Connecting the Supply Chain of Your Success
We often take for granted the journey a product takes from its inception to arriving at the store at which we purchase it. We simply walk in or head online to buy whatever we need. The journey, however — known as supply chain and logistics — is essential to a business’s success and an important part of the business process. Let’s take a look at what this journey entails and why it’s so important.
What Is Supply Chain Management?
Michigan State University professors Donald Bowersox, David Closs and M. Bixby Cooper explain that supply chain management involves firms working together to connect suppliers, customers and other partners as a means of boosting efficiency and producing value for the end consumer. These efforts work across multiple functions and companies for a two-fold purpose: getting the finished product to the end consumer and meeting all customer requirements. It’s an overarching concept that links together various processes.
What is Logistics?
Sometimes, supply chain management and logistics are interchangeably used. However, there is a difference between the two. According to the same Michigan State University article, the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals defines logistics as “part of the supply chain process that plans, implements and controls the efficient, effective forward and reverses flow and storage of goods, services and related information between the point of origin and the point of consumption in order to meet customer’s requirements.” So, that means logistics activities include transportation, warehousing, packaging. The objective here is to make sure customers get their desired product at the right time and place with the right quality and price. Logistics can be further broken down to inbound (concerned with obtaining materials and then handling, storing and transporting them) and outbound (concerned with the collection, maintenance and distribution to the customer).
How Does Supply Chain Management Influence Business Success?
The importance of supply chain management and logistics can’t be understated. The Logistics Bureau, a privately-owned specialist management consulting company focused on the field, reports that a 2014 Deloitte survey revealed that 79 percent of companies with high-performing supply chains achieve revenue growth superior to the average within their industries. The Logistics Bureau used Walmart as a case study example of one of the most famous companies whose primary success is based on its supply chain strategy. For example, Walmart has pioneered the use of vendor-managed inventory, developed strategic partnerships with vendors to ensure low prices, strategically uses technology to create supply chain efficiencies and more. As you can see, supply chain management has effects in various areas.
What Qualifications Will Help Me Succeed?
At Centennial College, you can attend the Supply Chain Management – Logistics program, which is geared towards those who have completed a previous post-secondary education. The program will prepare you for a career by teaching you best practices, helping you to acquire strong communication, analytical and problem-solving skills as well as giving you the credentials to pursue a Canadian Institute of Traffic and Transportation (CITT) designation, allowing exemptions from specific CITT courses. Canadian supply chain and logistics professionals highly regard this designation, so it will help you to stand out in the industry.
What Will My Career Entail?
No matter your role, you’ll be formulating strategies, developing and executing key decisions, and leading. Because of how vast the supply chain management industry is, there is an equally wide range of areas in which you will find employment. Among these is manufacturing, production, export or import operations, distribution warehousing and transportation sector. To further break down supply chain management career possibilities, there are also numerous roles within these areas such as supply chain software manager, transportation coordinator, purchasing manager, inventory specialist and supply chain analyst. All of these roles interact and come together to ensure customers have products when they need them.
Written by: Izabela Szydlo