What is the Importance of Supply Chain Management?
Supply Chain Management (SCM) is an essential element to operational efficiency. SCM can be applied to customer satisfaction and company success, as well as within societal settings, including medical missions; disaster relief operations and other kinds of emergencies; cultural evolution; and it can help improve quality of life. Because of the vital role SCM plays within organizations, employers seek employees with an abundance of SCM skills and knowledge. Supply chain management is critical to business operations and success for the following reasons:
SCM is Globally Necessary
Basically, the world is one big supply chain. Supply chain management touches major issues, including the rapid growth of multinational corporations and strategic partnerships; global expansion and sourcing; fluctuating gas prices and environmental concerns, each of these issues dramatically affects corporate strategy and bottom line. Because of these emerging trends, supply chain management is the most critical business discipline in the world today.
Reasons for SCM in Society
Supply chain management is necessary to the foundation and infrastructure within societies. SCM within a well-functioning society creates jobs, decreases pollution, decreases energy use and increases the standard of living. Two examples of the effect of SCM within societies include:
- Hurricane Katrina - 2005
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans, LA, leaving residents without access to food or clean water. As a result, a massive rescue of the inhabitants had to be made. During the first weekend of the rescue effort, 1.9 million meals and 6.7 million liters of water were delivered.
- Foundation for Economic Growth
A society with a highly developed supply chain infrastructure that includes interstate highways, a large railroad network, ports and airports is able to trade many goods at low cost. Business and consumers are able to obtain these goods quickly, resulting in economic growth.
Reasons for SCM in Business
Clearly, the impact that SCM has on business is significant and exponential. Two of the main ways SCM affects business include:
- Boosts Customer Service
SCM impacts customer service by making sure the right product assortment and quantity are delivered in a timely fashion. Additionally, those products must be available in the location that customers expect. Customers should also receive quality after-sale customer support.
- Improves Bottom Line
SCM has a tremendous impact on the bottom line. Firms value supply chain managers because they decrease the use of large fixed assets such as plants, warehouses and transportation vehicles in the supply chain. Also, cash flow is increased because if delivery of the product can be expedited, profits will also be received quickly.
Supply chain management helps streamline everything from day-to-day product flows to unexpected natural disasters. With the tools and techniques that SCM offers, you’ll have the ability to properly diagnose problems, work around disruptions and determine how to efficiently move products to those in a crisis situation.