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8 Innovative Supply Chain Management Project Ideas & Topics For Beginners [2021]

Most post-graduate students pursuing an MBA in Supply Chain Management are left confused when it comes to figuring out what topic they should base their supply chain management projects/theses. The motive of a thesis should be to study the inefficiencies in the supply chain infrastructure and propose solutions to eliminate them.

In this article, we present a list of interesting supply chain management project ideas so you know how you can scope your projects and what concepts you can cover. So let’s start by taking a look at the current market scenario in supply chain management.

What is Supply Chain Management and What is its Significance in the Current Economic Scenario? 

Supply Chain Management (SCM) refers to the technique of handling a string of operations involved in the transportation of raw materials from the source to an enterprise to develop a desired product or service, which will eventually be delivered to its intended customer. 

A properly functioning supply chain is crucial to the development and growth of any country. It gives countries a competitive edge over others in the marketplace. Supply chain management is aimed at cutting down costs, maximizing efficiency, and increasing productivity. 

Disruptions in the supply chain in COVID-hit 2020 had far-reaching impacts on almost all sectors in India. It brought down the year-over-year rate in India to 4.5%. 

As India recovers from this stumbling block, active efforts will be needed to repair the damage done to the supply chain infrastructure. Thankfully, India is already on the path to digitizing the supply chains. The current Indian scenario would benefit greatly from employing effective strategies to enhance the productivity of the supply chain and this depends on supply chain management to a great extent.

To strike a fruitful balance between supply and demand, supply chain management must join hands with technology to improve supply chain processes and provide solutions to eliminate existing supply chain constraints.

What are the Major Challenges in Supply Chain Management Today? How Can you Overcome Them?

Supply Chain Management is one of the more unpredictable professions out there and there is a diverse range of challenges the industry faces.

However, the most significant areas that require attention are:

  • Inadequacy in Managing Unprecedented Delays — Delays are but a part of supply chains since there are many variable factors in play. But there are counter-strategies that companies can implement to avoid frequent delays. Using warehouse management software can help keep track of the timelines of delivery, shortage in stocks, and scheduled arrivals of shipments. In this manner, a company can time arrivals and deliveries so any replenishing can be done before stocks run out.
  • Failing to Keep up with the Fast-Changing Market — There’s no way around changing times. The best a company can do is encourage more flexibility in its operations and use logistics management software to adapt to the fast-changing world.
  • Inadequate Steps Being taken to Manage Risks — Investing in logistics management can help stay on top of disruptions in management. With risks, preparation is key.
  • Increased Costs — Financial qualms have resulted in increased rates of raw materials and goods. For this reason, the entire supply chain suffers. A company needs to have strict cost control measures in place to combat these issues. More efficiency should be promoted in warehouse and logistics management. 
  • Lack of Solutions to Improve Customer Service Quality — Customizability is the need of the hour. To provide quality services to customers, businesses should join hands with new and emerging technologies. 
  • Shortage of Skilled Personnel — Thanks to COVID, there is an increased requirement of individuals in supply chain management. This has also led to an increase in the market value of people working in this field. A lot of people now are keen to pursue a career in the supply chain industry. It is not without reason though. Supply chain management makes for a lucrative career option with regards to the advancement opportunities it offers and the wide range of industries that are looking to hire. This includes retail, transportation, food and beverages, healthcare, hospitality, and Information Technology, to name a few.

8 Interesting Supply Chain Management Projects

Since there is a requirement of actionable strategies and innovative solutions for improving supply chain management in almost every industry, there is a growing demand for impressionable officials in SCM. Therefore, opting for a career in SCM will likely prove to be an exceptionally rewarding choice. 

For those who have already entered the field, the onus is on them to positively impact worldwide trends by devising strategies and ideas through creative thinking and analysis, to strengthen the supply chain management infrastructure. 

For that reason, we have listed some interesting Supply Chain Management project ideas you can consider that will help streamline significant problems in the industry today. 

1. Demand Planning and Forecasting

This project is aimed at strategizing a cost-effective solution to maintain sustainability in supply chains. With efficient demand planning using Demand Caster and forecasting the increases in price in the future, businesses can increase Purchase Price Variance (PPV) savings. For better management of the inventory, the project proposes that supply chain organizations integrate Inventory Optimization SaaS into their operations. 

2. Developing Productive Supplier Relationships in a Competitive Market

The project highlights the significance of developing and maintaining productive relationships with suppliers in a fast-changing, supply chain market. The study explores the critical factors that impact the quality of such relationships, and what steps a company can take to improve and foster mutually beneficial relationships with suppliers, thereby, enhancing the process of purchase management.

3. WMS Systems Consolidation

The project proposes that more than one Warehouse Management System (WMS) system be consolidated to one system that is hosted centrally. This will enhance the adaptability of WMS systems to catch up with evolving trends in businesses. Since processes are now automated, it can reduce Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) by using RF devices to track product movement. It also gives managers enhanced visibility to effectively handle processes around a warehouse. 

This automation can be made possible by using:

  1. HighJump Software WMS
  2. HighJump’s Web-based reporting system, and
  3. HighJump WebWise

4. Effective Negotiating Practices to Reduce Costs

This project explores the importance of strong negotiation and persuasion skills to save a company a significant amount of money while purchasing raw materials. It proposes that every supply chain management official must undergo professional training to be able to effectively use negotiation as a tool to reduce expenditures for a company. 

5. Rethinking the Workflow in Manufacturing

The project proposes reorganizing the workflow of individual technicians in manufacturing to improve the productivity of a manufacturing company. It can be made possible by employing Demand Solutions to encourage planning and scheduling in advance. This will result in improved stocking, builder efficiency, and advanced visibility of orders to optimize internal operations accordingly.

6. Big Data and IoT in Supply Chain

The project emphasizes the role of Big Data in optimizing supply chain operations and improving performance efficiency through effective prediction. Companies implementing Big Data and IoT in their business are not just able to proactively manage risks but also increase the overall revenue in sales. 

As per Gartner’s research, “IoT and big data are knitted together. The IoT drives big data, providing more information, from several different sources in real-time, and allows us to gain completely new perspectives on the environment around us.”

The project proposes that the significance of these two technologies in improving efficiency is undeniable and companies will increasingly adapt to these standards by restructuring their business processes. 

7. Computerized Inventory Control

The project highlights the importance and effective use of computers in inventory control to enhance business processes. It also discusses methodologies, analysis techniques, and testing methods to ensure the accuracy and effectiveness of computerization in a business environment. 

8. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Supply chain

The project proposes that companies must adapt Artificial Intelligence to improve decision-making activities in an organization. Since AI-based machines are designed to identify patterns, learn, and analyze information in a manner that mimics human intelligence, they prove to be effective decision-making tools. The study proposes that businesses must take a keen interest in recognizing areas where the application of AI and Machine Learning can prove productive to reap the widespread benefits of these technologies.

Here are some other significant supply chain topics for your project: 

  1. Supply Chain Management: Ethical and Social Practices 
  2. The role of government initiatives in supply chain management transformation
  3. The importance of Agile Methodologies in supply chain management
  4. The impact of Demand Driven Material Requirements Planning (DDMRP)
  5. E-logistics in Supply Chain Operations
  6. The future scope of supply chain management in India
  7. Detailed Review of Supply Chain as a Service (SCAAS)
  8. SaaS, IaaS & PaaS: Cloud-specific supply chain management 
  9. Use of Robotics and Automation in supply chain management
  10. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Supply Chain Management (SCM)

Conclusion

The above-listed topics include some of the most trending subjects in the field of supply change management. They are aimed at identifying inefficiencies and improving supply chain practices to boost the growth of the Indian economy. We hope this gave you an idea of what your project can be based on.  The best way to capitalize on this opportunity is to enroll in a certification program such as upGrad’s Global Master Certificate in Integrated Supply Chain Management.

The course is completely delivered online. Considering that MSU ranks #1 in supply chain management, students get the exclusive opportunity to learn from top mentors and instructors in the field. What’s more is that they enjoy many other perks like live learning & interaction sessions, 360-degree career assistance, interactive quizzes, case studies, interview preparation, resume feedback, and career counseling.

Prepare for a Career of the Future

Global Master Certificate in Integrated Supply Chain Management
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