Supply Chain Management of Samsung

Introduction

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.

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Product

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.

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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).

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Table: Qualitative and Quantitative Forecasting Technique

QualitativeQuantitative
Market SurveyTime 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

Conclusion

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.

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