What Is Supply Chain Management?


Supply Chain Management

Every step of your product’s journey is carefully coordinated and managed.

You know where your raw materials come from and how they get to you. Once you have a finished product, everything heads over to your warehouse to await a customer order. And, once an order’s been placed, you know how that product gets from your warehouse into the hands of your customer.

Did you know that every step along that journey is part of supply chain management?

What Is Supply Chain Management?

Simply put, supply chain management (or SCM) is the flow of goods and services that go into turning raw materials into a product, and then getting that product to the consumer.

But SCM is more than just knowing how goods get from one place to another; it’s also about streamlining and optimizing every step of the chain so goods get where they need to be faster and cheaper.

What Steps Are Included in Supply Chain Management?

Nearly everything you need to coordinate and do in your business is part of supply chain management.

Some crucial steps and players in SCM include:

  • Raw materials sourcing
  • Raw materials shipping
  • Manufacturing
  • Product development
  • Shipping to warehouse
  • Warehousing
  • Procurement
  • Information technology
  • Marketing
  • Customer ordering
  • Order processing
  • Picking & packing
  • Shipping to the customer

Each segment of the supply chain is integral to a well-running holistic supply chain and, interruption on any level can throw the whole operation out of whack. In many cases, coordinating the different parts of a supply chain requires third-party vendors (logistics and warehousing vendors, raw materials suppliers, consumer shipping companies), making close coordination essential.

How Can a Better Understanding of Supply Chain Management Benefit My Business?

Knowing what is moving where, and how much any waste is costing your business, is important to sustained business growth.

Think of it this way: While your supply chain may work now, how much more profitable and efficient could your business be if you could cut down the amount of time a product takes in transition or the amount of money any one step in the process costs you?

By taking the time to fully understand how long each step in the supply chain is taking, and how much each step is costing you, you can get a much better understanding of where you can trim the fat.

If products get from your warehouse to your customers a little faster, that improves their positive experience, increasing your word-of-mouth recommendations. If you can find a vendor that will move your products from your manufacturing facility to your warehouse for a little less per load, you’re decreasing overhead.

Every improvement you can make to your supply chain through supply chain management is going to benefit your business.

While it may seem like a hassle to sit down and analyze every single step of the process, not keeping track of the essential operations of your business is going to cause problems eventually.

Taking some time today to look at all the pieces of your business’s complex, ever-moving puzzle will pay dividends tomorrow.

Experienced Logistics & Warehousing on the East Coast

One portion of SCM that often causes headaches for business owners is their logistics and warehousing vendors. They’re either stuck in lengthy, expensive contracts that aren’t flexible for the needs of business, or they’re drawn in by underpriced services that lead to damaged products and missed deadlines.

Don’t trust your warehousing and logistics to just anyone.

At Cannon Hill Logistics, we’ve helped multiple businesses succeed since our founding in 1984. We offer flexible, affordable solutions to help your business where it’s at today, and where you want it to go in the future. Call today to design your plan for success!