Supply Chain Management and Logistics

Transportation, logistics, supply chain management, materials handling, and inventory control continue to evolve. This evolution has created cross-fertilization among these functions, driven by factors both conceptual—matching demand to supply—and technological—an enhanced ability to communicate and collaborate.

Manufacturing professionals hold yet another perception of SCM: as the task of allocating and committing resources for obtaining necessary supplies and capacity, handling, and positioning products to meet customer demands. MRP and ERP systems now address resource commitments that go beyond manufacturing to include other enterprise and supplier resources, ultimately directed to satisfying customer demands with limited and efficient use of resources. Which implies, SCM comprises cross-functional and inter-enterprise logistics processes.

SCM manufacturing and operations strategies : Forecasting leads to supply chain manufacturing strategies that go beyond an individual business. Product Life Cycle Management strategies come into play when SCM addresses integrated research and process design targeted at getting products manufactured and to market as fast as possible. Processes dealing with postponement become extremely important in deciding where in the supply chain manufacturing and operations functionality are performed.
Instead of taking 20 years to achieve significant market share globally, companies now establish supply chains that get product from design to key world markets in one year or less. Otherwise, ROI payback is lost.

Purchasing and supply management : Suppliers need to be linked to production schedules and aware of demand throughout the supply chain. Purchasing and supply management occur at all stages of the supply chain. At each level, logisticians exercise their responsibilities to order and replenish products for their businesses from select suppliers to meet demand. Disjointed supply functions can occur anywhere in the supply chain when there is a fracture in communication.
Too often, purchasing professionals order products and supplies when they know there are excessive supplies of product already in the supply chain Purchasing goes well beyond getting the best price for the product from a supplier. It's knowing where and how much inventory already exists.

Supply chain logistics: Rationalizing the nodes in the supply chain and going beyond interpreting a company's assembly, manufacturing, and distribution nodal points is the ultimate vision of supply chain logistics professionals. For example, many businesses now work with their customers to justify the number of nodes for deploying inventories. They find that their customers have as much inventory in their systems as the manufacturing company, its suppliers, and intermediaries. Inventories in transit and at "dwell" points in supply chains need to be analyzed to streamline supply chain logistics. As a result, visibility of orders, supplies, inventories, and shipments is critical to supply chain planning.

Reverse business and supply chain systems :An often-overlooked area in supply chain applications is reverse logistics. The recycling of automobile batteries, for example, illustrates the role of reverse business systems and supply chains that are multi-echelon and inter-enterprise.
An end user orientation for auto batteries has both environmental and economical advantages, increasing reusability of materials while keeping the cost of batteries low. The end result is that approximately 95 percent of the lead used in new batteries is from recycled materials.