Fleet management is becoming more and more important in businesses, particularly as businesses look to find more ways to save money. Continue reading
If you are looking for a reliable and trustworthy company who can help you import products from China, then you can get to choose from a huge list of companies. Look for a reliable and trustworthy agent who has huge years of experience, excellent professionalism to ensure you with safe and smooth shipping process. One of the best ways to run a business smoothly is with the help of a china sourcing agent. To put it simply, most of the business entrepreneurs rely on this kind of agent to get the work done. It’s mainly because hiring a sourcing agent can offer you with a lot of benefits. Now, keep reading this post to learn a lot more. Continue reading
For many businesses their biggest investment will be a fleet of vehicles, and the upkeep on this can be both expensive and complex. When you own and regularly use a fleet of vehicles for business you will have to consider vehicle financing, tracking and diagnostics, driver management, fuel management, health and safety and vehicle maintenance amongst other functions. As you can see this can cause a real headache if there is not a proper system in place to manage every aspect of your fleet. Seeing as this is such a large part of your operation and key to your success, it means that it is essential that you look for ways to ensure the smooth running of your entire fleet of vehicles. Continue reading
Purchasing is among the most important activities in supply chain management, since it is the primary point of contact with most supply-chain partners. A major area in purchasing management is that of Supplier Selection Problem (sometimes called the Vendor Selection Problem). Research in this domain started in the early 1960s and over 175 studies have attempted to address this highly critical issue of procurement management. “Vendor selection criteria and methods” have reportedly been the highest area of interest in operations management research.
A wide variety of selection criteria have been used in different studies for the evaluation of suppliers which have varied due to the differences in requirements in different industries and also often had been purely firm specific. Typically the variety of supplier selection criteria that has been used has exceeded 50 criteria in over 65 research papers working on finding new criteria for evaluation of suppliers. These criteria have been enlisted in the matrix shown below.
Some of the most popular criteria in supplier selection which has been used in over 10 research papers and have also been widely cited are relative price, compliance with the delivery schedule, quality of the delivered goods to specifications, production capabilities of the supplier, geographic distance (of the warehouse), technical capability of the supplier, management capability of the supplier and financial position of the supplier. All these supplier evaluation criteria have found massive application in the studies in this domain and are marked by subtle differences in terms of relative importance, as perceived by senior procurement practitioners.
Similarly another area of keen interest is the models which has been used to provide decision support to the supplier selection problem. Over 35 different mathematical models have been used for providing decision support to this extremely critical issue of procurement management. A study by Ho, Xu and Dey (2010) reveals that the Analytic Hierarchy Process, Mathematical Programming and Data Envelopment Analysis are the top 3 modeling paradigms used to provide decision support in supplier selection problems. Many other novel techniques like multi-attribute-deterministic models; mixed mathematical programming, outranking techniques; weighted sum of products; interpretive structural modeling; fuzzy set theory, neural networks; intelligent agent based techniques; TOPSIS, fuzzy multi-attribute frameworks; rule based reasoning models and multi-objective programming models have also been used. Typically the evolution of supplier selection models have been as described pictorially below, due to the evolution of the nature of selection criteria, from quantitative to a mix of quantitative and qualitative criteria.
As the trend highlights, there is a paradigm shift in the nature of the mathematical models used for supplier selection with a change in the requirements in the nature of business, mostly in the manufacturing industries and the maturity of the discipline. No wonder the area has attracted so much of attention to the consulting practitioners and theory developers in academia alike.
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In this article, we take you on a tour on the very basic focus of supply chain management. While there are many articles, which talk about the intricacies, the sole focus of this article is to cover all the various aspect an opening class for a grad program is likely to address.
There are few issues which are of prime importance while studying the subject. Before, one can call oneself conversant with the discipline, one needs to ask himself, can he answer the questions in details regarding these aspects? This article is off course written more on lines of a strategic view point rather than an implementer ‘ s viewpoint.
- Distribution Network Configuration: This is related to the number and location of suppliers, production facilities, distribution centers, warehouses and customers.
- Distribution Strategy: This is related to the centralized versus decentralized issue, direct shipment, cross docking, pull or push strategies, and third party logistics.
- Information: This is related to integration of systems and processes through the supply chain to share valuable information, including demand signals, forecasts, inventory and transportation etc.
- Inventory Management: How should one manage stored quantity and decide the location of inventory including raw materials, work-in-process and finished goods.
- Cash-Flow: Arranging the payment terms and the methodologies for exchanging funds across entities within the supply chain.
Focus: Customer, cost saving, value adding, time from cash to cash, percentage of fill rate against customer specifications and total response times
The extension of the supply chain definition is to provide a context for measurement or to operationalize theoretical concepts. Existing definitions may not always explicitly provide a basis for measurement. The development of new measures and the development of new benchmarks, based on these measures; in developing the new measurement format, various aspects of the supply chain definition can be expected to affect the specific mix of measures used.
It is important to understand that the position of players in the chain (supplier, manufacturer, wholesaler, service supplier) affects their contribution and relevant measures, the level of integration and the strategic approach may affect the relevance of measures needs to be scrutinized. Creating benchmarks based on the new measurement systems may contribute to directing management effort in optimizing the supply chain. Thus this is of prime importance to a supply chain manager.
Also, the development of tools that can help support the implementation of the new measurement approach may be a crucial final step leading to the actual application of new measurement approaches. The tools cannot be limited to the measurement system itself; they also need to include strategic trade-off and planning frameworks in order to assure executive “buy-in” and commitment and initiate actual improvement processes in the supply chain.
Finally some finer aspects to ponder for supply chain managers while attempting to operationalize theoretical models.
- Whether the models are qualitative or quantitative will affect the plans.
- What they measure is of paramount importance: cost and non-cost; quality, cost, delivery, resource utilization, flexibility, visibility, trust and innovativeness
- Collaboration efficiency and coordination efficiency and configuration and input, output and composite measures.
- Their strategic, operational or tactical focus.
- The process in the supply chain they relate to.
These are some of the basics that a supply chain manager is expected to plan about while going about his job. By the way, did you read our article on Supply Chain Value Management