Supply Chain has been getting more mainstream attention than ever before, but not for the best reasons. Issues driven by the global pandemic have put Supply Chain Management at center stage, and virtually everyone has firsthand experience with what delays and breakages in the supply chain can mean.
In the simplest terms, the Supply Chain is the network of resources and activities needed to convert raw materials, information and components to create a finished product or service delivered to the end user.
Supply Chain Management (SCM) is the practice of planning, managing, streamlining and continuously improving the supply chain processes to reduce cost and wasted time and effort. SCM requires the close monitoring of all costs needed to create a product and service for end users and analyzing/acting on opportunities for improvement. When done correctly, SCM is a competitive differentiator for every industry in the world.
In order for the end-to-end Supply Chain to function properly, there are a number of elements which must work well together. For example:
As we saw with the global pandemic, when one or two of these processes are not working well with the others, major outages and delays can occur.
When describing and visualizing Supply Chain, the Enterprise Alignment Diagram developed by ExecQtion (https://www.execqtion.com/) is a useful view. There are 5 main components that create the supply chain & allow it to function.
These elements are:
Another useful model is The Supply Chain Operations Reference Model, or SCOR, developed by the Supply Chain Council to give industry leaders predefined best practices and metrics for each type of supply chain.
SCOR has also been acquired by the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM), as an industry standard for “managing and measuring the performance of a global supply chain.”
CIO.com explains the SCOR Model is:
“Designed to evaluate your supply chain for effectiveness and efficiency of sales and operational planning (S&OP). SCM (Supply Chain Management) is complex, and S&OP implementation can be difficult, but the SCOR model is intended to help standardize the process and create a measurable way to track results.”
In order for the Supply Chain to be successful, there are many moving parts and processes which need to work together in harmony. Some key examples include:
When the Skilled Talent, Resources, Software and Technology are functioning properly, there are some key components related to Supply Chain Design, Management, Governance, and CI Strategy needed to support the Supply Chain’s proper execution that include many things including:
A company’s Supply Chain Organizational Structure determines how the Supply Chain is managed. This Organizational Structure is made up of:
Organizations consider where they compete, what their growth targets are and how they plan to market and sell their products. These considerations and many others sit on top of the general day-to-day execution of supply chain operations.
If you want to succeed and maintain operational excellence, there are certain key technologies and tools to use. Some of these operational excellence tools include:
Is responsible for governance across the supply chain in alignment of overall corporate strategy. They are responsible for overseeing everything in the supply chain – all the way back to “the dirt” (the elemental materials that go into making the product – metals, oil, etc.) and out to the end customer. In MetaExperts terms, this is a Master MetaExpert who has an end-to-end perspective and can step in as the interim vice president of supply chain.
Companies often need talent to fill very specific holes in the planting of the supply chain system. MetaExperts gets frequent requests for talent with Sales, Inventory & Operations Planning (SIOP) expertise, who also know ERP systems.
Example: MetaExperts received a request for an SAP experienced resource with experience in SIOP and optimization of inventory planning, and was able to think through how production and scheduling be done properly. Master or Expert level MetaExperts are often the best resource in this case.
Experts in sourcing and managing of supply – many companies are being crushed by poor supply. Their own labor shortage leaves them without the right planning or sourcing skills and supplier resource management skills. MetaExperts has the right people to step in and help with procurement and sourcing.
Comes in to fill gaps in various of areas, including:
Once you have a product successfully manufactured, the work is far from over. Product fulfilment follows in including many elements. Perhaps most important is in and out-bound logistics.
Logistics takes in planning, transportation of inbound/outbound goods, managing inventory, logistical / fulfilment outsourcing and possibly the management of the fleet of transportation vehicles.
When visualizing the Supply Chain, a simple product example is helpful. Take for example the supply chain involved in the production of a bicycle. You have one company that designs and makes bicycles. In order to create the end product of a bicycle, you need a number of suppliers. For example, they have a supplier that makes the wheels:
The downstream (or outbound stream) has the wholesalers and distributors and retailers who sell the bicycles. And then finally, the end customer who owns the bicycle. In this example, there are a minimum of 5 different supply chain strategies that have to be thought about, particularly as you go into the upstream suppliers.
MetaExperts includes in its ranks many experts in thought leadership in end-to-end supply chain best practices. We also have access to world-class supply chain playbooks and training materials needed to develop the skills of your team. MetaExperts bring industry specific experiences to support you in working through how to govern total end to end supply chain performance, for everything across the supply chain–from ‘dirt’ to the end customer.
Supply Chain Risk Management is an integral piece to the management of the supply chain. In order to be prepared for disruptions, you must plan for them.
Threats to the supply chain can include:
Keep in mind, Risk Management is not a ‘one and done’ process. Elements such as: the political climate , the environment and trade all continue to evolve and change and the risks which may impact your supply chain are also subject to change.
Additionally, situational risks also need to be considered. If your organization is considering a facility move, entering a new market, near/reshoring of supply or product redesign, new risks will arise.
Once risks have been identified they need to be qualified by level of probability, monitored, acted upon, mitigated and controlled.
MetaExperts offer support at four different levels:
Architect level MetaExperts bring more than 20 years of experience, top-level supply chain skills, specific industry domain knowledge, and understanding of the ‘C suite’ challenges to solving difficult organizational problems by leveraging their vast experiences and TOP Facilitator skills. These highly skilled experts are the best choice when you need to solve the most complex and challenging supply chain issues. They are most helpful when you need help to formulate enterprise level strategies and connect them to the best tactical actions with proper governance and overall design.
Master level MetaExperts are top talent with 15-plus years’ experience and a deep knowledge of tactical and specific technical skills in supply chain management. These exceptionally skilled individuals are qualified to handle challenging organizational problems. When failure is not an option and you need something that has ‘been there, done that’ many times in their careers, these pros are in their element
These MetaExperts bring ten or more years’ practical experience and the skills to step in as part of your team overnight. While they can’t lead transformation from the C-suite, the do bring ‘boots on the ground’ skills to perform tactical actions. When you don’t need another consultant to tell you what’s wrong and instead.
The Analyst has worked in a variety of positions with five-plus years of experience in certain skill disciplines and industries. Analysts are engaged as part of bigger supply chain projects where the level of the tasks does not require transformation skills.
No matter the operational issue you’re facing with your supply chain there is a MetaExpert, or a team of MetaExperts who can join your team and work with you to ‘Get It Done’. MetaExperts can step in at any level needed from a Senior Supply Chain VP down to a skilled professional to do day-to-day planning and supplier management tasks on an interim basis.
Whether you need to rethink procurement and sourcing or you need specific commodity expertise to source suppliers and manage costs, we can provide the talent you need to Get It Done.
With one phone call, email or clicking a link to schedule a time to speak with the MetaExperts™ sourcing expert. You are just minutes away from getting your improvement initiative started or re-energized.
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