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Logistics Engineering and Management, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 852

Essay

Thus far in the course, I was provided a wealth of information concerning supply chain management. The readings have presented me with many useful ways to ensure that this process is optimized, which ultimately generates a greater extent of profit for the companies that commission this work. Through both the classroom lectures and assignments, I have learned that supply chain management skills, time and costs, strategic sourcing, and planning are all necessary components of effective supply chain implementation. This work has allowed me to determine measurable ways to indicate if a particular supply chain plan is effective and to modify this plan based on quantitative and qualitative results to ensure continuous improvement.

I have learned that supply chain management is directly related to a company’s ability to remain competitive with other organizations within its particular industry. From reading a series of case studies related to supply chain management, I recognized that many techniques are used in this process, and that the supply chain could vary depending upon the size of the organization. For example, one would expect that Wal-Mart, a multinational company with many franchises across the world, will have a complex supply chain with many warehouses and endpoints to ensure that the goods are able to reach its entire customer base. On the other hand, the supply chains of small businesses are expected to be somewhat simplistic in comparison.

The logistics involved in supply chain management is an important process because it is the measurable outcome that is set as either a company goal or as a way to determine how to ensure that goods are sent more quickly in a smaller amount of time. There are many aspects that play into the logistics of supply chain management, including how information is transmitted throughout various parts of the company, how production is handled, how goods are packaged and tracked, in addition to how they are transported, stored, and protected. Logistics have become more manageable with the advent of computing, as these is typically a lot of information that needs to be tracked to ensure success, even for smaller companies. Of utmost importance in logistics, companies are able to determine the most efficient routes through which they can send their goods. Since planning trucking/train routes in addition to the quantity of product that should be sent, and whether shipping should occur in one step or multi steps is a complicated process, computing is a useful factor in the determination of which shipping methods should be used. This process becomes even more complex when considering goods that have been shipped from overseas.

I think that emphasizing the lean supply chain is essential to ensure that waste is cut throughout the process. Ultimately, poor planning results in slower delivery times and higher costs. Therefore, it is essential for the supply chain manager in addition to his or her team to determine places in this process where waste exists and to determine alternative steps to ensure that this is produced. An interesting way in which this could be done is by implementing the Green Supply Chain. Since many customers have been increasingly concerned with sustainability, becoming involved in this venture will allow the image of a company to grow, in addition to saving funds in important aspects of supply chain implementation. It has been found that implementing the green supply chain results in lower operating costs due to reduce waste and training costs, less environmental-permitting fees, and reduced material costs. Since this process optimizes the supply chain intuitively and provides image and financial benefit, it is likely that many companies will come on board with similar plans in the future.

I think two important components that can be used to determine the efficacy of a particular supply chain include the time that it takes for products to be delivered to each intermediary point in addition to their final destination and trends in the profitability of the company. These are useful measurements of supply chain efficacy because a lot of data in these two categories are generated overtime. Therefore, supply chain managers have a quantitative way to determine the success of their organization at a variety of different time points, which will allow them to identify trends in improvement. This is an important factor to consider relevant to continuous improvement. Although the responsibility of good supply chain managers is to ensure that operations are running smoothly, the goal is complete optimization of the process. Therefore, data analysis is a necessary component of the continuous improvement expectation.

Altered factors that may contribute to continued improvement and therefore better quantitative output includes switching transportation routes and providers by requiring truck to travel on highways with less traffic and higher speed limits, employee training programs to ensure a balance of safety and speed, investment in alternative transportation processes, such as ships and trains when possible, producing more of the unfinished product domestically rather than overseas, etc. Ultimately, it is important for the supply chain manager to consider all of the possible alternatives when making this decision.

References

Jones V. (2006). Integrated Logistics Support Handbook. McGraw-Hill Logistics Series.

Blanchard BS. (2004). Logistics Engineering and Management. Pearson Prentice Hall.

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