Regardless the size of your business, if you're selling products, you're managing a supply chain. This makes it crucial to understand what supply chain management is, and why it's important.
what is supply chain management e-guide cover

A must read if you’re running a retail or wholesale business that deals with products

In What is Supply Chain Management you’ll get:

  • A brief history supply chain management concept.
  • A working definition of SCM to help you think about how it applies to your business..
  • And the basic reason why supply chain management matters to all businesses.

If you thought supply chain management was just for big enterprise, think again. Any SMB that sells a product has a supply chain to manage. This encompasses all the people, processes, and technology that get your product from supplier to customer. Simply put, an efficient supply chain will maximize customer service and profitability.

The concept of supply chain management took root in the early 1980s with integrated logistics management. Companies saw how time-consuming and wasteful it was to operate as a discrete entity, with processes entirely segmented from their suppliers and other business partners.

They realized that closer communication and coordination with business partners in manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution could save them time, eliminate redundant processes, and reduce wastage. This ultimately increased profits with less effort.

The success of the concept led to what we know of today as supply chain management. It became an important factor in business, particularly among large corporations with many products or complex production requirements. A new academic discipline and profession grew from it.

Supply chain management, then, is a sophisticated and effective means to rein in complexity. But there’s no reason to be intimidated. Most businesses don’t need the level of expertise and investment in supply chain management that the biggest corporations require. But, most business owners will benefit from understanding its roots and its general purpose.

And technology has made it possible for any business to accomplish some of the key aspects of supply chain management. The Internet, cloud computing, and integration makes it much easier for business partner to share information in real-time. This includes everything from purchase orders and invoices to transportation schedules, product specifications, and inventory positions.

If supply chain management made it easier for businesses operating in silos to function more effectively together, cloud technology and integration removes those silos. This means that businesses effectively function in what can be described as supply chain networks. But, the fundamentals of the supply chain management still stand.