Tag: Supply Chain Management

Supply Chain Management of Samsung


Samsung, one of the lead providers of digital convergence and digital media. Samsung employs great operations management to actualize their philosophy of devoting talent and technology to create superior products and services which can contribute to a better global society. Creation of the highest levels of efficiency in an organization is enabled by Operations management, which is the administration of business practices. Being such a large company, Samsung electronics has employed a strong operational strategy and management. This paper will aim to analyze the operations management of Samsung electronics, highlight high-risk areas, give recommendations, and offer solutions regarding the topic.


Product life cycle is an important tool that can be utilized by strategists, business, and marketing managers in business to come up with product approaches. The process entails looking at different stages of the product lifecycle and coming up with suitable strategies. There are different phases in the life cycle of products which entail the hardware and software of their products (Christiansen, 2016). Fluctuations in sales data, delays in the data, effects of other elements, and varying market conditions are some examples of areas of weaknesses in the product lifecycle. Some of the other elements that can affect product lifecycle are the 4P’s which are price, place, promotions, and people.

Supply Chain

Samsung electronics supply chain management contains five main components which are based on three pillars supporting them. The main pillars are economic, social, and environmental. Economic is whereby the company creates a positive competitive edge among its suppliers to enable sustainable growth. Social entails abiding by the international regulations which build transparency and accountability to all the stakeholders along the supply chain. Finally, environmental means that they only work with eco partner-certified suppliers. As such, the main pillars impact several categories in different ways to ensure their suppliers build a stronger competitive edge (Christiansen, 2016). The components are cost competitiveness which is an economic entity, together with human resources, and on time delivery. Response to risk and supplier competitiveness all entail the three major pillars.

Being a company that operates on a global scale, there are some issues that arise in the supply management which affect structuring, sourcing, purchasing, and supply chain. Some of the issues are the globalization, risk management, and fast-changing markets. Globalization is a key challenge because having suppliers in different geographical locations complicates the supply chain. The company would have to coordinate and collaborate with branches across borders regarding logistics, storage and much more. As such, the company can open branches worldwide especially in high market areas. Then launch a system that will be used to coordinate all aspects of supply chain and cover a certain geographical location. Such is better when compared to dealing with different companies (Christiansen, 2016).

Risk management and changing markets are other issues that can affect supply chain management. When the vulnerable areas in the supply chain are not taken into consideration, it can be disastrous for the company. The high-risk areas in the supply chain should be identified and mitigated. If they cannot be fully managed, structures should be put in place to contain the situation, just in case, there is an occurrence of the risk. Such an activity will ensure there is no stoppage of activities. The changing markets are also of great concern to supply chain management. Companies should do research and be ready to restructure depending on the market. The markets maybe change differently globally and as such, the company should be flexible in its supply chain management to adapt to the current market situation in a certain geographical area (Christiansen, 2016). This will ensure that there is continuous access to the preferred goods and services, also by the least time to the market. As such, the market will be satisfied which will ensure sales.

Quality Management Tool

Quality management tools are important for they focus on the continuous improvement of products, operational processes, and system of management by eliminating errors that may arise in manufacturing and supply chain. There are several basic quality management tools which are used to gather and analyze data using a demanding cycle which is plan, do, study, act. The tools are usually visual and simple for everyone to understand. Some examples of the basic tools are check sheet, parent chart, flow chart, cause and effect diagram, histogram, scatter diagram, and control chart. When the tools are implemented, managing quality is very easy for the organization because the process involves everyone involved in the manufacturing and supply chain (Shah, 2009).

In a global scale like Samsung electronics, it is essential to implement an audit department in the organization. The department will be involved in all areas of the manufacturing and supply. This will enable the department to professionally analyze all areas of the company and be able to go to all branches. As such, the basic quality tools implemented by the company will be able to be evaluated and the areas of interest are dealt with properly. Furthermore, the company can also get the services of an outside audit firm which can periodically access the situation in the company (Shah, 2009). As such, the quality of the manufacturing and the supply chain will always be the best. This method may be expensive for the company but it is the best to ensure high efficiency of the company and provision of the best goods and services.

Just-In-Time Policy

Just-In-Time policy is an inventory strategy that is used to improve the businesses return on investment by improving quality and reducing waste. There are several advantages that accrue to companies that use the just-in-time policy. Improved organizational efficiency is one of the advantages. Proper planning and scheduling of activities can be done while using the policy. As such, there will be synchronization of the production and the supply of goods by a company. This will improve the flow of goods during production and supply which will not only save in cost but improve the way work flows and thus making the process to be efficient (García-Alcaraz & Maldonado-Macías, 2016).

The just-in-time (JIT) policy is well known for reducing the costs that are accrued by a company. The policy helps in the reduction of the inventory, raw materials used and storage costs. In just-in-time (JIT) policy, it turns up side down the old notion that considers stock as an asset and now considers stock as an investment that is incurring opportunity costs. just-in-time (JIT) policy will also ensure that raw material are sourced closed to manufacturing time and ships out the product immediately saving on storage costs. As such, just-in-time policy has an advantage of smaller investments. This mostly beneficial to small companies by having an ideal inventory management structure that does not require them to purchase large quantities thus maintaining a healthy cash flow.

Just-in-time  policy will affect quality in many ways. By making the production and supply system more efficient, this will ensure that better quality is delivered in production and supply of goods and services. JIT policy will develop human resources because it will require a flexible and highly skilled workforce that do not necessarily require supervision to perform their tasks (García-Alcaraz & Maldonado-Macías, 2016). The policy will also better utilize employees who have multiple skills and thus increase job motivation. The policy will also facilitate customization, which in turn will improve customer satisfaction. Customization will only be achieved when a company is producing the highest quality standards.

Qualitative and Quantitative Forecasting

The qualitative and quantitative forecasting methods usually complement each other. Qualitative techniques come from experience and instincts which include interpretation of data combined with professional expertise developed with time. The quantitative technique uses historical data to be able to forecast the future by statistical modeling or trend analysis. A qualitative method that would be best for Samsung is the use of market survey. It uses interviews and surveys to judge the preferences of customers and also assesses the demand for goods and services (Arlbjørn, 2010). A quantitative method that would be suitable is the use of time-series models which attempt to predict the future based on underlying patterns contained in data.

Table: Qualitative and Quantitative Forecasting Technique

Qualitative Quantitative
Market Survey Time Series
Characteristics · Use of interviews, questionnaires to judge the preferences of customers. · Uses statistical methods to analyze time series data to extract meaningful characteristics and statistics.
Strengths · Subject materials can be evaluated with greater detail

· It is an open ended process

· Enable to analyze specific insights

· Smaller sample sizes can be used which saves on costs

· It provides more content for creatives and marketing teams

· Future data value prediction capability

· Best way to deal with temporal effects

· Analysis are usually descriptive

· It is reliable especially when the data represents a broad time period

· Easy to identify seasonal patterns

Weaknesses · Data quality is highly subjective

· Data mining can be time consuming

· Researcher influence can have negative effect on data collected

· Replicating results can be difficult

· Unseen data can disappear during the process

· May require industry related expertise

· May require advanced statistical methods to arrive at a realistic result

· Analysis varies depending on the type of time series it is

· Most machine learning algorithms do not adapt well with time

· It is challenging, may require an expert


Samsung is a renowned global company that is renown because of its electronics. Being a large developing and manufacturing company, it is vital to have an efficient supply management system that will enable them to provide their products to their customers globally with high efficiency. Areas in the supply management enable this to happen such as the policies that they have in place, for example, the social, economic and environmental pillars. Other factors which would enable better supply chain is the quality management tools that are put in place. Also discussed is the just-in-time policy ensures delivery of quality service and saving on a lot of costs. Quantitative and qualitative forecasting techniques that would be used by the company to predict future trends in order to adopt.

Metrics We Wish We Had – Supply Chain Management

This paper explains the key metrics that most companies use in the management of supply chain. It is essential to note that management of supply chain requires the managing of multifaceted dependence between groups, sectors and companies that have partnerships across global boundaries; therefore it is seen as an expected zone for metrics. There are many forms of metrics, which can be utilized to measure the performances of an effective supply chain management system. They are include return on product launch and time to value the total supply chain costs as well as perfect order rate (Hugos, 2011). For a person to fully understand why this metrics are considered important, it would be necessary to determine their uses in the supply chain cycle. Considering the demand driven principle of supply chain, it is necessary that there are correlations between the demand, supply and the products in the company for the business to swiftly respond to increasing opportunities. To add on that, dimensions of measurements have to be considered, that is operational excellence as well as innovation excellence.

In order for one to measure the dimensions, hierarchies of metrics have to be used. This is where one considers which metrics are suitable for the company with respect to the type of business and products or services offered. Perfect order rate combined together with total supply chain costs provide the correct approach for measuring operational excellence, while, on the other hand, innovation excellence can be quantified using time to value, followed by return on product launch (Chopra & Meindl, 2012). The two dimensions are used because they best explain the benefits and vales of the supply chain while at the same time identifying the best performing business. Perfect order rate elaborates on the calculation of orders in the company that lack any error, and captures every phase in the ordering process. Upon identification of the errors, corrective measures are put in place which optimizes the performances in the supply chain. This explains why it is most important form of metrics in many organizations.

Return on product elaborates on the revenues earned from the sale of the product; it compares the profit margins from the product and those of the costs used in producing it. It is mainly used to measure the company’s profitability rate. Total supply chain elaborates on the time taken to fulfill a consumers order when the levels of the inventories were nil. It mainly shows the efficiencies of the supply chain and helps in identifying situations that have competitive advantages in the market (Hugos, 2011). Time to value measure elaborates on the percentages of orders that reach the customers on or before the requested time frame. This helps in promoting customer satisfaction and signposts an effective supply chain. These four metrics elaborates on the overall performances of the supply chain, and identifies opportunities that exist for the company to increase its effectiveness, investor and customer values in the supply chain.

In conclusion, it is evident that a well-designed system of supply chain metrics can increase the probabilities of a company’s success by aligning procedures across numerous firms, assist in targeting the most cost-effective market segments and obtaining a positive competitive advantage through distinguished services and lower expenditures (Chopra & Meindl, 2012). Inefficient metrics in the supply chain will eventually result in failures to meet the company’s desired expectation, missed opportunities while trying to outdo the competition and conflicts in the supply chain division.

Challenges affecting the growing marketing supply chain management of coffee from Yemen to the UK


Challenges affecting the growing marketing supply chain management of coffee from Yemen to the UK.

Research question

What are the major hurdles in the growing marketing supply chain management of coffee from Yemen to the United Kingdom?

Main aim

Based on the above title, this proposal aims to highlight the major difficulties affecting the growth of marketing supply chain management of coffee from Yemen to the United Kingdom.


  1. To find out whether the coffee managers in Yemen contribute to the challenges facing the development marketing supply chain market
  2. To investigate the effects of coffee global market on the development of the marketing supply chain management from Yemen to UK
  3. To find how customer value perception in coffee global market affects the development of marketing supply chain management from Yemen to UK
  4. To find out if the legal requirements affect the development of coffee marketing supply chain management process of Yemen to UK
  5. To find out how delivering value in uncertain market affects the market supply chain


In the recent past, the development of supply chain management has become critical issues in the global market. Therefore, coffee business stakeholders should analyse the major problems facing the development of marketing supply chain management of coffee from Yemen to the UK. Based on its relevance and complexity, the topic can be a good MBA dissertation. Through this, coffee supplier companies from Yemen to UK can utilize the findings in enhancing their competitive advantage over their rivals. When suppliers embrace supply chain management, they can greatly reduce the cost of operation. In addition, the development of supply chain management facilitates the marketing strategy, which creates a high customer value, loyalty, and satisfaction. Through this, firms can increase their profits. The development of marketing supply chain management of coffee from Yemen to UK is important to economy of Yemen suppliers. Thus, it is necessary to identify the challenges that are encountered in the development of coffee supply chain management between the two countries.

Literature review authors

  • William Pride
  • Luc  Cassivi
  • Peter  Finch
  • O. C. Ferrell
  • John Mentzer

Lowes Supply Chain Management Paper

Supply chain is a network of retailers, distributors, transporters, storage facilities and suppliers that participate in the production, delivery and sale of a product to the consumer (Kietzman, 2008). Every effort involved in producing and delivering is looked at in supply chain, from the final product supplier’s supplier to the customer’s customer. A Business depends on supply chain to provide them with what they need in order to survive. Each business plays a role within the supply chain arena. As the market evolves companies will have to be aware of the role they play within the supply chain arena. Companies that master how to build and participate in a strong supply chain will have an advantage in their markets.

Technological forces, Global cost force and Political and economic forces. Global Market Forces involve the pressures created by foreign competitors, as well as opportunities created by foreign customers. Companies may have to move into a foreign market in order to defend domestic markets. According to Dornier and colleagues much of the demand growth available to companies is in foreign and emerging market and the United States is accounting for less and less of the total consumption of goods in the world.

Lowe’s company is the second largest home development retailer in the US. About 155 store were operated by the Lowe’s company withing 50 states in the US, 35 stores in Canada and 5 in Mexico. The company is struggling to be the best option for the home development for the United States residents. Since customers have high expectations from the company, it has to sell products the customers are in need of and also give a satisfactory solution through being a partner  in every process  of home development.

There are various ways designed to give seamless and easy experience that involves improving the sales across entire selling channels, advancement and constant enhancement of technology, infrastructure and allow access to customers projects  and product condition at every vital point. Each supplier who sells products to Lowe’s is suppose to abide by the vendors code of conduct. Clearly, the code states the expectations that every supplier adheres to laws and regulations of the countries they operate.

Even though Home Depot has been in operation, it is evident that it hasn’t been appearing in the stocks over the last previous year. There is a big gap between the performance of Lowes and Home Depot. There is quite a lot that Lowe’s need to do so as to fill the gap and become a relative better performer but the big question remains of whether they will really make it.

The good news for Lowe’s is that they can still do better by putting in place some changes in the supply chain management. By having a CMO in place the company should be capable of making better merchandising decisions and improved customer satisfaction. The company’s management should also enhance worker hours through selling floor to enhance the company’s close rates in appliance sale.  The company should also go back to its drawing board and check out what can be done about controlling better operational cost improvements. Apparently, Lowe’s has in most occasions lagged Home Depot through converting revenues into free cash flow and yet that hasn’t indeed changed despite Lowe’s slow store growth. For that reason, its possible to argue out that there lies a lot of potential lurking under the surface at Lowes. The problem that investors might be having is finding out how much that can be exposed and how fast it can be done.  Nevertheless, Lowes has not really missed the recovery process in the housing industry; there is still time and room to put its house in shape before the commencement of the recovery journey.

Global Operations and supply chains have become an intricate part of supply chain management. The following statistics show the magnitude of how supply chain has become significant (Dornier and colleagues, 1998).

About one-fifth of the output of U.S. firms is produced overseas.

One-quarter of U.S imports are between foreign affiliates and U.S. parent companies.

Since the late 1980s, over half of the U.S. companies increased the number of countries in which they operate. Political and Economic Forces may greatly affect the drive toward globalization. Regional trade agreements may drive companies to expand into one of the countries regional group. It may be to a company’s advantage to obtain raw materials from or to a manufacture within that country. Production process may even be redesigned to avoid tariffs

In my design, I would consider both domestic logistics and global operations because in the case where domestic or global supply chain for the products is interfered with, sales and gross margin would be badly  affected. This so because the company source, stock and sell products from over 6,000 domestic and global vendors.  A huge amount of those products are sourced from international vendors with China being the largest. Economic instability among major vendors, political instability and labor unrest in the source countries, disciplinary trade restrictions imposed by the U.S or a key source country. Currency, tariffs and transport capacity and cost which may be beyond control could have a negative impact.

There are various channels I would use to buy-in my design. These include; in-store, on-site, online and contact center. Among these, the home retail store would be the most ideal department I would choose to implement my design. Since retail home stores are usually open on daily basis, and with square feet of approximately 112000 of retail selling ground, and with also another 33,000 square feet of outdoor garden centre selling ground. The stores provide same products and services with distinctions based on market forces. Onsite is another department that I may opt to use in implementing my design  because this where account executives pro service engage with customers to help their place of business to make sure customer’s needs and products resources are adequately met. Here, the Project Specialist Exteriors (PSE) program is in operation to discuss exterior projects like roofing, fencing, siding and windows.  Additionally the projects Specialist Interior Projects like kitchen and bathroom.

Contact centres give direct support like sale tendering to the customers that contact them through email

Issues of Quality and Corporate Social Responsibility in Supply Chain Management – Annotated Bibliography

Alderson, W. (1957). Marketing behavior and executive action.  Irwin: Homewood, IL, 1957.

The author of Marketing behavior and executive action article, Alderson, defines the management of a supply chain as the measures and approaches that help harmonize suppliers, manufacturers, warehouses and retailers to actualize specified qualities and quantities of goods, their distribution to the right location at the right time, ensuring minimization of costs and achievement of required service levels. According to Anderson, the development and application of the standard of postponement can greatly promote a system’s marketing efficiency.He also suggested that for this to effectively take place, the distribution system in question must be a complete.Alderson concluded that postponement couldbe used to reduce the expenses associated withcarrying inventory as well as reducing the level of marketing related risks. Alderson argue that marketing efficiency is a major analytical tool, which can be used in supply management since it deals with an important aspect of the supply management process, inventory management.

Chaabane, A., Ramudhin, A., &Paquet, M. (2012). Design of sustainable supply chains under the emission trading scheme. International Journal of Production Economics135(1), 37-49.

Companies are fully responsible for the production process of the products they offer their customers. This means that they are liable for not only what happens during production but also during the process of delivering those products to the distributing warehouses, and the process of distributing the goods to different retailers who are responsible for the delivery of those goods to the consumers or users. Chaabane, Ramudhin and Paquet, (2012) explain how the concerns on the environment and legislation are moving organizations to new evaluations of the effects on environment by the supply chains they have in place. According to the authors, management of supply chains tries to actualize supply chains models that put organizations in a better position towards long-term economic performance maximization. To cope with the current robust supply chain changes, organizations are relying on responsiveness, robustness and flexibility strategies. The authors attribute the dragging in global economy to managerial decision-making chanced by focus on short-term profitability. They pose that organizations have been forced to hatch different strategies and approaches to actualize sustainable operations in the bid to cope with the hardships resulting from the depletion of non-renewable resources such as oil and metal.

Hsu, C. W., Kuo, T. C., Chen, S. H., & Hu, A. H. (2013). Using DEMATEL to develop a carbon management model of supplier selection in green supply chain management. Journal of Cleaner Production56, 164-172.

Hsu, Kuo, Chen and Hu, (2013) utilized DEMATEL (Decision-making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory) technique to research the best method for managing carbon in green supply chain with the aim of enhancing management of carbon by suppliers. The authors came up with thirteen techniques that could be effective in managing carbon. They had three scopes from literature review and interview information from there experts working in the manufacture of electronics. Their research proposes that carbon information management systems and education on carbon management are two key contributors to selection of competent suppliers in carbon management. The authors further suggest that structures and relationships identification would be very helpful to managers in getting a glimpse of cause-effort relationships and provide room for selection of suppliers with better knowledge of carbon management as well as improvement of their performance.

Prajogo, D., Chowdhury, M., Yeung, A. C., & Cheng, T. C. E. (2012). The relationship between supplier management and firm’s operational performance: A multi-dimensional perspective. International journal of production economics,136(1), 123-130.

Prajogo, et al., (2012) in their book recognize the impact of social compliance on operational performance in clothing manufacture more specifically fashion products for import deeming it as the main influence. According to the authors, proper study of vital supplier management practices is paramount to achievement of improved performance of firms operations. They note how diverse management practices will contribute to diverse performance results therefore confirming the vitality of reliance on specific supplier management practices that contribute to aimed at or better performance.

SupplyChainBrain (n.d.). “Ethics Issues Are at the Heart of Supply-Chain Management”. Supply Chain Brain. u.d. Retreived on November 11, 2015 from: http://www.supplychainbrain.com/content/research-analysis/chainlink-research/single-article-page/article/ethics-issues-are-at-the-heart-of-supply-chain-management-1/

The competitive inclination among companies often leads to lack of ethics in most companies’ operations. Companies outsourcing policies have been changed by laws and policies that have been enforced with the aim of ensuring that the prevailing issues relating to outsourcing are solved effectively. The author uses the article to examine the relationship between outsourcing practices and unethical behavior portrayed by companies. The author continues to argue that with more and more customers becoming interested in companies’ overseas operations, including the working conditions of their employees, unfair treatment of workers could harm a company’s reputation, reduce its sales and destroy its brand identity. The author concludes by suggesting that companies that wish to maintain their competitiveness in this age of increased consumer awareness must strive to build and sustain more appropriate supply chains.

Sarkis, J., Zhu, Q., & Lai, K. H. (2011). An organizational theoretic review of green supply chain management literature. International Journal of Production Economics130(1), 1-15.

Sarkis, Zhu, and Lai, (2011) reckon the popularity Green supply chain management (GSCM) has achieved within academia and industry. In their research, Sarkis et al. used theories in organization. The literature offers channels for addressing the aims of understanding the current position of the field and opportunities of future research and its direction. The book puts recent GSCM literature into nine extensive organization theories undertaking profound investigation of adoption, spread and GSCM practices outcome. The authors make various observations. The theory is a reliable source of directions for future investigation and research in green supply chain management. It recognizes availability plenty of opportunities for furthering investigation and research based on theories that have already been implemented (Sarkis,  Zhu, & Lai and 2011). The text identifies various vital questions that require evaluation. The book further reckons availability of more space for new themes on review of GSCM that are yet to receive proper attention in terms of investigation. The book also finds that literature detailing the application of GSCM study is very recent a statement that indicates how that GSCM and organizational theory application are at the growth level. A fifth observation made by the research is that there are more organizational theories emerging that are critical to addressing of un-tackled blossoming issues in GSCM. As a final observation, the book acknowledges that even with developing theories in GSCM researches need to develop theories on organizational phenomena.

Hochman, Steve. “Green Supply Chains.” Forbes. Forbes, 4 Apr. 2007. Web. 18 Sep. 2014.

When a company makes the decision to go green, it takes on a Corporate SocialResponsibility (CSR). In his article, Hochmanexpresses how various firmsthat implementedthis form corporate social responsibility of have reported gaining a competitive advantage over its competitors as a result. The author mentions Starbucks and Hewlett-Packard as an example of how adopting green supply chains can help a company gain a competitive edge. Hochman continues to state that over the last decade, more and more companies have been seen to advance in theiruse of green supply chains and corporate social responsibility and he uses the article to support this observation through presenting relevant examples.

Stadtler, H., &Kilger, C. (2000). Supply chain management and advanced planning. Berlin et al.

In their book, Stadtler and Kilger try to explain what supply chain management entails and how it affects a firm’s planning processes. They argue that Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Supply Chain Management and Advanced Planning Systems (APS) are vital to proper organization and optimization of funds, materials, information and product flow. This fourth edition of the books is mainly centered on fundamental concepts in Advanced Planning Systems. It concentrates its analysis on successful structuring of supply chains and Advanced Planning Systems. To provide better clarification, the book presents case studies analyzing different business sectors. Stadtler and Kilger (2015) opinionate that Supply Chain Management encompasses any aspect of organization in firms and the flow of information and materials within manufacturing and distribution of a product. Currently, firms are strengthening ERP systems concerned with order handling and execution with APS to achieve better flows, counter challenges and ensure timely delivery. The author is more concerned with structuring of successful supply chains and Advanced Planning Systems implementation using case studies and solution algorithms introduction for better understanding.

Wenzhong, Zhu. “Research on Offshore Service Outsourcing and the Related Issue of Corporate Social Responsibility.” Journal of Applied Sciences 13.8 (2013): 1220-6. Print.

With most companies resorting to outsourcing, there have been more and more ethical issues arising from outsourcing jobs related issues. Wenzhongexpresses key terminologies such as outsourcing, subcontracting, and off shoring. He also describes corporatesocial responsibility and its impact on planning. He discusses about the history of outsourcing as well as stakeholders’ theory. He also examines different outlooks and theories from different researchers’ that support or contradict on how outsourcingaffects different types of stakeholders. The author resolves that It is advisable for companies that wish to outsource to ensure that they understand international standards that govern social responsibility, as well as confer with their stake holders, especially those in the company’s host country so as to know their apprehensions in regards tocorporate social responsibility issues. The author concludes by suggesting that companies that wish to maintain their competitiveness in today’s market must adopt appropriate corporate social responsibility practices including effective and ethical supply chain management.

Beske, P., &Seuring, S. (2014). Putting sustainability into supply chain management. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal19(3), 322-331.

The author uses the book to study and describe supply management and its effects on a firm’s stakeholders. A conclusion can be drawn from both of them that supply management comprises of any measure or aspect that contributes to the determination of cost of goods and service production and the their meeting of the needs of the customer. They also support the argument that management of the supply chain tries to achieve efficiency at all levels in the chain. Levi et al. explain that management of a supply chain is difficult. They reason that this is due to the fact that different aspects of the chain get carried out at different places and therefore designing and managing the chain from one location, which is usually the case, becomes difficult. They conclude that uncertainty fills all levels of the supply chain, which hardens the management further. The aim of this report is to perform a critical evaluation of supply chain management.

Trends And Innovation In Supply Chain Management

Agile supply chains are commonly employed in delivering particular value to NPD (New Product Development). The supply chains pragmatically and speedily support innovation and new products via planning, procurement, manufacturing as well as delivery. Notably, these are the nucleus processes typifying supply chains (Lambert, 2008; Lee, 2012). Supply chains support the processes defining NPD since they drive the related capital investment into production, as well as distribution, capabilities along with product launch dates’ critical paths. When suppliers are integrated into NPD cycles helps in enhancing product quality, reducing new products’ costs, facilitating product launches, and cutting given concepts into client development time (Chan, Lettice & Durowoju, 2012). Suppliers may be involved in the cycles by offering manufacturers product design ideas or taking charge of the designs of the systems or components that they supply. Besides, suppliers get involved in varied phases of NPD cycles. When they get involved in the earlier phases of the cycles, their utility regarding the coordination of process, product, and supply chain designs is rather considerable.

Supplier Integration

Regarding supply chains, integration entails the collaboration, as well as interaction, processes in which the stakeholders of specified supply chains team up to realize mutually beneficial outcomes (Cassivi, Hadaya, Lefebvre & Lefebvre, 2008). As well, the integration is largely defined as the joint effort put in connecting supply chain and function networks with respect to physical, information, and process flows. The typical classical supply chains lack the integration dimension since they depend on disconnected, or discrete, information flows (Childerhouse & Towill, 2011). The lack of the flows often result into the creation of excess supply and manufacturer inventories and slows down the reaction of the supply chains to changes in product demand.

Supplier integration and integrated supply chains are growing contemporary concepts. The integration is proving rather significant to business success in the contemporary market. That is largely because the market is defined by increasingly compacted production cycles and intricacy. The compaction of the cycles is driving global products, which are the products designed, as well as validated, by internationally dispersed, or discrete, teams. Notably, the teams include suppliers (Lambert, 2008; Lee, 2012). As suppliers take up increased responsibilities for increasing components of given manufacturers’ products, the manufacturers require them to interrelate with businesses and individuals across their businesses. The manufacturers do so to enhance productivity as well as reduce product non-compliance and recall risks.

Presently, many manufacturers are keen on involving suppliers in NPD cycles through supplier integration (Lambert, 2008; Lee, 2012). They are realizing that goal through various ways. First, they are linking own information systems with the suppliers’ information systems to enable them access each other’s information in real-time and accurately. Second, they are establishing dependable communication pathways between them and the suppliers. Third, they are establishing seamless connections between them and the suppliers in terms of strong customer-suppliers relationships and business processes. The connections are rather supportive of collaboration as well as interaction (Cassivi, Hadaya, Lefebvre & Lefebvre, 2008).

Supplier integration in the contemporary market represents a significant shift from the traditional market defined by adversarial customer-supplier attitudes (Childerhouse & Towill, 2011). It is largely focused on NPD, enhancement of product quality, incorporation and processing of specification changes, design support, and technological exchanges (Lambert, 2008; Lee, 2012). As well, it is focused on the combination of external and internal linkages, which are based on information, to expand supply chain visibility. The visibility is associated with increased operational efficiency, improved resource productivity, and improved effectiveness in planning according to Barratt and Oke (2007) and Chan, Lettice and Durowoju (2012).

Supplier Integration and the Enabling Technology

Presently, there is an increasing assimilation of technology, especially information technology (IT), in strengthening supplier-customers linkages and supporting NPD (Golińska & Kawa, 2015; Kachitvichyanukul, Sethanan & Golinska-Dawson, 2015). IT assimilation is the capacity for diffusing and routinizing IT-based applications in given business functions, as well as processes according to Childerhouse and Towill (2011) and Seifert (2003). The diffusion, as well as routinization, happen across, as well as within, organizational borders, and facilitate the utilization of sophisticated IT applications such as e-business platforms by businesses.

Presently, there are various IT products aimed at supporting the linkages and collaborative NPD processes. Some of the products are used in ensuring that suppliers are involved in NPD early enough according to Siemens (2015). Others support NPD through the optimization of supplier collaboration, increasing the efficiency and security of data exchange designs, decreasing cycle times and costs through direct sourcing of materials, improving the management of particular supplier programs, and securing supplier integration (Seifert, 2003; Siemens, 2015).

NPD and Supply Chain Integration

In almost all industries, the capability of executing NPD processes rapidly is a significant competitive advantage source. Particularly, businesses that are capable of executing the NPD processes quicker than competition enjoy distinct advantages over competition since their extant models are evidently advanced and typified by the latest technological innovations (Chan, Lettice & Durowoju, 2012). There is a considerable correlation between functional integration and product innovation performance. The degree of a business’ cross-functional form of integration is considerably related to its NPD performance. As well, it is anticipated that supplier integration occasions enhanced production innovation performance.

Varied frameworks of supplier integration suggest that the successful supplier integration into product innovation cycles can give rise to particular benefits via enhanced access to particular technological applications. As well, the frameworks suggest that the successful supplier integration into product innovation cycles can reduce the time taken by varied NPD procedures (Childerhouse & Towill, 2011). The involvements of suppliers in the NPD procedures strengthen the connections between manufacturing and design, within suppliers as well as internally.

The involvements of customers in NPD procedures are dependent on the appraisal of given business’ weaknesses, as well as strengths, relative to own customers’ service requirements. During NPD, decisions that are formulation in the light of consumer organizations via inventories managed by vendors are capable of shortening the time taken to develop given products considerably. That is particularly evident in countries that post high customer NPD-involvement such as India.

Collaborative Innovation Models

Particularly, the integration is aimed at lessening NPD costs and levels of working capital as the leading priorities regarding supply chains (Childerhouse & Towill, 2011). Marked progress has been made in redesigning the models to address businesses’ need for increased flexibility and sensitivity to product mix changes and demand changes. Other concerns that have led to the continued redesigning of then models are related the performance of suppliers with regard to product quality, reliability, and risk. As well, the redesigning is motivated by a need to ensure adequate supply ability to suffice given product demands and support the launching of novel products effectively.

Unlike in the past, presently, supplier-customer collaborations are principally geared towards creating value and driving product innovation (Cassivi, Hadaya, Lefebvre & Lefebvre, 2008). Presently, organizations are collaborating by way of sharing, as well as exchanging, information, to address their weaknesses regarding product innovation. Some businesses are practicing e-collaboration, which entails internet-facilitated enterprise interactions (Chan, Lettice & Durowoju, 2012). The interactions are not simple sell or sell transactions but are structured relationships involving activities such as information integration and sharing, sharing of decisions, and sharing of resources or processes (Cassivi, Hadaya, Lefebvre & Lefebvre, 2008). There is a need to investigate the meta-concept of collaboration further in the context of supply chains since it is presently rather amorphous, allowing for many interpretations.

IT enables stakeholder collaboration in supply chains. The collaboration is a critical factor in relation to the facilitation of information flows among the stakeholders. Presently, e-collaboration is increasingly essential in facilitating coordination of diverse activities and decisions beyond specified transactions among the stakeholders, including suppliers and own customers (Childerhouse & Towill, 2011). That is quite evident over inter-organizational IT systems such as the internet. Marketplaces that are defined as being B2B provide strong IT aid to the enterprises that implement well-defined SCM (Supply Chain Management) processes.

The structures of information exchange of given supply chains that are hinged on B2B platforms help in sharing information with every enterprise at the supply chains’ nodes. The structures strengthen the connections between the enterprises. The structures enhance the supply chains’ operational efficiencies (Chan, Lettice & Durowoju, 2012). Various enterprises have since introduced B2B marketplaces to enhance their supply chains’ operational efficiencies, enhance e-business inclusively, and modify the supply chains’ management approaches, or styles, accordingly.

Manufacturers are increasingly engaging third party researchers, customers, and suppliers based on varied models to enhance NPD speed and lessen the related costs (Seifert, 2003). Most of the manufacturers have adopted collaborative models with own customers, as well as suppliers, to enhance own innovation investment value. Notably, the varied models are increasingly being strengthened through the improvement of their agility as well as integration into extant models of supply chains (Chan, Lettice & Durowoju, 2012). Some of the models help manufacturers team up with own suppliers in chain design, or product development. Others help manufacturers team up with own suppliers in support chain, or product support.

Other models help manufacturers and own suppliers to extend the strategic alliance and chain concepts as they try to optimize their performances especially in relation to NPD. They seek to optimize the whole of their systems while sharing the attendant gains (Golińska & Kawa, 2015; Kachitvichyanukul, Sethanan & Golinska-Dawson, 2015). Collaborative firms or enterprises often grow into knowledge-based entities that utilize their partners’ intellectual strengths, capacities, and competencies in growing their competitive advantages to optimize their overall performances, including global NPD performances.


In nearly all industries, the capability of executing NPD processes swiftly is a significant competitive advantage source. Responsive supply chains are commonly employed in delivering particular value to NPD. Supplier integration and integrated supply chains are growing contemporary concepts. The integration entails collaboration, as well as interaction, processes in which the stakeholders of particular supply chains team up to realize mutually advantageous outcomes. At the moment, many manufacturers are involving suppliers in NPD cycles through supplier integration by linking own information systems with the suppliers’ information systems to enable them access each other’s information in real-time and accurately. Right now, there is an increasing assimilation of technology in strengthening supplier-customers linkages and supporting NPD. There is a need to explore the meta-concept of collaboration further as it is at present fairly amorphous, allowing for various interpretations.

Supply Chain Management As A Value Driver

Assignment 1 Instructions: Discussion—Supply Chain Management as a Value Driver

A successful supply chain strategy includes good design and implementation. However, supply chain strategy is not considered truly successful until there is a measurable contribution to the bottom line. To be successful, managers must plan, forecast, and execute the operational plan as well as face and overcome the organizational, partner-based, and personnel-based factors that can diminish value. Effective supply chain management continues to grow in importance as a competitive differentiator for most companies. However, most companies fail to realize a competitive advantage or value for the customer.

Using the module readings, Argosy University online library resources, and the Internet, research supply chain management. As you examine the readings in this module, consider how change affects all stakeholders in the supply chain and apply those reflections to the following questions:

  • What do you consider are some of the problems that affect supply chain management success?
  • Using at least two current examples, discuss effective supply chain strategies that were used by a company to positively impact organizational effectiveness and yield desirable results.

Write your initial response in approximately 300–500 words. Apply APA standards to citation of sources.


Supply chain management is faced by several challenges. These challenges can however be solved or better still be prevented. Some of the challenges faced include;

  • Lack of supply chain strategy. Very few companies have a supply chain strategy which are documented. This is because most companies are focused on cutting the costs
  • Too much product complexity. Many organizations fail to eliminate underperforming products so as to remain with only few products that add value to the organization (Simchi-Levi, & Kaminsky, 1999)
  • Supply and demand not matching effectively.  This majorly comes as a result of functional silos that exist within a corporation.
  • Company’s overreliance on the past performances to help in the prediction of future sales. Peoples needs evolve every day as well as market dynamics change every day. Considering these factors, one has to be careful on prediction of future sales (Simchi-Levi, & Kaminsky, 1999).
  • Lack of preparedness to potential risks. Most companies plan their programs without planning for any potential risks. This can lead to failure of the business in case any unfortunate event happens or may lead to diminishing of the profits (Tan, 2001).

There are several supply chain strategies that can impact positively an organization’s effectiveness and help the company or organization to yield desirable results. The following two strategies can be used effectively to aid in improving an organization’s operation:

  • Incorporation of sustainability into the supply chain.

Companies striving to achieve environmental and social sustainability have a greater chance to succeed in the market. This is because it sustainability improves the production efficiency and also improves the supplier management skills.  The social sustainability also aids in attracting many employees to work in the organization. The business can also monitor its momentum through incorporation of audit, benchmarks and also best practices. This automatically improves the supply chain (Tan, 2001).

  • Building a supply chain that is adaptive to rapid planning and also integrated execution.

The executives in an organization need to be able to predict the risks associated with the business as well as the demand. This will help a great deal in helping them adapt their supply chains to the changing market demands and events. This will enable the organization to manage and at times eliminate the any shocks that might occur within the supply networks (Wisner,2003)

Strategic Supply Chain Management

Supply chain goals

The overall goal of a supply chain is to bring together various organizations together with activities connected to the movement of goods as they change the value from being raw to finally being usable to the end user who is usually the consumer (Minis, 2011). Therefore, the overall goal of the supply chain is to ensure that the good demanded to reach the end user through various channels that are linked to one another as the product moves from one point to another before reaching the end user (Shapiro, 2007).  As such, the transformation of the product occurs in the supply chain to ensure that it is usable by the consumer.


Responsive and efficient supply

A responsive supply chain a faster reaction to changes in demand for a certain product in the market (Li, 2007). This model suits a business environment where the demand predictably low and the error of forecasting high. Also, the product involved has a short life cycle, and the introduction of new products are frequent with the product variation being high. The design of a responsive supply chain encompasses an emphasis on faster reaction times within the supply chain, quick delivery times, volume flexibility and customization. The features that accompany the design of a responsive supply chain intermediate or flexible flows, large capacity cushions, low levels of inventory, and small cycle times.

A supply chain that is efficient, on the other hand, focusses on the coordination of services and material flow to ensure the inventories are reduced greatly and increase the efficiency of service providers and manufacturers in the supply chain (Bidgoli, 2010). An efficient supply chain is best suited to a business environment that has high predictability in demand, life cycle of the product is long, the error in forecasting is low, the introductions of new products are irregular, and the variety of products is minimal, lead time in production is long and the lead time in fulfilment is short. The features in the design of such a supply chain includes capacity cushions that are low, bulk volume production, and line flows.

Optimizing supply chain management to improve results and remove obstacles

Optimization of the supply chain entails the use of tools and processes in ensuring that operations regarding distribution and manufacturing take place optimally. Organizations study supply chain to come up with empirical information on the various products and the related operation costs. Carrying out such research using an electronic platform and information they have gathered over time helps them determine if the supply chain has some ineffectiveness in it. . Thus, organizational need to ensure that inventory in the supply chain is organized optimally to minimize unnecessary operations and their resultant costs (Hugos, 2010). The organizations should thus maximize on gross margin return on inventory invested and reducing operations costs and eventually increasing the gross profit of goods and services in the supply chain. The manipulation of large databases has enabled organizations to increase their forecast and thus help them anticipate demand. Many organizations to use applications that involve best-fit models or stochastic models to manipulate the data to increase optimization and increase profitability as a result. Such date increases predictability of demand in the market and helps the organization prioritize their activities. Studying the customers and differentiating is important in supply optimization. There are deliveries that are more critical and urgent than others. As such, large companies like mail order pharmacies with a huge customer base need to differentiate between their customers in knowing which products they need to reduce shipping costs and other operations costs (Plenert, 2014). Another example is ABC Inc. that a seed company that had the problem of differentiating its customer needs. It got a consultant who was able to come up with a software that would help in forecasting customer needs and make a production plan and to meet production and distribution needs.

Recommendation on supply chain optimization

Customers are an important part of supply chain management. Not all customers have the same preferences since most require different services from companies. Companies should, therefore, create information systems from the beginning of their business or include former customer data to ensure that as they grow they can forecast on the needs of the market and have a vivid picture of demand for the various products in the market. Most companies lose contact and even lack most of the knowledge they had before they expanded their operations. Therefore keeping up with the customers will help in reducing unnecessary costs and ensure that profitability and efficiency in the supply chain are maintained optimally.

Business should also learn from others that have dealt with similar problems. Companies should study their customers to determine if their needs are urgent or not. Urgency matters since it will help companies concentrate on those customers that have urgent orders and prevent any catastrophes hat may occur if a product is delayed which in turn may paint the company in bad light. Therefore, organizations should add more weight to increasing efficiency in the supply chain management by focusing on demand and the end users of their products.

Globalization, WMS And Transportation In Global Supply Chain Management


Globalization is an integration and interaction process among governments, companies, and people of different nations. It is an investment and international trade driven process and it is supported by information technology. The globalization process has influences on the culture, environment, economic development, political systems, economic prosperity, and on human physical well-being in the international society. It therefore highly influence the supply chain management in different parts of the world as the companies try to adjust to satisfy consumers of different culture, and legal requirements of different societies in the world. Globalization has allowed the use imports to satisfy consumers demand and exports to reduce surplus in one market (Heaney, 2011).

Warehouse Management System

A warehouse management system (WMS) is application software that support warehouse daily operations. WMS programs permit tasks central management that include tracking stock location and inventory levels. WMS system might be part of the enterprise resource planning system or a standalone application.  The modern WMS application is more complex than the earlier version with high data intensity. They also have high-end system that include routing and tracking technologies that include voice recognition and radio frequency identification (RFID).


Transportation involves moving goods from one position to another in the supply chain system. It occupies a third of the total logistic costs and influence the logistic system greatly.  Transportation is needed in the entire production process from processing to delivery to the retail consumers and returns. It therefore requires a high level of coordination between every component to ensure transportation cost reduction and to maximize the company’s benefits (Tseng et al., 2005).


Procurement, Risk Management, Supply Chain Uncertainty – Supply Chain Management Concepts

Procurement refers to the acquisition of commodities i.e. goods, services or even works from a different external source(Halldorsson et al., 2003). Any acquisition should be done in the best possible interest of the procurer. The goods, services and or even work should be acquired at the lowest possible cost, be of the desired quality and delivery be in the best time to optimize the returns of the person/firm buying. The process involves the preparation of demand, submission, receipt, verification and processing of payment. Procurement process can either be direct or indirect nature.

Risk management on another level, involves the identification, evaluation, listing and ranking of risks which should be followed by controlled and economical combination of resources to mitigate or to minimize exposure to uncertain events(Halldorsson et al., 2003). Risk is a threat faced either from within the organization or from the market. Internal risk emanate from events such as project failure, production failure, legal liabilities among others. External risk can result from natural causes and disasters, credit risk due market rates of interest changes, attack from adversaries and other more faced by a firm by the virtue of its existence.

Lastly, Supply chain uncertainty is the decision making process where the decision maker is not sure on what to decide(Halldorsson et al., 2003). It is precisely because of lack of information on the supply chain and its environment, thus not able to correctly predict the effects of the uncontrolled actions on the supply chain. To manage this, the management should have clear objectives, sound and reasonable forecasts, good data base on the environment, have alternative actionable plans and estimate the effects of these alternatives prior to their implementation.