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PRINCIPLES OF LOGISTICS AND SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT

Name Oladoyin Omosolape Adetuyi

Task 1 Learning Outcomes 1 to 3 – You will be assessed via submission of assignment. Your assignment should cover Assessment criteria under learning outcomes 1 to 3.

Word count 3000

Date 11th November 2018

Principles of Logistics & Supply Chain Management

CONTENTS

S. No. Description   Page No

1. Strategic Management 3

1.1 Scope of Strategic Management 3

1.1.1 Domestic Business 3

1.1.2 International Business 6

1.1.3 Global Business 7

1.2 Globalisation of Business 7

1.3 Influence of International Business Environment 8

1.3.1 Direct Influence 8

1.3.2 Wider Influence 9

2. Techniques for Analysing Business Environment 10

2.1 Overview of Business Environment 10

2.1.1 Internal and External Environment 10

2.1.2 Competitive Environment 11

2.2 Composition of External Environment 11

2.2.1 Economic Environment 12

2.2.2 Socio-Cultural Environment 12

2.2.3 Political and Legal Environment 13

2.2.4 Technological Environment 13

2.3 Micro and Macro Environmental Factors 13

2.4 International Business Environment 15

2.5 Techniques for Environmental Analysis 16

2.5.1 Competitors' Analysis 16

2.5.2 Customers' Analysis 16

2.5.3 Porter's “Five Forces Method” for Competitive Analysis 17

2.5.4 Environment Audit (PESTLE) 17

2.5.5 Porter's Diamond – The Competitiveness of Nations 18

2.6 Business Strategies for Managing the Environment 18

1. Introduction

Supply chain is pivotal to very business because it helps to make available the resources needed for the business to deliver goods or services to their clients. Supply chain has evolved over the years and continues to evolve. Therefore, companies have to pay close attention to their supply chain and understand the role and responsibility of every partner in the process.

In identifying the difficulty and complexities inherent in supply chain, companies began to research more leading them to the concept of Supply Chain Management (SCM). They noted that cutting-edge strategies needed to be developed to improve supply chain effectively and efficiently by improving transparency, reducing waste and costs, refining operations and optimizing overall performance.

Supply chain management is largely confused with so many other concepts. Supply chain management is not the management of inventory, logistics, supplier partnerships, shipping strategies, distribution, procurement, or even a software but SCM systems may encompass all these processes. Supply chain management is an integrating philosophy to manage the total flow of a distribution channel from supplier to ultimate customer (Ellram and Cooper, 1993).

2. Key Logistics & Supply Chain Management Concepts & Theories

2.1 Concepts & Principles of Supply Chain Management & Logistics

The traditional concept of supply chain management and logistics are very different. Logistics relates to processes that occur inside an organization while supply chain refers to an array of companies that synergise to deliver a product or service to market. Logistics as it is known focuses on process areas such as procurement, distribution, maintenance, and inventory management while supply chain management includes all aspects of logistics and other process areas such as marketing, product development, finance, and customer service. Supply chain management requires the customer service levels and internal operations of a company to be synchronized to deliver better product, service and experience.

A company must understand what supply chain entails before it can focus on supply chain management. Just as you cannot manage what you do not measure, you cannot plan and execute what you have not clearly defined. Therefore, the overall purpose, scope, and components of a supply chain must be understood and articulated.

Supply Chain Management Review published an article called “The Seven Principles of Supply Chain Management in 1997.  Several years have passed and the article is still considered a “classic” article which got republished in 2010, and again in 2013.The principles include:

• Principle 1: Customers should be segmented based on the service needs of distinct groups and the supply chain needs to be adapted to serve these segments profitably.

• Principle 2: Logistics network should be customised to the service requirements and profitability of customer segments.

• Principle 3: Market signals should be listened to and aligned with demand planning throughout the supply chain, ensuring consistent forecasts and optimal resource allocation

• Principle 4: Product differentiation should be carried out closer to the customer and speed conversion across the supply chain

• Principle 5: Total cost of owning goods and services can be reduced by strategically managing sources of supply

• Principle 6: Development of a sustainable supply chain-wide technology strategy that supports multiple levels of decision making and gives a clear view of the flow of products, services, and information

• Principle 7: Adopt channel-spanning performance measures to gauge collective success in reaching the end-user effectively and efficiently

2.2 Key Drivers of Effective Supply Chain Management

The success and/or failure of supply chain is largely dependent on certain drivers. According to scmglobe.com 2014, five drivers have been identified and are illustrated in Figure 1 below:

Figure 1: Five Supply Chain Drivers

Source: (www.scmblobe.com, 2014)

• Inventory: Typically classifiesd as all the raw material, work in process, and finished goods within a supply chain. Inventory is generally kept in the supply chain because of the mismatches that exist between supply and demand. Increasing inventory leads to increased turnaround time for responding to orders and reduced ordering cost but always leads to increased inventory holding cost. Inventory management can be more efficient by the reduction of inventory levels of all items,  especially of items that do not sell as regularly.  

• Transportation: This involves the movement of inventory from point to point in the supply chain. The modes of transportation range from air to electronic. The route or mode of transportation has to be carefully selected to ensure it is the most effective and efficient for the type of product and the destination of the product. Transportation for a company can be insourced or outsourced depending on the dynamics of the particular supply chain. The management of transportation can be more efficient by moving products in larger batches and doing it less frequently. Also the usage of certain modes of transportation such as ship, railroad, and pipelines can increase efficiency.

• Production: This covers the use flexible manufacturing techniques to produce a wide range of items.  Also, a company's strategy may be to have their production in many smaller factories that are close to major customer hubs to reduce delivery times. To improve efficiency, a company may build factories with very little excess capacity and have those factories optimized for producing a limited range of items.  Further efficiency can also be gained by centralizing production in large central plants to get better economies of scale, even though delivery times might be longer.

• Facilities: This relates to the place where inventory is stored, manufactured or assembled. Facilities can be viewed in terms of production and storage. A network is a set of facilities or destinations which can be used for transportation of goods. Within a facility, inventory is either transformed into another state or stored. To improve efficiency, a company may decide to operates from only a few locations and centralizing activities in common locations.  For example, an e-commerce company like Amazon serves large geographical locations from only a few central locations that perform a wide range of activities.

• Information: It consists of data and results of analysis regarding inventory, transportation, facilities, customer orders, customers, and funds. The power of this driver grows stronger every year as the technology for collecting and sharing information becomes more wide spread, easier to use, and less expensive.  Companies in certain supply chains, the manufacturers, distributors, and the big retailers all collect and share data about customer demand, production schedules, and inventory levels. This enables companies in these supply chains to respond quickly to situations and new market demands in the high-change and unpredictable world of electronic devices (smartphones, sensors, home entertainment and video game equipment, etc.). Over the long run, the cost of one driver — information — continues to drop while the cost of the other four drivers continues to rise. Companies that make effective use of information to increase coordination internally and externally with their supply chain partners will gain the most customers and be the most profitable.

The sum of these decisions will define the capabilities and effectiveness of a company's supply chain. The things a company can do and the ways that it can compete in its markets are all very much dependent on the effectiveness of its supply chain.

3. The Role of Logistics in effective Supply Chain Management

3.1 Role & Contribution of Logistics in Achieving Supply Chain Goals & Objectives

Logistics refers to the collection, production and distribution of raw materials, work in progress and finished goods in the right location and quantity. Logistics involves the movement of materials, goods or services from one place to another. It is pertinent to manage logistics as an integrated effort to achieve customer satisfaction at the lowest total cost. Below are some of the contributions of logistics to the achievement of supply chain goals:

• Order processing

• Warehousing

• Transportation

• Materials handling

• Packaging

The goal of logistics and supply chain are similar in every organization and must be alignedto meet customer expectations. Below are some of the goals that logistics professionals agree on:

• Rapid responses to changes in market or customer orders.

• Reduction in variations arising from service.

• Inventory reduction will lead to cost reduction.

• Increased efficiency in product movement through shipment grouping.

• Engage in continuous improvement while maintaining high quality.

• Support the entire product life cycle and the reverse logistics supply chain.

3.2 Modes & Types of Logistics Adopted in Various Businesses

In organisations, logistics either has an internal (inbound) or external (outbound) focus. This focus can ne simple or complex depending on the type of business. In the complex situations, third party vendors are hired to conduct some or all the company's logistics. Every company deals with finding suppliers, transportion, storage and distribution goods, reverse logistics (return of defective goods or refusal of services)  or provide any other service. However, the scale in which they deal with these areas differ based on the size of the business and its industry.

Third & Fourth Party Logistics

• A Third-Party Logistics (3PL) Provider  is an entity or specialist that provides product delivery services for a buyer and supplier team. 3PL providers actually perform or manage one or more logistics services. 3PL involves using external individuals or organizations to execute logistics activities that have traditionally been performed within an organization itself. For example, if a company decides to export its product, it may hire a person or organization to help with distribution logistics.

• A Fourth-Party Logistics (4PL) Provider is an entity or specialist that plays the role of general contractor by taking over the entire logistics function for a company and coordinates the combination of divisions or subcontractors necessary to perform the specific tasks involved. 4PL integrates 3PL competencies and other organizations to design, build, and run comprehensive supply chain solutions. A 4PL provider would manage other 3PLs, truckers, forwarders, custom house agents, and others, essentially taking responsibility of a complete process for the customer.

3.3 Common Issues Affecting Logistics Operations

Theoretically, logistics operations sounds easy enough. However, there are several factors that can impede a company's logistics progress. Below are some of the biggest issues:

• Cost Control: World over, operating costs are hitting the roofs due to increasing fuel cost, number of international customers, technology etc. According to a third-party logistics study by Capgemini, companies continue to reduce transportation cost by outsourcing both domestic and international transportation.

• Planning & Risk Management: To maintain a high level of efficiency and effectiveness in logistics, periodic reviews and redesigns are required. These redesigns should be in response to changes in the market and new trends.  These changes are risks inherent in the business and must be identified and quantified in order to control and mitigate them. Your supply chain council and leadership team members should be constantly reviewing procedures and policies to ensure compliance, efficiency, and currency. This will help avoid process bottlenecks and help streamline operations while mitigating the risk of theft, fraud, and the like. Risk mitigation in the supply chain must adhere to some important steps: identifying all elements of risk, evaluating their probability of occurrence, estimating the financial impact in the event of an incident, and prioritizing risks for appropriate monitoring and prevention measures.

• Supplier/Partner Relationship Management: It is necessary to form, perceive and follow agreed standards to better understand current performance and opportunities for improvement. Having two totally different ways of measuring and expressing performance and results wastes time and energy. Lack of this consistent practice can pose as an issue in logistics operations.

• Talent Shortage & Retention: World over, there is a dearth of qualified and interested talent. A detailed and in-depth understanding of the key competencies needed in supply chain management function needs to be done by the managers. Also, the ability to efficiently source specific skill sets and methods for developing future leaders needs to be deviced by these leaders. Hiring and retention remain an issue in logistics operations.

• Technology Strategy & Implementation: While the industry understands and supports many of the benefits of these technologies, some questions remain as to how they will pay for it and who will help implement the improvements. A logistics management team must ensure that its software can adapt to its company's performance metrics definitions and KPIs. Technology changes on a nearly daily basis, and it can be difficult for even the most tech-savvy companies to keep up. Also, software do not always integrate well enough with applications already in place leading to frustration and unwillingness to adopt new technology.

4. How Supply Chain Management & technology Affect Supplier Relationships

4.1 Different Supply Chain Strategies, Policies & Practices Implemented By Various Organisations

In order to effectively optimise supply chain, every company's management must engage in focused strategy, planning and process implementation measures. Below are practices in supply chain management used by various organisations to increase effectiveness:

• Establish a Supply Chain Governing Council: With an internal governing council of leaders in charge of supply chain decisions in place, the company's supply chain will have a clear strategy for efficiency and effectiveness. Also with the existence of this council, there will be high probability of the existing supply chain strategy being aligned with the corporate strategy.

• Establish a Formidable Supply Team & Structure: With a supply chain team staffed and structured in a way that maximizes effectiveness as well as efficiency, both the supply chain and corporate strategies will be easily achieved. In structuring and staffing supply chain teams, the focus should be on strategy with corporate leadership instead of transactional abilities.

• Find Areas Where Technology Can Improve Processes: Supply chain will never be visible in any organization if the processes are manual. This problem can be solved by automation of most of the processes in the organization by leveraging technology. Although improving efficiency in your supply chain is a key concern when selecting software and technology, it is backwards to structure your processes around technology. Instead, review processes that are producing below standard to determine areas where technology can help improve, and then select your software solutions to fit those needs. With appropriate technology in place, better information gathering and reportimg will better inform the supply chain team and the company at large. Invest in supplier management software to keep track of information about your suppliers in one place. You can even go further and install advanced purchase order management software, which you can use to create, process, and track purchase orders with your suppliers. Some software solutions, like Purcahe Control  integrate these supplier management solutions functions into the same platform.

• Maintain Healthy Supplier Relationships: Supplier relationships should be developed and maintained in a continuous manner ever after the completion of the transactions. Seller/Buyer relationships are seen to be best when there is ope and reciprocal communication between them.  

• Consider Total Cost of Consumption/Ownership (TCO): There needs to be a departure from the traditional procurement practice of selecting a supplier based completely on price. Instead, strategic sourcing practices need to be adopted where the TCO of the product or service is established. This resonates from a business stand point as the cost of acquisition for most products and services is about a third of the TCO, while the rest is comprised of operating, warehousing, and transportation cost, to name a few.

• Strategic Sourcing & Collaboration: Strategic sourcing of products/services and the associated supplier is the core of successful supply chain management. To produce better results, collaboration must be added to strategic sourcing. In a 2009 Industry Week article,  J. Paul Dittmann of the University of Tennessee noted that successful supply chains are proficient in five key pillars of excellence: Talent, technology, internal collaboration, external collaboration, and change management. Sourcing needs to be taken beyond the purchasing department to sppliers to engage them in the decision-making process.

• Contract Management As Part Of Supply Chain: Follow-through on contract compliance can be improved if there is a handshake between the procurement process and the contract management process. The potential savings negotiated during the procurement process can only be fully realized if the two process are aligned. To combat this and actually realize those cost savings, best-in-class companies move contract management under the supply chain. This allows the supply chain leader to leverage spend where there is greater opportunity for reducing costs and mitigating risk, usually with services.

• Inventory Optimisation For Cost Reduction: The supply chain management function can include a consistent look at optimising inventory quantities. This optimization can be achieved by including forecasting and demand planning.

4.2 Effectiveness of Various Supply Chain Strategies in Maintaining Supplier Relationships

Having long-lasting, trusted relationships with dedicated suppliers should be a primary goal of any business that strives to succeed in the market, below are some strategies that can help achieve this:

• Suppliers As Partners: This partnership should be based not only on financial transactions, but also on mutual trust and loyalty. Suppliers need to feel like they are a part of the company. They need to be informed about important milestones such as new products and promotions, etc.

• Timely Payments: If you do not want to lose your suppliers, step one is making sure to pay them on time. This way, you will prove that you are a reliable customer and that you are easy to work with. If for any reason you cannot make the payment on a date agreed, then inform the supplier as soon as possible with the date on which they can expect the payment. Suppliers like timely payments just like you like timely action on their side. It really is that simple. If you are having other issues, like controlling spend, software solutions like AP automation can help you easily match payments with invoices and reduce errors.

• Strong & Deep Relationships: Make sure to maintain strong and regular communication with each of your suppliers. Keep them regularly informed and up to date, on your strategy and plans so that they know where they fit in and how they can help, plan for and benefit from those plans. Make them your partner. If you appreciate their work, let them know. If something is not working for you, let them know. A stronger, deeper relationship with clear and frequent communication allows this communication to become more organic.

• Price is what you pay, value is what you get: Nothing is better for growing your profits than getting a quality service or materials for the right price. If you have the financial flexibility use it. You can buy in bulk and get better pricing but you will have more stock on your balance sheet, or you can arrange to pay a vendor earlier in order to get a bigger discount. Sometimes it is better to pay a little more because the supplier is giving you a better service which pays for itself because you need to provide less time to manage them, or because they can be trusted to deliver directly to your customer. As noted in the previous section, relationships are important, but you should not stick with a supplier just because you like them. Choose the most efficient services for your business, and realize that efficiency is a product of value not just the cost.

• Detailed agreements make supplier relationships easier: If you are buying from a vendor on a regular basis, Supplier Relationship Agreements are a must. Write down everything that both parties expect from your partnership such as Item or Service Description, Price, Delivery Terms, Payment Terms, Communications, and so on, and then have both parties sign it. This can be a simple or complicated document depending on your business requirements. A well-documented Supplier Relationship Agreement will reduce the possibility of confusion or disputes. It is often a good idea to create a flowchart or deck to explain the process to your team, so everyone knows their duties and can recognize if something goes wrong in the workflow.

• Evaluate the risks: Always evaluate the risks of dealing with a supplier, especially if you have a complex supply chain. Ask for references, examples of their previous work, years in business, areas of expertise, how they deal with a crisis, what they did the last time they had to deal with a crisis, and so on. Are they competitively priced? Do they have the right experience? Do they have the capacity to deal with your orders? Are they financially stable? These are just some of the questions you should be asking. Maybe the supplier you select is not the cheapest but guarantees 100% on-time delivery with a money back offering; you can live with that because a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and if your vendor lets you down you whole supply chain may be at risk, which can affect your ability to deliver to your customers. In business, things go wrong, by evaluating your vendors risk profile in tandem with a good Supplier Relationship Agreement, you can mitigate the risks and be ready to deal with any emergencies in partnership with your vendors, which can help minimize interruptions to your business.

• A dedicated SRM process is a worthy investment: According to 2017 Global SRM Research Report by State of Flux, people and their soft skills are the core of SRM, so whether you need a whole department to manage vendor relationships, a dedicated Supplier Relationship Manager, or even if it is only a part of someone's role, having people in your organization who are responsible for the SRM process is essential.

Create a documented process that will help guide your team through the management and administration of suppliers. In a large organization this can include Flowcharts, SOPs, Policy Documents and agreements, or simply a 2 to 4-page document that covers all of the points of agreement for you and the vendor.  Make sure that all the steps are followed and that documents are signed off when completed. The report also states that 37% of supplier relationship specialists have a higher level of engagement from suppliers when they engage with them in this way, and this creates a stronger bond with the vendor, where both parties have a vested interest in maximizing the outcomes, and in turn helping to grow your business and reduce unnecessary business interruptions that can be a major time-suck for other business drivers.

• Not all suppliers are made equal, think global – act local: As the world becomes ever more connected, we increasingly find ourselves dealing with vendors that are further afield, either across the country or across the globe. Every city, state or country has different rules, laws and terminology. For example Vendor is more commonly used in the USA while Supplier is the more frequently use term in Britain, in Brazil and many south American countries, every document must be stamped physically on receipt. If some of your vendors are located in another country, then you and/or your SRM specialists should consider cultural differences when communicating with those suppliers. Attitude toward work always varies from culture to culture, so be aware of this and make sure that you are ok with this. You should also consider differences in currency, VAT rates, and other financial differences. Finally, consider the time zone differences, i.e. know about the time slots in which the supplier is available for communication.

4.3 Mechanisms To Maintain Business & Supplier Relationships

Successful supplier relationships require two-way information, recommendations, metrics and incentives. Companies can adopt some mechanisms to manage these relationships. These mechanisms need to be adopted to foster business and supplier relationship. Some of these mechanisms include:

• Placing procurement, logistics, contract management, and forecasting/demand planning and similar management functions under the supply chain leader: this approach may not be appropriate for all types of business or companies, but it gives an idea of current thinking about supply chain management and the reporting structure.

• Correctly staffing the supply chain organization is also vital to success: elevating staff members' supply chain management skills and knowledge is always a priority, of course. But top leadership focuses more on strategy and is less concerned about transactional ability. As supply chain leaders move up to join their companies' management teams, therefore, they must have additional characteristics. Best-in-class companies hire supply chain managers who have strong communication and relationship management skills (both internally and externally), the ability to think strategically, and a focus on value creation.

• Understand the cost and value of the entire supply chain. Without a thorough understanding of all costs, from raw materials through the end product or service, and the value provided by each supplier in the process, a supplier cannot be evaluated.

• Realize that supplier strategies go two ways. Most companies focus on what suppliers can do for them rather than on what they can do with the supplier to lower costs. A true partnership leverages the total production cost to both parties' advantage.

• Accept accountability. Companies should plan sufficiently in order to request orders from suppliers with acceptable lead time and without multiple changes. If every order requires emergency handling, the relationship will never work.

• Incorporate appropriate service levels and metrics into agreements. A relationship based on a handshake is far more likely to encounter problems than one in which expectations are clearly established and agreed upon.

• Spend equal time aligning incentives and penalties. It is natural to worry about the worst case, such as if a shipment is not received and a plant grinds to a halt. Conversely, the extra value created when production and asset utilization is optimized should be the basis of improving the value proposition for both parties.

• Share critical information as early as possible. Information is the grease that makes an integrated supply chain work. Waiting to share critical volume and timing information with suppliers can create lost business for the company or excess inventory and added costs for suppliers. Sharing information constantly, with appropriate security and confidentiality, is critical for successfully managing a supplier relationship.

• Plan for everyday exceptions. Sometimes emergencies will occur, especially in complex, multiparty supply chains. Agree ahead of time how emergencies will be handled and analyze why they occur so that the number of emergencies is minimized.

• Plan for major contingencies. Unavoidable events that stress the supply chain should be planned and practiced. Some industries, such as utilities, implement plans for natural disasters. Every supply chain strategy requires similar foresight and joint planning so that disruptive events can be managed smoothly.

• Expect and reward honesty. As in personal relationships, the best supplier relationships require honesty when exceptions to normal operations occur. Companies should require immediate notification without penalty when critical supplier situations occur.\

• Make relationship meetings meaningful. Companies often hold formal quarterly meetings without appropriate representation in which the vast majority of time is spent on information best provided through other communication forums. Instead, relationship meetings should focus on critical issues, areas for supplier improvement and discussions on how the buying organization can improve the relationship.

5. Conclusion

In summary, organisations need to incorporate improved supplier relationship methodologies in both their business strategies and cultures by embracing it from the executive management team to the individual process performers, implement the concepts cross-functionally, and drive them home in the reward and recognition systems.

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