Welcome to another installment of Whitepaper Wednesday here on the Purchasing Certification Blog. In today’s installment, I’ll be reviewing a whitepaper entitled “New dimensions in supply chain management: Eight strategies for improving performance from concept to customer” from Infor.
Despite the fact that the concept of supply chain management (SCM) has been popular in the mainstream for over a decade, what I see in the real world is continual struggle to figure out the way to best organize a true SCM strategy. The struggle usually occurs when the procurement team is given new responsibilities related to SCM such as optimizing the movement of goods through the supply chain and distribution networks and having influence over product design, known as “design for supply chain” to go along with other “design for” interests.
The whitepaper addresses these topics at an elementary (but very valuable if you are just migrating to SCM from procurement) level with the following excerpts:
- “Forward-thinking companies recognize that the internal dimension [of SCM] also encompasses the design of their products and the network they use to get them to customers. Network design includes such considerations as where to place manufacturing and warehousing facilities, how to design a distribution network, where to place retail outlets, and how to format stores. Given the complexity and global nature of many supply chains, network design is of rising importance with significant impact on bottom-line results, as recognized by the many companies who have already made decisions to ‘offshore’ production. However, there is mounting evidence that these decisions need to factor in multiple considerations, including traditional cost offsets such as production costs, distribution, and inventory as well as non-traditional considerations like the greater risk of product damage and delay resulting from offshoring.”
- “Product design, another component of the internal dimension [of SCM], encompasses all the considerations that go into the design process, including market requirements analysis, manufacturability, and the ease with which the product can be distributed throughout the supply chain.”
The whitepaper goes on to list eight strategies for leveraging concept-to-customer SCM. If this entices you, there is a caveat: just about all of them revolve around Infor’s technology. However, one thing I was glad to see among the strategies was Infor’s mention of the importance of Supply Chain Event Management (SCEM).
SCEM was a hot topic in the early part of this decade. And I feel it should be a hot topic today. But, unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like there is much emphasis on it from the technology community nor overwhelmingly strong demand from the prospective users of SCEM technology. Infor does a good job of making the case for increased usage of SCEM.
While this whitepaper may be a bit general or basic for SCM executives who are in the throes of transforming their teams from procurement teams to SCM teams, I think it is a good read for procurement execs who are just about to migrate to the SCM concept or who expect to at some point in the future. You can download this whitepaper from http://go.infor.com/SCM8strategies/
To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
President & Chief Procurement Officer
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
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