be very difficult to comparing bids from a range of global suppliers. Companies usually jump on the lowest price instead of taking time to consider all of the other elements. On the other hand, selecting the right suppliers is influenced by a variety of factors and thus there will be additional complexity in supplier selection due to the multi-criteria nature of this decision. Additionally, companies must make decisions about the number of suppliers to use. Fewer supplies may result reduced inventory costs, volume consolidation and quantity discounts, reduced logistical costs, coordinated replenishment, improved buyer-supplier product design relationship and thus better customer service and market penetration.… Read the rest

Food Traceability – Definition, Meaning and Advantages

Food traceability and safety is an up and coming trend. With the slow food, organic, and natural movements more consumers are wanting to know where their food is coming from. Food producers also are making food traceability a trend because each producer wants to know who they can point fingers at when a customer claims that they have become sick from a producer’s food. For most producers, traceability is just one element of any supply-management or quality/safety control system. Tracking an apple from the tree to your mouth is something that each producer needs to know. They need to know where that apple was to make sure that the apple did not go anywhere it shouldn’t have been. So, what exactly is food traceability? How does it work, and what can it accomplish with regards to safety?

What is traceability and how does it pertain to our food system? The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) defines traceability as the ability to trace the history, application, or location of that which is under consideration. For this paper, that which is under consideration will be food. The ISO uses a very broad definition for traceability which is necessary for several reasons. First, because food is a complex system and traceability has not been developed for every product. Second, because no traceability system is ever complete. Things change, the purveyor changes, the field changes, the picker changes so each company’s food traceability plan must be fluid. For instance, even a hypothetical system for tracking beef-in which consumers scan their packet of beef at the checkout counter and access the animal’s date and location of birth, lineage, vaccination records, and use of mammalian protein supplements-is incomplete.… Read the rest

Green and Sustainable Supply Chain Management

Environmental changes across the world have generated a movement to identify the causes of global warming and develop solutions to end it before it is too late. In an effort to achive this, many countries are creating laws and regulations with the specific aim to reduce carbon emissions and greenhouse gas effect.

The truth is that environmental change is upon us. Not only do we have climate problems but we are also dealing with a resource depletion issue. With economies like India and China growing at near double digit rates, the population of the world continues to grow creating shortages of many resources that we use to take for granted.

Many consumers, stakeholders and businesses are becoming more involved in the growing green movement. Influenced by customer loyalty shifting towards environmentally friendly products, businesses are trying more and more to make their supply chains greener by introducing sustainability strategies throughout their organizations and supplier relationships. The recent focus on sustainability has resulted in a growing need for integrating environmentally safe choices into supply chain management practices. The concept Green and Sustainable Supply Chain Management can be defined as the process of using environmentally friendly inputs and transforming them through change agents into outputs that can be reclaimed and re-used at the end of their life-cycle therefore, creating a sustainable supply chain. The whole idea of a sustainable supply chain is to reduce costs while helping the environment.

Sustainability and Profitability

A Green and Sustainable Supply Chain integrates ecological factors and supply chain management principles to identify the environmental impact of an organization’s supply chain processes.… Read the rest

Case Study: Zara’s Supply Chain Success Story

Zara is a Spanish fashion clothing manufacturer and retailer, formed in the 1970’s It is known that only two weeks are required for Zara to complete the development and shipment of a new product to its stores, which outweighs the average of fashion industry of six months, thanks to the collaborative relationship with customers and suppliers. Zara mainly targets on young and urban female customers and acceptable prices are offered. There are always new products in Zara stores. Even though usually Zara stores are spacious but the stock is displayed in limited quantity. This kind of strategy gives customers a sense of originality and exclusivity. Most of the stores display clothes only when they have a full set of major sizes, so customers would not be upset to find out that the needed size is not available. As shoppers enter the stores, reaction between Zara and customers starts with creating a sense of “buy now since you won’t see it next time” because of the rapid turnover environment. Customer relationship between Zara and shoppers is then strengthened by, instead of offering VIP services and discounts, showing a sense of scarcity by displaying unfilled shelves, limited offer notes on certain items and deliberate undersupply impression to encourage customers to run to the counter.

Such a retail concept depends on the regular creation and rapid replenishment of small batches of new goods. Zara’s designers create approximately 40,000 new designs annually, from which 10,000 are selected for production. Some of the goods are high fashion looks-alike, but much cheaper and lower quality and that in many cases allow Zara to beat high fashion designers in sales and profit amounts.… Read the rest

Case Study of Cisco: Transformation of Entire Supply Chain into an Extended Enterprise System

Cisco Systems of San Jose, California, is a company that develops networking devices such as switches, routers, network management software, and dial- up access servers. By the mid 1990s, realizing that growth depended on our ability to scale manufacturing, distribution and other supply chain processes quickly, Cisco managers decided to reinvent its business model and turn itself into a Web-enabled company. An ‘ecosystem’ which in fact transformed the entire supply chain into an extended enterprise system based on internet technology was created in order to links customers, prospects, partners, suppliers and employees in a multi-party, multi-location electronic network.

E-Business can be defined as all electronically mediated information exchanges, both within an organisation and with external stakeholders supporting the range of business processes. It links internal employees with external customers, suppliers through technology like Internet, intranets, and extranets. E-commerce, conceived as a subset of e-business, can be categorized as buy-side e-commerce which are equivalent to upstream supply chain and sell-side e-commerce which equate to downstream supply chain. A ‘supply chain’ is a network of facilities and distribution options that performs the functions of procurement of materials, transformation of these materials into intermediate and finished products, and the distribution of these finished products to customers. An effective supply chain management can improve efficiency throughout e-business.

Cisco estimated that in financial year 2000, a total of US$695 million would be saved by adopting this interconnected supply chain. These solid figures prove the potential benefits e-business can bring into Cisco are enormous. Broadly speaking, it is argued that there are at least two primary ways in which the application of e-business technologies can improve the efficiency of a supply chain.… Read the rest

Collaborative Planning, Forecasting and Replenishment (CPFR)

Collaborative Planning, Forecasting and Replenishment (CPFR) is defined as a business practice that combines the brainpower of two or more trading partners in planning the ways to fulfill the customer demand. They also explained the relationship that CPFR links best practices of sales and marketing, such as category management, to the implementation of supply chain planning and completion process, to increase availability while reducing inventory, transportation and logistics costs. Basically CPFR is an approach that deals with the requirements for good demand management. The most involved industries with CPFR are consumer products and food and beverage.

The main objective of Collaborative Planning, Forecasting and Replenishment (CPFR) is to “optimize” the supply chain process by:

  • Improving accuracy of forecasting demand,
  • Delivering the right product at the right time to the right location,
  • Reducing inventory,
  • Avoiding stock outs, and
  • Improving customer service.

But the most important fact on which the achievement of objective and activities of CPFR depend is to have collaborative trading partners who share risk and information mutually in the whole process. Without Collaborative planning and forecasting between the trading partners will make the supply chain “suboptimal”, thus will result in less-than-maximum supply chain profits. It is observed that forecasting developed only by firm tends to be inaccurate most of the time so therefore in CPFR when both the buyer and seller collaborate in forecasting, then it makes possible to match buyer needs with supplier production plans, thus ensuring competent replenishment. CPFR also helps in avoiding expensive corrections after the fact when demand or promotions have changed.… Read the rest