Supply Chain Management Blog Posts

All Blogs
44 Most Common Supply Chain Management Interview Questions & Answers [For Freshers & Experienced]
94483
There are a lot of sectors that have witnessed significant growth since the pandemic and emerged as economic boosters. Supply Chain is one among them. According to a recent survey, the global market for supply chain management is estimated to grow by 11.2%, reaching a value of US$ 37.41 billion by 2027, up from US$ 15.85 billion in 2019. Naturally, there is increased interest in this field and if you can land a job in this field, you are bound to have a promising career ahead. The supply chain sector requires exceptionally skilled and talented individuals. The first step to landing a job in this sector is to enrol in a supply chain management course and then bag an interview with an established company. Learn to build applications like Swiggy, Quora, IMDB and more Granted it is a tough nut to crack, but you can do well if you manage to impress your interviewers with your knowledge of the field. Our Learners also read: Free Communication skills course! So, here is a list of supply chain management interview questions and answers to help you out. Top 44 Most Frequently Asked Supply Chain Management Interview Questions and Answers 1. Define Supply Chain Management. Supply chain management, or as it is popularly called, SCM is defined as the thorough supervision of every aspect of the supply chain (including raw materials, data, and finances) from the start to finish. In the process of creating and satisfying demands, supply chain management works to integrate and stabilize the flow of processes from the production of goods to their eventual delivery. This puts executives in supply chain management in direct touch with everyone, from suppliers to customers. 2. What is the Ultimate Objective of Supply Chain Management? Supply chain management is driven towards achieving efficiency in its operations and maximizing productivity in an organization. Companies hope to satisfy the demands of people by delivering the right goods to them on time while profiting from doing so. While streamlining the whole process, supply chain managers ensure that waste is minimized, and there is productive utilization of everyone’s time, allowing the organization to cut costs. All of these smaller goals lead to one ultimate goal, which is to achieve efficiency. Read: Kickstart your product manager career with IMT Ghaziabad & upGrad. 3. What Do You Mean by Affreightment ? The term affreightment arises from freight. It refers to the amount of money that is paid to a charterer in return for renting his vessel to carry the goods. 4. What Comprises Supply Chain Management? Supply chain management is incomplete without including collaborative and integrative practices with its channel partners. Suppliers, retailers, wholesalers, distributors, and customers are involved in the success of a supply chain operation. Supply chain managers must collaborate with suppliers, keep track of demand, integrate the services of wholesalers and distributors, and effectively communicate with everyone involved, including customers, in the process. Read: Essential management skills for a successful career 5. How Do You Define SKU Keeping in Mind the Supply Chain? SKU stands for a stock-keeping unit. It is related to the inventory management field. When we say SKU, it refers to a particular item stored in a particular place in the inventory. 6. What Do You Understand by Compliance Labels?  A compliance label for a product is made with due attention to the standardized procedures of the industry associated with the product. It plays a crucial role in import/export where it is in the hands of the government agencies to define and check these label requirements for exported or imported products. 7. What is the Role of Logistics in Supply Chain Management? The entire process of monitoring the transporting of goods and services from one place to its intended destination is termed as “logistics.” The term logistics was originally used to refer to the transportation of equipment to military armies on the ground. However, in modern times, logistics is not just limited to its definition. It can shapeshift very easily to fit into the demands of an organization. It is more than just delivering the final goods to the consumers. The logistics department is also tasked with the responsibility of warehousing, managing outbound and inbound transportation, planning to meet demands, and handling materials. They are also in charge of inventory management, transport management, and fulfillment of orders. Also Read: Demand of Supply Chain 8. What is the Importance of Logistics? Logistics is important because if the consumers do not get their desired goods, the whole point of production is invalid. Logistics might seem like an insignificant process that is carried out at the end, but it carries the load of the entire process of production. Logistics isn’t something that comes into play when the goods are manufactured and ready to be shipped. It is a process that is active throughout the production. In fact, logistics sets into motion even before the production starts. The procurement process of raw materials is the role of logistics. Moving on, it also takes care of transportation and warehousing. Finally, when it comes to the delivery of goods, everyone is aware of the charm that logistics works in bringing our goods safely — and on time — to us. Read: Product manager growth and career options. 9. What is the Difference Between Supply Chain Management and Logistics? Supply chain management and logistics are two very different processes. While supply chain management is confined to the bigger picture, logistics is comparatively small. Logistics is all about producing the goods in one organization and distributing them amongst the consumers who demand the goods. Supply chain management, on the other hand, is a group of organizations that strive to distribute goods in voluminous quantities among their consumers. In this sense, it is a large scale operation involving multiple moving parts. 10. What are the Activities Carried Out in Logistics?  Logistics operations are mainly confined to three broad categories. This includes collecting goods from the supplier, warehousing, and delivering to intended consumers. However, that’s just a very vague definition of everything that goes on at the operational level in logistics. To begin with, the desired resources are picked up from the supplier, and packaged for transportation. This can be via air, sea, or road. At the destination, the goods are cleared of customs and delivered to the warehouse where they are stored. While at a storage facility, these goods are checked for quality and are grouped accordingly. Details of the inventory are checked for deficits if any. In case there is a shortage of goods, replenishing is done. Goods are then sent to stores or wholesalers for distribution. Logistics also covers the returns process. In short, logistics is responsible for procuring goods from suppliers, managing received goods, and facilitating delivery to end customers. 11. Define Advance Shipping Notice.  It is sent to the customer before the delivery. It contains all the information about the shipment of their products. It comprises details related to the carrier of the shipment, when the shipment can be expected, etc. 12. What Do You Understand by Anti-Dumping Duty? It is an import duty that is levied when the charges of the imported goods are lower than the decided price in the market of the exporter’s country. This results in deficits in the domestic market of the importing country. 13. Can You Explain Less Than Truckload? “Less than truckload” occurs when the transport owner and shipper enter a contract where the owner is not paid in full for the truck. The price of the shipment is taken into account depending on the weight of the goods and the distance it will travel. 14. What is Dead Weight Tonnage? The difference in a ship’s laden weight and unladen weight is known as dead weight tonnage. What this means is, that the weight of all items on the ship is taken into account except for the weight of the ship. 15. What Do You Mean by Blanket Way Bill? A Way Bill containing two or more consignments of freight is known as Blanket Way Bill. 16. What are the Main Issues Transportation Faces During Warehousing?  The process of warehousing is not as simple as we think. It suffers from tracking and communication issues. A warehouse’s safety is a major deciding factor for storing goods. Any delays are accounted for and the costs incurred are also sometimes concerning. 17. During Warehouse Transportation, What are the Safety Points to be Taken Care of? Warehouse transportation is not the safest process out there. It comes with its own set of risks. One must always be careful enough to dodge them. Sharp objects must be cleared off right away. Any loose flooring or those that can cause tripping should be taken care of. Spills should also be taken care of right away. Fire exits should be functional. Proper use of garbage cans should be encouraged. Items should be placed in their designated spots. Cords and wires must have a safe separate space away from the walking space 18. What are the Main Challenges Related to the Supply Chain that Companies are Currently Facing? The supply chain is a vast and fruitful field, brimming with immense opportunities for exploration and experimentation. In the present competitive market, companies that do not invest in supply chain management end up paying a hefty price. These companies fail to take into account many crucial factors like: Rising costs throughout the supply chain. Consumer demands for improved delivery speed and customer satisfaction. Volatile risks in the supply chain such as market fluctuations, trade disputes, etc. The complexities of risk and cost management. Although an interviewer might not ask each one of these questions to you during the supply chain interview, we hope this article gave you a good idea of what you should expect. Read: Product management career path and its scope 19. What are the Roles of a Supply Chain Manager? This is one of those interview questions for supply chain managers that tests your understanding of the supply chain manager’s duties. A supply chain manager supervises and regulates an organization’s supply chain and logistic operations and techniques. They ensure the organization’s efficient working and maximize profits. Moreover, they adopt a critical role in developing and maintaining outstanding rapport with vendors and distributors. With the help of their analytical skills, math skills, and the capability to understand supply and demand concepts, they ensure flawless supply chain management. They track orders, shipments, sales trends, and methods to maximize profits and decrease losses. Furthermore, they accelerate supply using the available technology.                            20. What would a supply chain manager do if a company’s warehouse ran out of stock? It is one of the trickiest interview questions for supply chain officers because it demands an in-depth understanding of the scenario. It denotes the situations when the businesses might run low on their products’ stock. You must answer this question calmly and handle it logically when asked in an interview. When products run out of stock, you would first discern the product’s shortage or materials. You will then determine the amount left (if any). Finally, you would meet with the original supplier to check if you can obtain enough orders of supplies. 21. Which skills are required to be successful in supply chain management? It is one of the popular interview questions for supply chain managers. Usually, hiring managers ask this question to check if the candidates’ skills align with the supply chain manager role’s requirements. Communication abilities and customer service are the two key skills you must have to become successful in supply chain management. They help you when you negotiate with suppliers. Being courteous and professional leads to powerful helps you to build reliable relationships with customers. 22. What are the key elements in inventory planning and management? Many interview questions for supply chain officers are related to inventory, which is one of the most important ones. Hiring managers expect you to make significant decisions about the number of items to order and how frequently to order. You can explain how to increase profits effectively by maintaining enough inventory levels. Inventory and supply levels can be maintained by reviewing inventory numbers and product orders for the last few months. You can use this data to know how many products to order for the next months. 23. How can a supply chain manager’s skills and experience add value to the business? Employers often use these types of supply chain manager interview questions to assess candidates’ strengths and backgrounds. They determine whether the candidate is the best fit for the role or not based on the answer to this question. A supply chain manager’s negotiation abilities and communication skills can help develop long-term relationships with suppliers and clients. These skills help them to negotiate quality product rates that fit well in the company’s budget. 24. What would you improve your company’s supply chain management processes? Employers may ask these types of supply chain manager interview questions to know how they can enhance their company’s overall work. The supply chain managers handle the purchasing and shipping of the company’s products. They better know the company’s products. Going through customer reviews indicates which products customers are satisfied with. New supply chain management systems can be implemented to accelerate manufacturing and deliveries. 25. How does supply chain management work? It is one of the fundamental supply chain officer interview questions and answers. Supply chain management is the integrated management of the flow of goods. It entails all processes that convert raw materials into finished products. Companies can reduce excess costs and deliver products to customers faster and more efficiently after managing the supply chain. Effective supply chain management saves companies from costly recalls and charges. The five most important elements of supply chain management are creating a strategy, sourcing raw materials, manufacturing, distribution, and returns. The supply chain management controls and reduces costs and avoids supply shortages. 26. What is the difference between SCM and Supply Chains? It is one of the tricky supply chain officer interview questions and answers. A supply chain denotes the network of companies, individuals, activities, resources, and technologies used to manufacture and sell products or services. It begins with the raw materials’ delivery from a supplier to a manufacturer and terminates with the finished product’s delivery to the consumer. SCM supervises every touchpoint of a company’s service or product, from creation to the final sale. Several places in the supply chain can add value or incur expenses to a business. An effective SCM can decrease costs, boost revenues, and improve a company’s bottom line. 27. What are the types of Supply Chain Models? (i) Continuous Flow Model: It depends on a manufacturer producing the same good repeatedly and expecting customer demand will small variation. (ii) Agile Model: It prioritizes flexibility according to the company’s requirements. (iii) Fast Model: It prioritizes the fast turnover of a product with a small life cycle. (iv)Flexible Model: It denotes that production can easily be increased or decreased. (v) Efficient Model: It uses equipment most efficiently in addition to handling inventory and efficiently processing orders. (vi)Custom Model: It is frequently used by highly specialized industries (like automobile manufacturers) with extraordinary technical requirements. Before appearing for an interview, you must prepare for such Supply chain management questions and answers.  28.  How are supply chain management and ethics related? You can include such unique questions when preparing for Supply chain technical interview questions. Ethics has become a significant facet of supply chain management, and led to the generation of a set of principles known as supply chain ethics. Investors and consumers are influenced by how companies manufacture their products and handle their workforce. Consequently, companies respond by introducing measures to control waste and reduce environmental impact. 29. What are the benefits of supply chain management? (i) SCM reduces the cost of running a business. It achieves this by decreasing purchasing and production expenditures. (ii) It develops partnerships that can foster future growth.  (iii) It balances the supply of products according to market demand. (iv)It provides effective and efficient customer service. 30. Will supply chain management be automated? It’s implausible that supply chains will be fully automated currently. They might be fully automated in the future. Currently, many businesses prioritize implementing new automotive technologies for tedious and manual tasks. Although supply chains are trending towards an automated future, there’s a long way to go. The early adopters can benefit the most by surpassing digitally immature competitors via supply chain automation. These types of supply chain questions can help predict the supply chain management’s future. 31. What do you think is the most important component of a supply chain? This is one of the most important supply chain management interview questions where you must answer that a supply chain’s most important component is customer happiness. Then continue that, ‘This is so that items and services can be delivered to clients on schedule, in acceptable condition, and to their satisfaction or beyond—the ultimate goal of any supply chain.’  ‘Many supply chain components, including demand planning, inventory control, logistics, and transportation, must cooperate well in order to accomplish this goal.’ 32. Do you believe your knowledge of current supply chain management trends is current? To ensure their prospective employees stay ahead of the competition and adopt cutting-edge solutions, many corporate employers choose to ask supply chain management interview questions like this to see if the candidate is current on industry technology innovation trends. So, discuss some of the technology and interview questions you’ve recently learned about for supply chain management and how they could help the company. Here’s How To Answer Exactly: “A few days ago, I came across a trend about transportation handling software applications. It incorporated all operations beginning at a single panel through the use of automated monitoring systems. Productivity levels can be greatly increased by using this panel, which can be operated from a mobile unit to control inventory volumes, supervise distributions, and handle shipments from any location.” 33. What steps do you undertake to get prepped for the holiday season? During the holiday season, many enterprises hit their highest-ever sales volume due to the unexpected influx of sales and revenue. Employers who prepare for this significant spike in sales are typically desired by hiring managers. Describe this plan in your response. Here’s how to answer these types of supply chain management interview questions exactly: “I will order extra materials and supplies for things in high demand after reviewing the sales figures from previous Christmas seasons. I will then contact our transportation staff and provide them with an overview of the shipment and delivery schedule for the next few months.” 34. Which software have you utilized for supply chain management? Employers ask these supply chain management interview questions to look for solid familiarity with widely used software solutions to document updates on their products’ manufacture and delivery status. In your response, please describe how you connect with workers, delivery drivers, suppliers, and manufacturers using communication technologies. Example: “At my previous job, I discovered and modified a software program that let us keep an eye on supply and inventory levels, manage transportation hubs, and work well with customers. By using this software, we were able to boost our efficiency by 20%.” 35. Are you able to distinguish between Direct and Indirect Channels of Distribution? The channels of direct distribution do not involve any middlemen. The manufacturer makes direct sales to customers. Direct distribution channels are excellent for small enterprises. Large-scale productions work best with indirect distribution channels, which are dependent on wholesale suppliers. Furthermore, they raise fees in response to the availability of outside vendors and channel partners between the business and the customer. 36. How do you manage tight deadlines and high-pressure circumstances in the supply chain? Could you describe a time when you handled similar situations well? By asking supply chain management interview questions like this, employers look for someone who can give a concrete example of handling a high-pressure situation, exhibits great time management abilities, and maintains composure under duress. So, tell that: “I prioritize tasks, collaborate with the team well, and concentrate on problem-solving when faced with tight deadlines.” For example, we once had a production delay that could have affected a crucial delivery to a customer. I immediately examined the situation, reassigned resources, and worked with the manufacturing and logistics teams to speed up the process. We were able to fulfill the customer’s order and meet the deadline with efficient coordination, which guaranteed customer happiness and preserved commercial ties.” 37. Has there ever been an unforeseen delay with a shipment at your warehouse? How did you respond to the circumstance? Unexpected delays in shipments are possible. Although it’s one of the most commonly asked supply chain management interview questions or interview questions for supply chain management employers will want to know how you prevent a significant decline in customer happiness and productivity from occurring. A workable solution that maintains supplier and customer satisfaction in this scenario should be included in your response. Here’s What You Must Reply: “I’ll get in touch with the driver or supplier if there’s a delay to find out why and to get an updated delivery date. I would then determine if we had bought any extra supplies to replace the ones that were delayed by looking at our buffer inventory.” 38. How are you going to go about negotiating supplier contracts? When faced with supply chain management interview questions or supply chain interview questions and answers of such an advanced level, reply subtly like this: “My strategy in contract negotiations with suppliers will be to outline our requirements and expectations precisely, point out any potential threats, and work toward a win-win solution. To negotiate advantageous terms and conditions, I will carry out market research to comprehend supplier capabilities and price structures. The secret to successful supplier negotiations is relationship-building, open communication, and transparency.” 39. How would you manage a group of supply chain experts using your leadership style? How do you inspire and drive your group to produce outstanding outcomes? Supply chain management interview questions or interview questions about supply chain management like this are commonly asked by employers looking for candidates with strong motivating abilities, effective leadership, and a commitment to producing outstanding results. An example response would be, “As a leader, I want a participative leadership style in which I value the opinions of my team members and involve them in decision-making. I provide team members clear instructions, realistic goals, and the freedom to control their work. By acknowledging and applauding accomplishments, offering frequent coaching and feedback, and cultivating a positive work atmosphere, I inspire and motivate my team. My team members have flourished when I foster a culture of constant enhancement and support their professional growth, which has led to high output and consistently superior outcomes.” 40. What is your procedure for locating suppliers for a product that has 100 pieces? Prospective employers could ask these types of supply chain management interview questions to inquire about supplier-finding procedures for larger products by posing situational questions. Describe a procedure you’ve used to collect materials for a big project in the past. Here’s an illustration: “I would collaborate with our product team to identify the supplies we require. I would look through our supply chain management system to see if we already do business with current suppliers that stock comparable goods. I would get in touch with them to make sure they could supply us what we need in terms of quantity and quality at a fair cost.” 41. How will you respond to unforeseen interruptions in stock? Here’s a proper response to supply chain management interview questions of such an advanced level: “Operations in the supply chain can be significantly impacted by unforeseen stock outages. In my capacity as a supply chain specialist, I will collaborate directly with suppliers to promptly and efficiently detect and address issues, utilizing technology and data to maximize inventory control and minimize upcoming interruptions. I can make sure that my company is prepared to handle any unanticipated stock disruptions by remaining flexible and keeping in regular contact with suppliers.” 42. Are you familiar with both upstream and downstream production processes? Obtaining the materials required to make a product is known as an upstream production process. The process of employing these goods to market a finished product is known as downstream production. Explain your familiarity with these phrases from the industry and how you apply them in your work. Tell that: “I work closely with our team to identify the materials required to obtain high-quality items for our products when managing the upstream process. I collaborate with our customer support teams to choose which enhancements to add to our product line during downstream manufacturing.” 43. Describe what you learned from a recent book or article you read about supply chain management. Managers ask supply chain management interview questions or supply chain interview questions and answers like this to be sure you’re aware of the most recent developments in the supply chain sector so they can make sure you’re modifying your approach appropriately. Describe a specific publication or article you’ve read and the insights you received from it. So, simply say, “I recently noticed a publication describing how predictive analytics is being used by big data and AI to improve the accuracy of demand and route planning. By guaranteeing that goods are delivered on time, this new approach has the potential to significantly increase supply chain management efficiencies.” 44. Can you put new supply chain technology into practice? To answer intermediate supply chain management interview questions for freshers or supply chain management questions like this, follow this response: “Indeed! Keeping up with evolving technology is something I enjoy doing well, and I really like using them to enhance Supply Chain operations. I’ve worked with a variety of technology implementations, such as inventory tracking programs, transportation management software, and automated warehousing systems. By embracing innovations, we may raise overall supply chain performance, save costs, and increase efficiency. I’m constantly eager to learn about and use new technology in order to achieve success.” Conclusion Supply chain jobs spread through a vast canvas, both nationally and overseas. Thus, you can choose job profiles either locally or regionally within the country. And if you love travel-oriented jobs, many supply chain managerial roles require traveling both nationally and internationally from time to time. As more and more companies realize the true potential of a well-articulated supply chain management system, the demand for skilled and certified supply chain professionals will increase simultaneously. 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. Learn Supply Chain Analytics Courses online from the World’s top Universities. Earn Masters, Executive PGP, or Advanced Certificate Programs to fast-track your career.
Read More

by Sandeep Pereira

16 May 2024

Different Methods and Types of Demand Forecasting Explained
5013
In my tech job, predicting demand has become crucial, like guessing the weather for our products in the fast-paced tech world. Think of it as a crystal ball helping us understand what customers want. For instance, when we launched a new gadget with fancy features, we expected a big demand. But analyzing sales data and feedback showed customers wanted a longer battery life instead. This taught us the importance of accurate demand forecasting. Simply put, demand forecasting is like a map guiding us through market uncertainties. It means using data to predict what customers will want, so our products meet their expectations. It’s not just about numbers; it’s about adapting and staying ahead in tech. This blog covers what demand forecasting is, why it’s vital for business, the different types and methods, and the challenges we face. Let’s understand the importance of demand forecasting in detail through this blog. What is Demand Forecasting? Demand forecasting is like predicting what customers will want in the future. Businesses use past data, market analysis, and math to guess what people might buy. This helps them manage things like how much stock to have, what to produce, and where to put resources. Getting it right makes everything run smoother – it cuts down on extra stuff in storage, and customers are happier when products are always available. Especially in a world where people’s preferences change a lot, being good at demand forecasting helps businesses stay competitive and do well in the market. The Logistics and Supply Chain Management Courses from MSU provide an excellent opportunity for both aspiring individuals and professionals already engaged in this field to gain comprehensive knowledge in areas such as demand forecasting and overall logistics and supply chain management.  Why is Demand Forecasting crucial for Business? Demand forecasting is crucial for businesses because it serves as a strategic guide, helping navigate the unpredictable market terrain. Predicting future customer needs enables effective planning and optimization of inventory, production, and resource allocation. This accuracy prevents wasteful excesses or frustrating shortages, streamlining operations and reducing costs. Customer satisfaction is boosted by consistent product availability.   In the ever-changing market, adapting empowers businesses to adapt swiftly, make informed decisions, and maintain competitiveness. It’s not just about numbers; it’s a linchpin for financial planning, risk management, and establishing a resilient market position. Ultimately, demand forecasting is the compass steering businesses toward efficiency, adaptability, and sustained growth.  Types of Demand Forecasting A question always comes to everyone’s mind: ‘What is demand forecasting and its methods?’. Demand forecasting is like predicting what people will want to buy in the future so businesses can plan better.   There are different ways to do this depending on the business and the information available. Here are some types:  Passive Demand Forecasting:  In simple terms, passive demand forecasting is like making predictions that run on autopilot. Companies use past data and trends to guess future sales, but it’s not great for rapidly growing businesses or busy markets. It suits well for stable sales and steady growth in calm markets.  Active Demand Forecasting:  Active demand forecasting is the opposite of passive. It’s personalized, involves diverse information not easily processed by computers, and uses specialized knowledge and suitable statistical methods each time. Fast-growing companies in dynamic markets need active forecasting, as relying on past performance alone is insufficient for predicting future outcomes.  Artificial Intelligence Forecasting:   While technically active forecasting, the rise of AI and new machine learning methods suggests the potential for more adaptable forecasts without human input. Though human checks are wise, passive demand forecasting, now automated in ERP systems, may blur the line between passive and active methods.  Short-term Demand Forecasting:  Short-term demand forecasting predicts sales in the near future. The definition of “short-term” varies, but it often spans a quarter to a year. Companies may use it more specifically, such as forecasting weekend sales or holiday sales based on recent trends.  Long-term Demand Forecasting:  Long-term projections, spanning years, may lack the precision of short-term forecasts due to evolving assumptions and unforeseen business decisions. Yet, even if not entirely accurate, they serve as useful tools for creating roadmaps and addressing hypothetical scenarios, aiding planners in preparing for various outcomes. A slightly accurate long-term forecast can still contribute significantly to planning efforts.  Internal (micro-level) Demand Forecasting:  Here, “micro” refers to microeconomics, not small size. Microeconomic forecasts concentrate on company and consumer behavior. They utilize firm-level data and customer information to predict specific product and service demand, incorporating historical sales, financial metrics, and sales team projections.  External (macro-level) Demand Forecasting:  Macro-level demand forecasting considers broader trends and widespread factors for organizational planning. It assesses industry growth, customer financial situations, competitive dynamics, and innovation impact. While not all firms can answer these questions, external sources like public data and sector forecasts offer valuable insights. Such macro-level forecasts aid decisions on business expansion, risk assessment, and trade-offs between existing and new products.  Demand Forecasting Methods Survey Methods  Statistical Methods  There are mainly 2 types of demand forecasting methods, which are Survey Methods and Statistical methods. Over the internet, there are various methods of demand forecasting available. However, the ones that are most used are:  Survey Methods In my experience, diving into the sample survey method of demand forecasting felt like having a direct line to customers and experts. Imagine it as a virtual chat with potential buyers and industry gurus, asking them about their thoughts and preferences. This personalized approach becomes a lifesaver, especially when dealing with new and groundbreaking products with scarce past information. It’s like turning to the audience for advice before launching something brand new, ensuring we’re not just guessing but hearing straight from the source what people want. Survey methods, in this context, became a personalized compass guiding us through the uncharted territory of customer expectations. Common survey methods of demand forecasting include:  Market Research Surveys: Conduct surveys among target customers to understand their preferences, buying behavior, and potential demand for specific products or services.  Expert Opinion: Seeking input from industry experts, sales representatives, or other knowledgeable individuals who can provide insights into market trends and potential demand.  Focus Groups: Bringing together a small, diverse group of individuals to discuss and provide feedback on a product or service, helping to uncover potential demand drivers.  While survey methods can offer valuable qualitative insights, they may be subject to biases, and the accuracy relies on the quality of the questions and the representativeness of the sample.  Statistical Methods In my journey, the usage of statistical methods for demand forecasting felt like deciphering a secret code hidden in historical data. It’s like using a mathematical crystal ball, translating past patterns into predictions for the future. These methods were my go-to in established markets, where a rich history of sales data became the guiding star for making quantitative forecasts. It’s akin to being a data detective, unlocking insights from the past to navigate the predictability of more mature markets. Statistical methods, in my experience, were the trusted compass for steering through the known waters of stable market landscapes. Key statistical methods of demand forecasting include:  Time Series Analysis:  Moving Averages: Smoothens fluctuations by calculating average demand over specific time intervals.  Exponential Smoothing: Assigns weights to recent data, giving more importance to the latest observations.  Causal Models:  Regression Analysis: Identifies relationships between demand and other influencing factors, allowing for a more nuanced understanding of demand drivers.  Machine Learning Techniques:  Artificial Neural Networks (ANN): Utilizes advanced algorithms to identify complex patterns in historical data, adapting to changing market dynamics.  Support Vector Machines (SVM): Classifies and analyzes data, particularly useful in nonlinear relationships within demand data.  Statistical methods offer a more quantitative and data-driven approach to demand forecasting, providing objective insights. However, they require accurate and sufficient historical data, and their effectiveness may diminish in highly dynamic or unpredictable markets. Often, a combination of survey and statistical methods is employed to enhance the robustness of demand forecasting models. Regular evaluation and adjustment of these methods ensure adaptability to changing market conditions.  Examples of Demand Forecasting   Demand forecasting is integral to various industries, aiding in strategic planning and resource optimization. Here are concise examples of demand forecasting applications:  Retail Industry:  Inventory Management: In my retail experience, demand forecasting for inventory management was like fine-tuning a musical score. Balancing stock levels prevented headaches of overstock or shortages, hitting the right notes for sales and customer satisfaction.  Technology Sector:  Product Launches: In my tech role, demand forecasting for product launches was like predicting the popularity of a new song. It guided production, ensuring we met demand without excess inventory.  Automotive Manufacturing:  In my role in the automotive industry, demand forecasting for production planning was like orchestrating a symphony. It ensured efficient schedules, minimizing costs by producing the right vehicle models at the right time.  Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG):  Supply Chain Efficiency: In my experience in the fast-moving consumer goods sector, demand forecasting for supply chain efficiency was like conducting a well-timed orchestra. It prevented stockouts and trimmed storage costs seamlessly.  E-commerce:  Logistics Optimization: In my e-commerce journey, demand forecasting for logistics optimization was like plotting the best route on a map. It ensured on-time deliveries, cutting shipping and warehouse costs effectively.  Pharmaceuticals:  Drug Manufacturing: In my pharmaceutical role, demand forecasting for drug manufacturing felt like maintaining a lifeline. It ensured a steady supply of medications, meeting healthcare demands consistently and on time.  These examples showcase the versatility of demand forecasting across industries, highlighting its role in minimizing operational inefficiencies, improving customer satisfaction, and supporting overall business success.  Issues with Demand Forecasting   In my journey, demand forecasting often felt like steering a ship through unpredictable seas. Market changes and uncertainties, like consumer whims or unforeseen events, created constant challenges. Predicting new products or evolving markets felt like reading a fortune with limited historical data. It’s like trying to forecast the weather; unexpected events can throw off even the best plans. Relying solely on one method felt like placing all bets on a single horse. Flexibility and diversity in approaches became the sails helping navigate this unpredictable sea, acknowledging that, despite technological advancements, achieving absolute precision in demand forecasting remains a goal constantly tested by the complexities of the business environment.  Implementing Demand Forecasting in Practice   Embarking on-demand forecasting felt like orchestrating a symphony of data. We delved into historical records market trends and wielded advanced analytics tools. It’s a systematic dance, blending insights and quantitative models, where technology, like machine learning, became our virtuoso. With a collaborative spirit, accurate data, and regular check-ins, a harmonious forecast emerged. This data-driven melody guided inventory, production, and supply chain maneuvers, refining our operational rhythm. Continuous monitoring and adaptability became our encore, responding to the ever-changing market cadence. This symphony of demand forecasting, with its feedback loops, ensured our business stayed in tune with dynamic market demands.  Conclusion   In conclusion, demand forecasting stands as a vital strategic tool for businesses, guiding decision-making and optimizing resources. By harnessing historical data, market insights, and advanced analytics, companies enhance operational efficiency, minimize costs, and respond adeptly to market dynamics. This proactive approach enables effective inventory management, production planning, and supply chain optimization. Despite inherent challenges and uncertainties, the continuous evolution of demand forecasting methodologies, including technology integration and collaborative approaches, empowers businesses to navigate changing market landscapes. Ultimately, the ability to anticipate and meet customer demand positions organizations for sustained success in today’s dynamic and competitive business environment. 
Read More

by Shashank Jain

27 Feb 2024

Supply Chain Management Salary in India in 2023 [For Freshers & Experienced]
903139
It wouldn’t be overstating things to say that Supply Chain Management (SCM) is full of risks and unprecedented crises. Case on point — Sony’s 2004 PlayStation 2 launch fiasco. Sony shipped its PS2s from China well in advance hoping to make it in time for Christmas. But fate had something else planned. A cargo ship ended up blocking the consignment indefinitely and Sony had to fly in the consoles long after the damage was done and Christmas had passed. Granted a supply chain manager’s job is highly rewarding but it is also one of the more challenging positions out there. As global expansion becomes increasingly eminent, the role of a supply chain manager in any company is one of great responsibilities. There is growing demand for supply chain managers in the world and this reflects in their increasing salaries. No wonder the supply chain manager salary is decent. The logistics fresher salary in India is also decent when you start with basic supply chain management jobs. Let’s find out more about a supply chain manager’s salary, their roles and responsibilities, and required educational qualification. Read: Essential management skills for a successful career What does a Supply Chain Manager Do? The global supply chain is booming and companies are constantly importing raw materials from different parts of the world. How these raw materials are transported from their source to destination requires efficient handling at both ends. It is a supply manager’s job to ensure the smooth-running of operations from service to inventory and keep businesses going, while fulfilling all requirements in between. Our Learners also read: Best Communication skills course online free! They have an active role in almost every aspect of import and export, from sourcing to customer support. A typical day in a supply chain manager’s job includes: Procuring raw materials/services from different parts of the world and managing orders. Supervising logistics operations, and deliveries. Streamlining packaging and shipping operations. Reducing costs in an organisation’s supply chain Increasing productivity and efficiency by creating proper schedules and activities, and reviewing performance records. Managing orders, returns and optimizing inventory Strategizing ways to include new products by forming productive relationships. Steering the company clear of lawsuits Dealing with end-customers Purchasing, development and deployment of products. Even though the above-mentioned responsibilities are included in the day-to-day tasks of a supply chain manager, on an average he/she does not have to perform every task regularly. It depends on what requires his attention on a particular day. Also Read: Demand of Supply Chain Management Importance of Supply Chain Management in the Indian Market Streamlining Operations Effective SCM is synonymous with efficiency. By streamlining operations, businesses can optimize resources, reduce costs, and enhance productivity. However, this efficiency becomes especially critical in a market as dynamic and diverse as India, where adaptability is key. Meeting Customer Demands In a market driven by consumer demands, a customer-centric approach is non-negotiable. SCM ensures that products are available when and where consumers want them. This not only fosters customer satisfaction but also builds brand loyalty – a priceless commodity in the Indian market. Managing Diverse Markets India’s vast and diverse landscape presents a unique challenge for businesses. Supply Chain Management acts as the linchpin, coordinating the movement of goods across different states and regions. It’s the glue that holds together the intricate puzzle of logistics in a country with varied cultures and consumption patterns. Navigating Complexities The Indian market, while full of opportunities, also comes with its fair share of regulatory complexities. SCM professionals play a crucial role in navigating this maze, ensuring compliance with diverse regulations governing transportation, storage, and distribution. This becomes paramount for sustained business success. Resilience in Supply In a market prone to uncertainties, building resilience in the supply chain is imperative. Natural disasters, geopolitical tensions, or unforeseen disruptions can disrupt the flow of goods. A robust SCM strategy equips businesses to mitigate risks, allowing for quick recovery and minimal impact on operations. Supply Chain Management Salary in India Supply Chain Manager salaries in India vary depending on the location, experience levels and the companies they are employed in. According to PayScale, the annual compensation for a Supply Chain Manager in India starts from ₹301k and goes upto ₹2m. Overtime and bonuses are quite common in the field. Supply chain managers also enjoy a wide range of health benefits. Let’s look at a supply chain manager’s salary based on the level of experience he brings into the job. Entry-Level — A newly employed supply chain manager who has less than 1 year’s experience can earn ₹340,334 per year on an average. Early-Career — Someone with upto 4 years experience in managing supply chains can earn an average of ₹340,334 annually. Mid-Career — With upto 9 years of experience, a supply chain manager stands to earn average compensation of ₹821,516 annually. Experienced —  An average compensation of ₹1,487,178 per year is given to an experienced supply chain manager with over 10 years of experience. Late-Career — This level requires a minimum of 20 years of experience. Here, someone in the SCM position can earn upto ₹1,503,217 annually. Checkout:  Supply Chain Management Interview Questions The top careers in supply chain management or supply chain management jobs that are in high demand are as follows- #1  Logistician Logistics need people. Supply chain as an industry would cease to exist in the absence of logisticians. You can handle management or even analyst-related roles if you are qualified in supply chain management. You will need to have an eye for details, clever observation skills, and be active enough to fuel improvements. You do not get a good supply chain manager salary without essential skills.  #2 Purchasing manager In case you have a higher inclination on the business side of things in supply chain management, a purchasing-related profile might be relevant for you. This is a role similar to that of an industrial shopper. You get to make purchases in large batches for company goods or even equipment relevant to manufacturing and transport operations.  The top skills you need for making it big as a supply chain professional are clear communication, good negotiation, and smart management of client relations. #3  Data analyst If managing sales, schedules, and inventory is your thing, then this role is a good fit. Supply chain management works with immense loads of data.  In fact, this domain uses analytics and big data other than the typical statistical methods to leverage the best possible outcome with available data. #4  Supply chain engineers For this profile, you must have skills in applied mathematics, IT, as well as logistics for optimizing all aspects of supply chain operation. Only then will you be able to meet up with customer demand.  You might be able to tap work in either the manufacturing, the warehousing, or even the transporting niches. You can work on developing the right algorithms to streamline the overall distribution of goods. Even the logistics fresher salary in India is decent, to begin with when you start in this field. Hence, considering expansive opportunities under supply chain management jobs, candidates must try their hands at the lucrative field. Educational Background and Skills Required for Supply Chain Management Most supply chain management positions require a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a focus on SCM. This can get you into the field as a purchasing manager, logistician, and transportation manager, among others. Supply chain managers are expected to have a combination of some soft and hard skills that include: strong analytical ability, listening skills, effective presentation skills, knowledge of computer systems, accounting and finance, and a basic understanding of multiple cultures, to name a few. They are also expected to be critical thinkers with a knack in mathematics and data analysis to maximise the productivity and efficiency of the organisation they are a part of. They are required to have basic knowledge of analytical tools, databases and management softwares. Read: Product manager growth and career options. Time management and prioritisation are considered to be important skills as a supply chain manager has multiple important tasks in a day. Further, since it is part of his job description to foster productive relationships with new clients and suppliers, communication and listening skills, and persuasive negotiating skills. Usually, a supply manager acquires most of his soft skills while training on the job. Most supply chain managers today are trained in artifical intelligence and machine learning, IoT, Big Data, among others. There are several certification courses a supply chain manager can take up to gain an advantage over his peers. Some of these are: Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM), Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM), and Certified Supply Chain Management Professional (CSCP). Read: Boost your product manager career by joining the management program from IMT Ghaziabad. Careers in Supply Chain Management A background in supply chain management and respective expertise can land you any one of the following titles: 1. Purchasing Managers Often referred to as procurement managers, they are responsible for fulfilling purchase orders of products/services. Sometimes, they are also employed as material managers. Purchase managers directly interact with suppliers to procure materials and are required to have strong communication and negotiation skills. It is estimated that the requirement of purchasing managers is expected to grow by 9% in the coming years in the food, health and hospitality sectors, among others. 2. Logistics Manager Logistics managers are responsible for the day-to-day management of warehouses and storage facilities. They are tasked with the transportation and movement of raw materials, goods and services. They are basically responsible for soliciting coordination and scheduling these duties. Logistics managers mostly work with supply chain managers and operations managers however, sometimes they take up the responsibilities of both these positions, especially when working in small to medium-size companies. Logistic managers are employed in almost every industry from manufacturing to retail. 3. Transportation Manager As the title suggests, transportation managers handle transportation operations. They work closely with the logistics departments and employ trucking companies in their operations. Any service that requires movement of goods from one place to another has transportation managers working for them. 4. Logistics Analysts They are mostly employed in manufacturing, hospitality, food and automotive industries, among others. Their primary goal is to analyse data from logistics departments to improve supply chain operations. It is estimated that the job will experience a 5-9% growth by 2026. Factors that Impact Supply Chain Manager Salaries Education Supply chain managers with advanced degrees, such as a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) or a specialized supply chain management degree, often command higher salaries. Educational qualifications not only showcase expertise but also signal commitment to the field. Experience Experience is the golden ticket in the supply chain industry. Seasoned professionals who have weathered the storms of logistics, procurement, and distribution are highly valued. Supply chain managers with a wealth of experience are handsomely rewarded for their ability to navigate challenges and optimize processes, making them indispensable assets to organizations. Industry The industry in which you work plays a pivotal role in determining your salary. Supply chain managers in sectors with intricate and demanding supply networks, such as pharmaceuticals or technology, often receive higher compensation due to the complexity of their roles. Research the industries that align with your interests and ambitions to maximize your earning potential. Geographic Location Geography matters. Logistics and supply chain management salary of managers can vary significantly based on the region. For instance, working in a bustling metropolis may come with a higher cost of living, but it often translates to a more generous salary. Consider the geographical nuances of the job market and weigh them against your personal preferences and financial goals. Skills and Certifications In the rapidly evolving supply chain landscape, possessing in-demand skills and certifications can catapult your earning potential. From expertise in data analytics to certifications in lean management, continuously honing your skills adds value to your profile. Employers are willing to pay a premium for professionals who bring a diverse skill set to the table. How to Increase Your Supply Chain Management Salary? Evaluate Your Skills and Education First of all evaluate your current skill set as well as educational background. After that, consider pursuing certifications or advanced degrees in supply chain management that help in enhancing the salary. Certifications like Certified Supply Chain Professional or Certified in Production and Inventory Management can enhance an individual expertise and make you more valuable to employers. Showcase Your Achievements Next is to highlight your accomplishments in your resume and during job interviews. For that, take the help of specific examples to demonstrate how you’ve improved processes, reduced costs, or streamlined operations in your previous roles. Showcasing tangible achievements can set you apart from other candidates and justify a higher salary. Stay Informed About Industry Trends Ensure to always stay updated with the latest news and technologies in supply chain management. For that ensure to attend conferences, webinars, and workshops to expand your knowledge. Being well-informed about industry innovations will make you a valuable asset to your organization, potentially leading to salary increments. Negotiate Effectively When it comes to your salary, preparation is the key to success. Research salary benchmarks for your position in your industry and location. Clearly articulate your value to the company and be prepared to negotiate confidently. Practice your negotiation skills to ensure you are comfortable discussing compensation. Network Strategically Build a strong professional network within the supply chain management community. Attend industry events, join online forums, and connect with professionals on LinkedIn. Networking can open doors to new careers, mentorship, and insider knowledge about job openings that may offer higher salaries. Explore Specializations Consider specializing in a niche area within supply chain management. Specializations such as logistics, procurement, or demand planning can make you a sought-after expert, increasing your value in the job market. Employers often pay a premium for specialists with in-depth knowledge and skills. Supply Chain Management Career Path Supply chain managers have a promising career path ahead of them. Most get promoted to a senior-level position, while others choose to opt for a General/Operations Manager’s position, or become a Supply Chain Specialist. Each role comes with a significant increase in salaries and job responsibilities. Entry-level supply managers can also move to upper management and director roles. As per the 2020 Logistics Management Annual Salary Survey, further education in the field, certification courses and training are the best way to make advancements in supply chain management. A background in management, supply chain, transportation, etc are considered to be valuable while charting a path ahead. Specialist or Analyst Roles If individuals have some experience, people often progress into specialized or analyst roles like transportation analyst, supply planner, or demand planner. These positions involve more focused and specialized responsibilities within specific segments of the supply chain. Here, professionals hone their expertise and contribute to the efficiency of critical supply chain functions. Supervisory or Managerial Roles As skills and experience grow, the natural progression is into supervisory or managerial roles. Seasoned professionals may find themselves leading a team or overseeing entire supply chain processes as warehouse supervisors, procurement managers, or supply chain managers. It’s a phase where leadership and decision-making skills come to the forefront. Director or Executive Positions For those who aspire to broader responsibilities, the next step may be director or executive positions. Here, individuals make strategic decisions, manage diverse supply chain operations, and shape the overall supply chain strategy of an organization. It’s about taking the helm and guiding the ship towards success. Leadership or C-level Positions The pinnacle of a supply chain management career often involves reaching leadership or C-level positions. Individuals may find themselves in roles like vice president of the supply chain, chief supply chain officer (CSCO), or chief operating officer (COO). These positions demand high-level strategic planning, organizational leadership, and driving innovation throughout the entire supply chain. It’s the culmination of years of dedication and expertise in the dynamic world of supply chain management. Read: Product management career path and its scope Conclusion Supply Chain Management was at the receiving end of major disruption at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the post-COVID world has seen tremendous growth in this sector. As companies operations have restarted with renewed vigour, the requirement of individuals with experience in SCM is high. There hasn’t been a better time than now to opt for a career in supply chain management. So, go for it! 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. Learn Supply Chain Analytics Courses online from the World’s top Universities. Earn Masters, Executive PGP, or Advanced Certificate Programs to fast-track your career.
Read More

by Sandeep Pereira

18 Feb 2024

Basic Components of Supply Chain Management
6969
Supply chain management covers every aspect of a product’s lifecycle, right from obtaining its raw materials to delivering a full-fledged product made out of it to customers. A supply chain is made out of diverse, interconnected businesses offering assistance on various stages of the chain. Although these businesses vary in nature and primary functions, they all combine to form a uniform chain to develop products and deliver them to customers. Elements of supply chain management work on conceptual models to stabilise the entire process. However, a large part of it relies entirely on practicality to adhere to market demands and customer expectations. The fluctuating supply chain market frequently faces disruptions and varying challenges that can be overcome using the right set of supply chain strategies. Yet, what stays the same are the basics of supply chain management. The fundamental components of the supply chain account for its most significant features creating the foundation of the entire management for businesses to work and thrive with time.  One of the most critical factors of supply chain management is to devise strategies that promise customer satisfaction and a good profit margin. To achieve both of these objectives, it is pivotal to understand and leverage all the core components of supply chain management. Here are the five components of supply chain management. Planning The first process of supply chain management is planning. Creating a blueprint before initiating any process is imperative, so planning out supply chain management at every unit is necessary for a smooth project compilation. Planning requires leading figures to leverage analytical data, available resources, and customer expectations around the product to roll out a detailed plan for a smooth, successful production. Planning keeps account of cash flow and resources to maximise restricted assets for optimised operation. Moreover, it solves product, logistic, and distribution-based issues.  Sourcing Sourcing refers to identifying suppliers and vendors to source raw materials and services. It is the most crucial step of supply chain management as cost-effective practices can be applied here for overall efficiency economically. The step requires management to seek out reliable suppliers offering high-quality material compliant with the budget restrictions and delivery at the stipulated time. An inefficient supplier is more than likely to cause harm to the entire supply chain. Being connected to one another, each element makes it significant to seek reliable vendors for sourcing materials. A company must explore all options before seeking out the best in the industry. Production After sourcing the essentials of the product, the next crucial step is production. Production includes all the processes required to transform supplied raw materials into the final product. This part of the supply chain incorporates procedures such as assembling, testing, packaging and the final assembly to deliver it among distributors. Various factors may influence the production line, such as a delay in sourcing materials, quality of the materials, and customer feedback, which may help improve or make other changes in the production. The production looks over the key features of any product that includes its conformity with established industry standards and the amount of product being produced in the supply chain. Delivery Delivery of the product goes through several steps from manufacturing centres, including storage in warehouses, distribution among local retailers, or supply through diverse channels such as e-commerce portals to reach its recipient. Timely transportation is crucial at every stage of supply chain management, but the delivery of products at the right time demands extra vigilance with time restrictions. Companies leverage air, rail or road transportation mediums to have seamless delivery of products to local retailers. Another crucial aspect of delivery besides time is zero damage. Transportation can inflict significant damages on products if the containing material is not secured vigilantly. Hence, an added aspect of this supply chain component is to ensure product safety by all means.  Return This component deals with post-delivery customer services, a crucial part of customer service. Suppose customers receive a damaged or malfunctioning product. In that case, manufacturers must take care of it either by repairing, or most likely, replacing it with a new product. Customer satisfaction is the driving force for supply management chains to run. Imagine an unhappy customer leaving unsatisfactory comments for your brand. Not only do you lose this one customer, but hundreds of others who access those comments. The return or reverse logistics ensure good customer relations and a good brand reputation in the long run. A reliable supply chain management processes multiple such requests in advance without affecting the production line. Importance of Supply Chain Management Components Basic components of supply chain management draw a massive impact on the production following which, any business can boost their productivity and profitability. It divides the whole supply chain process into five parts to bring value out, each with stern vigilance and quality checks on each of them. A successful supply chain management system requires each element to work efficiently towards customer satisfaction. These five components prepare a blueprint for the processes to comply and create a stellar system while generating optimal profitability. Our Top Management Programs & Articles Product Management Certification Program from Duke CE Leadership and Management in New-Age Business from Wharton Online Top 4 Functions of Management Process Explained Leadership and Management in New-Age Business from Wharton PG Program in Management from IMT 5 Key Skills Required for Successful Management Career & How To Achieve Those Skills? 8 Crucial Business Management Skills Every Manager Should Have Why Should You Consider Product Management as a Career Option? Top 7 Career Options in Management To Choose [For Freshers & Experienced]   A career in Supply Chain Management In 2020, the projected global supply chain market was valued at 15.85 billion U.S. dollars, and by 2026, it is expected to reach a market value of 31 billion U.S. dollars. So imagine the market opportunity it will offer to supply chain management career seekers.  Being an interdisciplinary field, supply chain management offers immense opportunities for learners from diverse courses. As long as applicants are skilled with the required expertise, supply chain management has a place for everyone. Along with an undergraduate degree, masters in the relevant discipline gives you an edge over other candidates to bag attractive opportunities in the supply chain management field. Experience and added certifications also contribute to increased chances of getting hired. If you are looking for supply chain management certifications from leading educational institutions, then upGrad has your back! upGrad offers a Global Master Certificate in Integrated Supply Chain Management provided by the leading Michigan State University. The course is equipped with best-in-class content to equip learners with an industry-ready course structure. The program aims to educate learners with brilliant supply chain management practices to introduce cost-effective strategies delivering operational excellence through all the supply chain stages.  With a learner base of 40,000+ students across 85+ nations, upGrad extends educational services explicitly created to prepare learners for the industry. Along with an official certificate from the leading universities at course completion, the platform also extends features such as career guidance, 24/7 student support, industry network, interactive discussion, and international academic support to fuel your dreams with the proper guidance. Technology for Improved Supply Chain Management The evolution of the latest technologies can help with the smooth operation of the basic components of supply chain management. The key technologies revolutionizing the field of supply chain management are as follows: IoT IoT involves combining physical objects like software, electronics, and sensors with internet-powered data transfer and collection. It supports real-time communication, enabling the initiation of physical systems without human intervention. IoT helps with the digitization of supply chains, leading to fully-integrated ecosystems. These connected supply chains are completely transparent to the manufacturing, product development, distribution, and marketing departments.  Big Data and Advanced Analytics The Internet of Things has increased the amount of data that businesses have to evaluate every day. Big data and advanced analytics provide better insights into supply chain operations. Therefore, businesses are able to detect inefficiencies and make improvements.  Several techniques for data analytics have been automated into mechanical algorithms and processes to work on data for human consumption. It enables organizations to make informed decisions and risk management efforts in their supply chain operations.   Robotic Process Automation Robotic Process Automation can be incorporated into different components of supply chain management for faster and more accurate operations. Robots are better than manual laborers in terms of productivity and uptime. But robots won’t replace human workers and instead enable supply chain managers to improve inefficiencies across the supply chain with the help of automation.  Automation will become more popular as businesses focus on satisfying the requirements of omnichannel supply chains. Automating different aspects of supply chain management will lead to greater agility and flexibility. Some warehouse activities like sorting, counting, and transporting items can be easily automated with the help of robots.  Some large supply chain organizations are focused on leveraging self-driven cars to minimize labor expenses. It will also contribute to fuel economy and reduce the possibility of human harm on the road. All these efforts across the supply chain will contribute to greater ROIs for businesses.   Artificial Intelligence Artificial intelligence is the driving force behind automating different elements of supply chain management. AI, with the help of machine learning, makes businesses more proactive in responding to demand changes. For instance, supply chain managers use AI-based forecasting tools to plan different operations and detect cost-saving opportunities.  Artificial intelligence tools also support real-time reporting and various interactive data visualization techniques. Advanced algorithms based on machine learning and predictive analysis are used to improve planning and decision support systems, automate time-consuming warehousing operations, and identify buying patterns.  Blockchain  Blockchain is considerably improving how retailers and consumer-packaged goods manufacturers are operating their supply chains. Blockchain is solving the need for securing supply chain operations. Blockchain networks are powerful for improving supply chains that lack transparency and traceability.  They come with a decentralized and secure database to store all transactions across the supply chain. It enables real-time tracking and traceability of products with regular updates. Therefore, blockchain technology supports the transparent tracking of goods while reducing the risk of errors and fraudulent activities.  Conclusion The changing trends of the customer service market have drastically affected supply chain management. Yet, the essential components of the supply chain are indispensable. The five elements of supply chain management verify production quality at every stage, working towards efficiency, cost-effective practices and complete optimisation of participating resources. These are the essentials market leaders look up to curate winning supply chain strategies.  Learn Management Courses from the World’s top Universities. Earn Masters, Executive PGP, or Advanced Certificate Programs to fast-track your career.
Read More

by Sandeep Pereira

29 Jun 2023

A Guide to Supply Chain Management in eCommerce
5818
What is eCommerce Supply Chain Management? Supply Chain Management in eCommerce refers to managing and coordinating activities in online retail operations’ flow of products, information, and services. It encompasses sourcing, inventory management, order processing, warehousing, fulfillment, and logistics. In eCommerce, supply chain management begins with sourcing products or identifying manufacturers and suppliers. It then focuses on maintaining optimal inventory levels to meet customer demand while minimizing costs. Order processing involves verifying orders, payment, and preparing them for shipment. Warehousing and fulfillment involve storing products in strategically located facilities and efficiently picking, packing, and shipping them to customers. Logistics and transportation ensure the smooth movement of goods, selecting the right shipping methods and optimizing delivery routes. Efficient eCommerce supply chain management is crucial for meeting customer expectations of fast and accurate deliveries, reducing costs, and maximizing profitability. It requires effective coordination, integration of technology, data analysis, and strong relationships with suppliers and logistics partners. E-commerce businesses can enhance customer satisfaction, improve operational efficiency, and gain a competitive edge in the online marketplace by optimizing the supply chain. Learn Supply Chain Management Courses online from the World’s top Universities. Earn Masters, Executive PGP, or Advanced Certificate Programs to fast-track your career. What is the Role of eCommerce Supply Chain Management? The role of eCommerce Supply Chain Management is crucial for the success of an online retail business. Here are the key roles it plays: Ensure Stock Availability: Effective supply chain management ensures that the right amount of stock is available to meet customer demand. By accurately forecasting demand, monitoring inventory levels, and collaborating with suppliers, eCommerce businesses can avoid stockouts and ensure products are readily available for purchase. Maintain a Shipping Strategy: Supply chain management helps establish and maintain a well-defined shipping strategy. This includes selecting appropriate shipping methods and carriers and optimizing shipping costs. It involves determining shipping rates, packaging requirements, and tracking mechanisms to ensure timely and cost-effective delivery of orders. Set Delivery Targets: eCommerce supply chain management sets delivery targets and strives to meet them. By analyzing historical data, market trends, and customer expectations, businesses can set realistic delivery timeframes. Meeting or exceeding delivery targets enhances customer satisfaction and helps build trust and loyalty. Adapt to Market Trends: Supply chain management enables businesses to adapt to changing market trends and customer demands. By closely monitoring market dynamics, consumer preferences, and emerging trends, eCommerce companies can adjust their sourcing strategies, inventory levels, and fulfillment processes to stay competitive and meet evolving customer expectations. Maximize Order Fulfillment: Supply chain management aims to maximize order fulfillment efficiency. This involves streamlining warehouse operations, optimizing order picking and packing processes, and minimizing errors. By improving order fulfillment speed and accuracy, businesses can enhance customer satisfaction and drive repeat purchases. How Does eCommerce Supply Chain Management Work? eCommerce Supply Chain Management involves several interconnected processes that work together to ensure the smooth flow of products from suppliers to customers. Here’s an overview of how it works: Inventory Management: It starts with accurately managing and forecasting inventory levels. This involves monitoring stock levels, tracking sales data, and analyzing historical trends to determine the right quantity of products to stock. Inventory management systems help automate these processes, ensuring products are available to fulfill customer orders without excessive stockouts or overstocking. Warehousing and Distribution: Products are stored in strategically located warehouses or fulfillment centers. These facilities are designed to efficiently receive, store, and organize inventory. Warehouse management systems help track inventory, optimize storage space, and facilitate order fulfillment. When a customer places an order, the system directs warehouse personnel to pick up and pack the products for shipment. Processing Order Information: Once a customer places an order, the eCommerce supply chain management system processes the order information. This involves verifying payment details, checking product availability, and validating customer data. The order processing system may also handle functions like fraud detection, address verification, and order prioritization based on service level agreements (SLAs). Transportation of Orders: After order processing, the eCommerce supply chain management system arranges for the transportation of the orders. This can involve selecting appropriate carriers, determining shipping methods (such as ground, air, or express), and generating shipping labels. The system may also provide real-time tracking information to customers, allowing them to monitor the progress of their orders. Successfully Delivering Orders: The final step in eCommerce supply chain management is the successful delivery of orders to customers. This includes coordinating with carriers, managing logistics, and optimizing delivery routes. Timely and accurate delivery is crucial for customer satisfaction and retention. Returns management is also an integral part of this process, ensuring efficient handling of product returns and refunds. Throughout these processes, eCommerce supply chain management relies on technology systems, data analysis, and integration between various stakeholders, including suppliers, warehouses, carriers, and customers. The aim is to streamline operations, minimize costs, and provide a seamless shopping experience for customers. Top Supply Chain Management Tools Used in the eCommerce Industry In the eCommerce industry, several supply chain management tools and services are used to facilitate efficient operations and optimize the flow of goods. Here are some of the top tools commonly used: Supplier/Vendor Management Platforms: These platforms help eCommerce businesses manage their relationships with suppliers and vendors. They enable communication, collaboration, and coordination of activities such as product sourcing, procurement, and inventory management. Examples include Alibaba.com, SAP Ariba, and TradeGecko. Shipping Companies: eCommerce businesses rely on shipping companies to transport their products from warehouses or fulfillment centers to customers’ locations. Shipping companies provide shipping options, tracking services, and delivery management solutions. Prominent players in this space include UPS, FedEx, DHL, and USPS. Third-Party Logistics (3PL) Services Providers: 3PL providers offer a range of logistics and supply chain services to eCommerce businesses. They can handle warehousing, order fulfillment, inventory management, and shipping on behalf of the eCommerce company. Popular 3PL providers include Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), ShipBob, Rakuten Super Logistics, and ShipStation. Shipping Aggregators: Shipping aggregators consolidate shipping services from multiple carriers into a single platform, simplifying the process of comparing rates, selecting the best carrier, and generating shipping labels. These tools streamline shipping operations and offer cost-saving opportunities. Examples include ShipStation, Shippo, Easyship, and ShipBob. Additionally, various software platforms and systems are used for SCM in eCommerce, including Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), and Transportation Management Systems (TMS). These tools help automate and integrate processes, manage inventory, optimize logistics, and provide real-time visibility into the supply chain. E-commerce Supply Chain Management Software  There are several eCommerce supply chain management software solutions available, including SAP S/4HANA, Oracle NetSuite, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, JDA (Blue Yonder), Fishbowl, ShipStation, and TradeGecko. These software platforms offer features for inventory management, order processing, demand planning, warehouse management, and transportation management. They help eCommerce businesses streamline operations, optimize inventory levels, improve order fulfillment, and enhance overall supply chain efficiency. The choice of software depends on factors such as the business’s specific needs, scalability requirements, integration capabilities, and budget constraints. Evaluating features, scalability, user-friendliness, and customer support is crucial when selecting the appropriate software solution. Explore our Popular Management Courses Leadership and Management in New-Age Business Post Graduate Certificate in Product Management Executive Post-Graduate Programme in Human Resource Management Professional Certificate Programme in HR Management and Analytics Executive Post-Graduate Programme in Healthcare Management Executive Management Programme in Strategic Innovation Digital Marketing and Business Analytics Certificate Programme in Finance for Non Finance Executives Certificate Programme in Operations Management and Analytics Global Master Certificate in Integrated Supply Chain Management upGrad's Job Linked Advanced General Management Program from IMT Ghaziabad Global Professional Certificate in Effective Leadership & Management Advanced General Management Program Strategic Human Resources Leadership Cornell Certificate Program Digital Transformation Cornell Certificate Program Executive Leadership Cornell Certificate Program Management Essentials Management Courses What are the Key Benefits of eCommerce Supply Chain Management? eCommerce Supply Chain Management offers several key benefits to businesses in the online retail industry. Here are some of the major advantages: Better Customer Experience: Timely order fulfillment, precise inventory availability, and dependable delivery are all made possible by effective supply chain management. As a result, there is a rise in consumer happiness, loyalty, and favorable brand perception. Greater Visibility: Supply chain management systems provide real-time visibility into inventory levels, order statuses, and shipment tracking. This visibility allows businesses to make informed decisions, address potential bottlenecks, and proactively manage customer expectations. Automated Shipping Functions: Supply chain management software automates shipping functions such as carrier selection, rate comparison, label generation, and tracking updates. Automation streamlines processes, reduces errors, and saves time, enabling businesses to handle larger order volumes efficiently. Improved Delivery Mechanisms: Effective supply chain management enables businesses to optimize their delivery mechanisms. This includes selecting the most cost-effective shipping methods, negotiating favorable rates with carriers, and implementing efficient logistics strategies to ensure on-time deliveries. Maintain Flexibility and Growth: eCommerce supply chain management allows businesses to adapt to changing market conditions, customer demands, and industry trends. It provides the flexibility to scale operations, adjust inventory levels, and expand into new markets while maintaining operational efficiency. Conclusion  The success of online retail businesses is heavily dependent on the eCommerce supply chain management process. Businesses may obtain several important advantages by controlling the flow of products, information, and services properly. These include improving delivery mechanisms to ensure on-time deliveries, providing a better customer experience through prompt order fulfillment and dependable delivery, gaining greater visibility into inventory and order statuses, automating shipping functions to save time and reduce errors, and maintaining flexibility and growth in a dynamic marketplace. Businesses may optimize their operations, improve customer happiness, lower costs, and gain a competitive advantage in the eCommerce market with the correct supply chain management strategies and technologies in place. Head to upGrad and enroll in the various courses and programs offered and increase your skill and expertise. The Advanced General Management Program from IMT Ghaziabad is one you should definitely check out.
Read More

by Keerthi Shivakumar

27 Jun 2023

6 Types of Supply Chain Models To Know
11514
Introduction  A supply chain is a group of people and businesses responsible for producing and getting a product to the consumer. The raw material producers are the first links in the chain, and the last is the van that delivers the completed item to the customer. The importance of supply chain management may be seen in the reduced costs and improved productivity that come from an optimized supply network. Companies work to enhance their supply chains to lower costs and maintain competitiveness. The Supply Chain Models Setting up and managing a global supply chain is a complicated process, and choosing the incorrect supply chain architecture can expose an organization to risks and interruptions, drive up costs, and even jeopardize its reputation. Thus, choosing the appropriate model for your company’s needs is a crucial responsibility.  Learn more about types of supply chain management before you incur a significant loss. But first, let’s go through some of the many supply chain models that are used around the world. Let’s look at it now. Learn Supply Chain Management Courses online from the World’s top Universities. Earn Masters, Executive PGP, or Advanced Certificate Programs to fast-track your career. 6 Major Types of Supply Chain Models Continuous Flow Model  A supply chain designed for continuous, predetermined delivery of commodities is known as a continuous model. This paradigm guarantees a constant flow of resources and goods. It can only exist in a setting with stable supply and demand, often one with developed supply chains for well-known brands and little volatility in the client demand profile.  The continuous flow paradigm is centered on productivity. It provides stability in settings with high traffic. The firms that consistently provide the same product with little design variation or adjustment are best suited for this traditional model. These types of SCM are excellent for manufacturing commodities. Low product prices indicate its high level of efficacy. Three key competencies should be used to assist supply chain integration. Electronic transactions, which are utilized to cut down on the number of transactional operations needed during the order cycle, as well as the sharing of data on sales and stocks to enhance demand management, are some of the early phases of this. Planning collaboratively with important clients aids in foreseeing demand trends at the most advanced stage. The appropriate supply chain models are response oriented when customer demand is highly unpredictable. The “agile,” “custom-configured,” and “flexible” models are among them. The Fast Chain Model  One of the newest names in the types of logistics in supply chain management is the fast chain model. It is appropriate for companies with product lines that have brief life cycles. Businesses that produce finished goods with a brief market lifetime most frequently employ a quick model, which makes it typical for the supply of products that are seen as contemporary. This strategy is appropriate when a company releases new products often, just as a trend is starting to lose its appeal. The competitive edge of the first adopter is highlighted by this concept. However, the marketing division and the designer are the real forces behind the fast-food company. In other words, you’ll be the first to market if you can start your trend. This concept is powered, in essence, by art.  A fashion designer, for instance, might have a particular line of designs for a season. Since the fashion line is typically based on current trends, the company must introduce it to the market to maximize profits. This model is typically regarded as the finest among the various types of supply chain management since supply chain efficiency can boost a company’s competitive edge. The Efficient Chain Model  The efficient chain model is ideal for companies operating in highly competitive markets where maintaining a competitive edge requires high levels of efficiency in delivery logistics. This approach places a high priority on efficient inventory management and getting the most out of production workers and equipment.  In highly competitive businesses where end-to-end effectiveness is the ultimate goal, the efficient chain model is appropriate. To adequately burden or sweat machinery assets, this approach primarily relies on production predictions. The cost of raw materials and commodities has a significant role in the efficient model. Capacity problems are a problem for efficient chains in the post-pandemic era. Labor, material shortages, and delays are the main causes of this. The highly competitive sectors are the reason why the efficient chain model was developed. The ultimate objective of this model is to maximize effectiveness. The company is supposed to develop accurate production predictions by the efficient chain model so that it can set aside the necessary equipment and raw materials. The major flaw in this approach is how easily the supply chain network can be affected by changes to the production or sales cycle. For instance, issues like labor shortages or a lack of raw materials could result in protracted delays and extra expenses for the organization as a result of the supply delay. The Agile Model  Businesses that deal with specialist goods, where products may need extra care in the supply chain, are well-suited for the agile model. Typically, this model is adjusted for the product it is being utilized for. The knowledge needed to move the items from point A to point B is where the agile approach is known, not so much for the level of automation or technologies involved. Agile supply chain companies can charge more for their services. The agile approach is only lucrative up until a certain volume threshold is reached, in contrast to the efficient chain model, which thrives on enormous quantities. Following this model after that could be pricey. For a supply chain to qualify as an agile model, it needs to have four characteristics: process alignment, virtual integration, a network base, and market sensitivity. The company must monitor changes in market demand in real-time to implement virtual integration. Sharing supply chain obligations across the organization is what process alignment is all about.  This is accomplished by maintaining a jointly managed inventory, utilizing collaborative product design, and coordinating the supply chain as a whole. Network-based implies that each participant in the supply chain contributes equally. With any changes in demand, the market responsiveness component rapidly adjusts the rate of manufacturing. Businesses that operate in markets with a lot of demand volatility will do well with this model. The Custom-configured Model The assembly and manufacturing phases require special setups for the custom-configured model. It combines agile and continuous flow methodologies and requires the created product to function end-to-end while also maybe requiring some additional customization. Small-batch manufacturing and prototype design are two such applications.  In comparison to more conventional models, the corporation must invest more in the custom-configured model. A custom-configured approach, which is essentially a hybrid of the agile as well as continuous flow models, is useful in situations when many product configurations are necessary. Anytime there are choices for customer customization, a custom-configured model is probably being used. Smaller batch sizes and speedier turnaround times are possible with this higher-touch variant. The custom-configuration concept essentially combines continuous flow and agile models. The Flexible Model  Businesses can satisfy strong demand peaks as well as protracted periods of low demand thanks to the flexible approach. Part segmentation, precise stocking algorithms, and flexible planning are the three requirements for a supply chain to qualify as a flexible model. This is made possible by introducing automation onto plant floors and diversifying suppliers. To achieve the best of all worlds, the flexible model. It can respond to peaks in volume demand. Businesses with flexible models, on the other hand, can adapt to and withstand periods of low or no demand. This design resembles a light switch. Toggle it on or off as necessary. The adaptable approach can swiftly adapt to a lean time with low demand and handle the demand that is high during peak season. A business needs the appropriate supply chain management system and the appropriate personnel with a solid knowledge base for operating a flexible model alongside high efficiency to run it effectively. These are the top six supply chain models for businesses, each of which has advantages and disadvantages. Businesses must choose a model for the supply chain that will satisfy their unique requirements and assist them in avoiding any unnecessary costs.  Explore our Popular Management Courses Leadership and Management in New-Age Business Post Graduate Certificate in Product Management Executive Post-Graduate Programme in Human Resource Management Professional Certificate Programme in HR Management and Analytics Executive Post-Graduate Programme in Healthcare Management Executive Management Programme in Strategic Innovation Digital Marketing and Business Analytics Certificate Programme in Finance for Non Finance Executives Certificate Programme in Operations Management and Analytics Global Master Certificate in Integrated Supply Chain Management upGrad's Job Linked Advanced General Management Program from IMT Ghaziabad Global Professional Certificate in Effective Leadership & Management Advanced General Management Program Strategic Human Resources Leadership Cornell Certificate Program Digital Transformation Cornell Certificate Program Executive Leadership Cornell Certificate Program Management Essentials Management Courses What Comes Next? Supply Chain Control Towers  As you can see, each type of SCM model has advantages and disadvantages. A company can fully master one supply chain model. But market forces may render those abilities obsolete. Of course, you alone can decide which model to use for your company and under what conditions. But one thing is undeniable: We must use the new instruments being introduced to the market. The supply chain control tower is one significant development in supply chain management. A supply chain control tower is a cloud-based solution using cutting-edge technologies to proactively manage supply chains. These technologies include machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT). Including manufacturers, suppliers, or business partners, supply chain control towers provide end-to-end, real-time insight across an organization’s complete network. They let enterprises plan for infinite unknowable variables, control what they cannot see, and lessen disruptions as well as risks before they become problems. This visibility and immediate access to current information are crucial for supply chain agility and resilience in a world where past information can no longer reliably anticipate future and present demand. Conclusion  To manage the supply chain effectively, having the appropriate people, procedures, and technology in place is crucial. It lets a business become more efficient, and it can also help it become more resilient to disturbances and less vulnerable to dangers. Companies can use their supply chains as a competitive advantage by using the appropriate model.  Head to upGrad and enroll in the various courses and programs offered and increase your skill and expertise. The Advanced General Management Program from IMT Ghaziabad is one you should definitely check out.
Read More

by Keerthi Shivakumar

27 Jun 2023

Supply Chain Planning: Demand Forcasting in SCM
5996
Introduction Demand forecasting is the act of organizing and foreseeing the demand for goods and commodities to support businesses in remaining as profitable as feasible. Without accurate demand forecasting, businesses run the danger of carrying unnecessary and expensive excess or of missing out on opportunities because they didn’t account for the wants, preferences, and purchasing intentions of their customers.  Our guide can be useful if you’re new to demand forecasting and want to integrate it into your company. In this section, we will discuss demand forecasting and its definition, significance, and application to your ongoing supply chain planning and management plan. upGrad offers you a vast variety of courses to help you understand and make a career in the field of the supply chain. What is Demand Forecasting in the Supply Chain? Demand planning, or anticipating the demand for materials, is demand forecasting in supply chain management. This process makes sure you can deliver the right items in the right amounts to satisfy client demand without producing a surplus. A surplus can be produced as a result of a forecasting inaccuracy, which could be more efficient and affordable. To ensure prompt stock replenishment, improved capacity management, and optimum sales and revenue, additionally, it enhances management and decision-making while advancing future growth and expansion plans.  Learn Supply Chain Management Courses online from the World’s top Universities. Earn Masters, Executive PGP, or Advanced Certificate Programs to fast-track your career. How Can Demand Forecasting Benefit Your Business? Retail companies that depend on precise stock projections for their long-term survival and health might profit greatly from demand forecasting. Additionally, the advantages go beyond preserving high levels of customer service; they can spur improvements across several functions, boosting corporate confidence and aiding a company in realizing its aspirations for expansion. Here, we examine some of the advantages that adopting demand forecasting could provide your business.  Reduced uncertainty – When it comes to supply chain forecasting and management, uncertainty is usually a bad thing. Decision-making is hampered, there are delays, and stakeholder confidence is affected. By ensuring that supply-related tasks are sufficiently resourced and that managers are well-informed to make wise decisions that promote growth and advancement, demand forecasting can eliminate ambiguity.  Improved supply infrastructure – The health of your supply-chain infrastructure depends on your ability to predict demand peaks and troughs. By maximizing stock replenishment, capacity, and the efficient management of warehouse staff, demand forecasting contributes to improved supply chain forecasting. Increased revenue – Knowing when and in what quantities products are expected to sell can result in large revenue increases. The best possible product availability ensures that you never miss a sale, thanks to demand forecasting. Less need for safety and excess stock – Demand forecasting lessens the need for safety stock, allowing you to concentrate on your most lucrative goods while reducing inventory expenses. Better fulfillment results in longer-lasting customer advocacy – Demand forecasting allows you to make more of your products available more frequently, which can greatly benefit consumer advocacy. What Internal and External Factors Have the Greatest Impact on Demand? It’s important to take into account a wide range of elements that both directly and indirectly influence supply when predicting demand. These factors, which include both internal and external factors, collectively have a big impact on supply planning and needed stock at different points during the year. Let’s look more closely at the elements you need to take into account when forecasting demand in the supply chain. Internal Factors  Promotional sales times – Take into account how sales and markdowns could cause a surge in demand. Ongoing marketing activity: How might continuous marketing activity affect supply planning and cause a surge in demand in the upcoming weeks and months? Examples include SEO, paid media, display ads in local newspapers, and billboards. Price Changes – Are there any upcoming pricing changes for the products we sell? How might this impact demand both now and in the future? Advertising and displays within the store – How can promotional campaigns, exhibits, and POS promotions impact the demand for particular products if you are in charge of a physical store? Best before and expiration dates – Do you stock perishable goods? Planning promotional periods by expiration dates can help you reduce stock wastage in your supply chain planning. Take into account how expiry dates can cause demand to fluctuate. External Factors  Consumer trends and purchasing patterns – How might shifting consumer preferences and purchasing patterns impact demand? This is crucial when estimating long-term, future demand. Competitor behavior – What are your rivals doing to generate demand and boost sales? Maybe they recently started a promotion or broadened their selection of goods. Or perhaps a brand-new company has entered your market with intentions to upend the industry? By evaluating the current situation of your competitors, you can find supply shortages and launch fresh initiatives to boost sales and revenue. Calendar events – Throughout a 12-month trading cycle, a few occasions tend to trigger a spike in demand. When to expect these seasonal uplifts can be determined by historical sales data, allowing you to prepare ahead of time and increase your supply appropriately. Seasonal variations – Include this in your supply chain forecasting plan, as seasonal fluctuations can have a significant impact on demand for particular goods and services. Be sure to consider these broad aspects as part of your forecast because the season, weather, and quantity of daylight can all increase or decrease demand for particular products. Tips for Developing a Robust Demand Forecasting Strategy Be Clear on Goals and Objectives When demand forecasting is in line with your aims and objectives, it is most beneficial. A demand prediction, for instance, might help to emphasize how and when an increase in sales will start to have a real-world impact on growth if you’re aiming to promote business growth through greater revenue.  Accurately gather and record data. Consistent, thorough, and full data are necessary for accurate and proactive demand forecasting. You and your team must be able to rely on extensive data sets because many of your predictions regarding future demand will be based on historical sales data and client behavior.  Keep Qualitative Variables in Mind While taking into account historical sales data is one of the first steps you should take to enhance the accuracy of demand forecasting, you also need to take into account qualitative factors. Consider them as upcoming occurrences that will affect supply and demand but that you are in no actual position to predict. It’s difficult to account for qualitative elements, of course, but adding any marketing and sales insights will increase the accuracy and legitimacy of your forecasts. Factors influencing demand planning and Forecasting Forecasting seasonality and inventory Everything that affects a customer’s behavior throughout the year is considered seasonal. This might refer to unforeseen weather conditions or even something like the epidemic, which made people stay indoors and at home more often than they often did in the summer. In terms of demand forecasting, competition Businesses now operate in a competitive and complicated market in the 2020s. Customers now expect a variety of things, including shorter product lifecycles, quicker deliveries, and more individualized services.  Estimates of demand and product categories Even inside the same product category, demand projections can differ greatly from one product to another. Not noticing the change itself, but rather the reason for the change is the secret. Average order value, product purchase combinations, and lifetime customer value also differ significantly and occasionally abruptly. Why is Forecasting Demand Important in the Supply Chain? Since demand forecasting is the method used to develop both strategic and operational strategies, it is crucial for the supply chain. Additionally, demand forecasting supports crucial company processes, including budgeting, scheduling manufacturing, evaluating risks, and buying raw materials. Above all, forecast accuracy helps merchants avoid stock-outs and overstocking while also reducing costs, boosting operational effectiveness, and enhancing customer satisfaction. Explore our Popular Management Courses Leadership and Management in New-Age Business Post Graduate Certificate in Product Management Executive Post-Graduate Programme in Human Resource Management Professional Certificate Programme in HR Management and Analytics Executive Post-Graduate Programme in Healthcare Management Executive Management Programme in Strategic Innovation Digital Marketing and Business Analytics Certificate Programme in Finance for Non Finance Executives Certificate Programme in Operations Management and Analytics Global Master Certificate in Integrated Supply Chain Management upGrad's Job Linked Advanced General Management Program from IMT Ghaziabad Global Professional Certificate in Effective Leadership & Management Advanced General Management Program Strategic Human Resources Leadership Cornell Certificate Program Digital Transformation Cornell Certificate Program Executive Leadership Cornell Certificate Program Management Essentials Management Courses How Does Demand Forecasting Work? When there is historical data on certain products and a pre-established demand, the quantitative forecasting method—also known as passive demand forecasting—is applied. The utilization of mathematical formulas and data sets, such as financial reports, revenue numbers, sales, and website analytics, is necessary for passive demand forecasting. On the other hand, the qualitative approach, or active demand forecasting, depends on cutting-edge technologies (such as machine learning), adjustments in pricing and availability, product lifecycles, product upgrades, and—most importantly—the judgment and experience of people who are creating the forecast. Demand Forecasting Techniques Collective Opinion collects historical data on consumer demand by utilizing the expertise and experience of a company’s sales force.  Client survey methods offer important details about client needs, wants, and expectations. Although it can be challenging to foresee actual demand, this data is useful for establishing sales forecasts. The Barometric Method is a technique for anticipating active demand that makes use of economic indicators to gauge past, present, and future activity and forecast patterns.  How To Forecast Demand? All organizations can benefit from accurate demand forecasting by using demand forecasting software like SAP Integrated Business Planning, but e-commerce companies and physical stores can benefit most because they can support inventory management efforts for products and enhance customer satisfaction. There are a few tried-and-true tactics that can simplify the procedure.  Gather the Correct Data You must make sure that you have the appropriate type of data to make wise business decisions for your demand forecast to be successful. Focus on the statistics that provide you with the knowledge you need to make decisions, such as price patterns and the volume of visitors to your sales channels during a specific period. Adapt to the variables. The daily interactions that affect sales data are influenced by a variety of factors. You must take into account all potential factors, such as unanticipated store closings or natural disasters, for your demand projection to be accurate. Budget, buy, and allocate funds appropriately. The only thing left to do is use the data you’ve gathered to develop a plan for how, where, and when to distribute your resources and purchase efforts once your demand forecast is in place. Top Management Skills to Learn SL. No Top Management Skills to Learn 1 Consumer Behaviour Online Courses Financial Analysis Courses FinTech Courses Online 2 HR Analytics Courses Online Communication Courses Online Effective Communication Courses 3 Research Methodology Courses Mastering Sales Courses Business Communication Courses 4 Fundamentals of Journalism Courses Economics Masterclass Online Courses Conclusion  Spending, as well as activity in this area, are noticeably expanding as businesses leverage their supply chains to compete and take market share. It is abundantly obvious from technology and process improvements at forward-thinking businesses that supply chain excellence is increasingly seen as a component of overall business strategy and that enhancing customer value is everyone’s business, not just management. Choose Advanced Certificate in Supply Chain Management from IMT Ghaziabad and rapidly gain excellence in the field of supply chain management.
Read More

by Keerthi Shivakumar

27 Jun 2023

What is Supply Chain Management Process in 2024
5792
Introduction The world supply chain has been disturbed since the break out of covid-19 pandemic. We all have heard that due to disturbances in the world, supply chains, prices, and the supply of various essential commodities and services are affected. The world just came out of the pandemic, but some effects can still be seen in the supply chain. The supply chain industry in 2021 saw the Ever Given crisis, Which resulted in the blockage of the Suez Canal for about 6 days and a wave of panic passed through the Supply chain industry. Many of us don’t know the exact meaning of supply chain management or supply chain process. What is Supply Chain Management or Supply Chain Process? Supply chain management is defined as the process of designing, planning, organizing, and exercising control over the logistics and allied activities which aids in the correct flow of goods and services to achieve efficient and effective movements of required resources. It consists of the entire network of organizations, processes and people who care is the movement to make available goods at the right place at the right time to achieve the desired goal. Supply chain management (SCM) is collecting, organizing, executing, and achieving the supply of raw material to the production place to end consumer smoothly without any or least hassle and in the most cost-efficient manner.  When you order goods online For example say a jacket, the Supply chain starts from then and there of your order till the delivery of the jacket at your doorstep. This involves confirming orders from the seller merchant, taking delivery from the seller to the distribution center, and transferring that to your nearest distribution center and from that to your doorstep. There are plenty of activities other than this which run parallel like packaging, tracking of the package, and condition and safety of the goods. Supply chain management optimizes the flow of material, information, and manpower in the key areas of production and distribution. Learn Supply Chain Management Courses online from the World’s top Universities. Earn Masters, Executive PGP, or Advanced Certificate Programs to fast-track your career. What is Supply Chain Management Process? SCM processes are the building blocks for modern business. When it comes to key assets or highly valuable goods it is of more importance. SMC process involves various processes that are designed to tackle specific problems. The components of Supply chain management are:- Strategic Planning Process Strategic Planning Process is the process of strategizing and leveraging existing technology and resources available to have maximum benefit from the customized SCOR model that is designed. Strategic Supply Chain Design is made by evaluating and optimizing existing models of a supply chain in the planning such as the score model. Every small movement is studied to reduce the efforts and resources and maximize efficiency. Attention to detail and future projection is kept in mind while crafting the strategies. Strategic planning helps to identify the set of core suppliers and vendors with whom to create a enhance the relationships and to fully utilize their potential.  Demand Planning Process Demand Planning involves Forecasting, Lifecycle, Promotion, and Consensus Demand Planning. Forecasting future demand is done based on evidence such as historical data prospects, emerging trends, and other relevant data and analysis. Statistics methods can be used to better prediction of demand trends. Lifecycle Planning is purely based on forecasting the life cycle of a product from its launch of a product to its maturity and discontinuation. This encourages firms to stay relevant and keep innovating to compete in the industry.  Promotion planning is the promotion plan of a product to achieve the forecasted target. It also includes other special events apart from the plane. Supply Planning Process The supply Planning Process involves stock planning, Outsourcing, Distribution Planning, and Collaboration. Stock planning is the bare minimum supply of raw materials or the stock that should be ready to be used in the production process. This safety stock is determined by multiple factors reasons such as supply irregularity, future projection on price or supply, etc. The outsourcing process is completely outsourcing the production process to a third party. For example, Apple has outsourced its manufacturing or assembly to Asian countries such as chins, India, and Japan. Distribution Planning is the planning of both short-term and long-term distribution of available resources Supplier Collaboration helps receive demand and stock updates more frequently for performing manufacturing tasks. Procurement Process The procurement process is sourcing and acquiring correct materials and services from suppliers. The procurement process includes Order Processing, Receiving Order Confirmation, and Invoice Verification. Order Processing helps in direct procurement from the source or the firm that issues the goods with the order confirmation. At this stage market analysis and price negotiation is conducted to get the best deal at the best price with favourable condition. Receiving Order Confirmation is confirming the received goods with other departments and checking the quality of the goods received. The invoice verification process is the verification of goods received with the purchase invoice. This prevents any loss of product in transportation and to know the exact price of the goods. Explore our Popular Management Courses Leadership and Management in New-Age Business Post Graduate Certificate in Product Management Executive Post-Graduate Programme in Human Resource Management Professional Certificate Programme in HR Management and Analytics Executive Post-Graduate Programme in Healthcare Management Executive Management Programme in Strategic Innovation Digital Marketing and Business Analytics Certificate Programme in Finance for Non Finance Executives Certificate Programme in Operations Management and Analytics Global Master Certificate in Integrated Supply Chain Management upGrad's Job Linked Advanced General Management Program from IMT Ghaziabad Global Professional Certificate in Effective Leadership & Management Advanced General Management Program Strategic Human Resources Leadership Cornell Certificate Program Digital Transformation Cornell Certificate Program Executive Leadership Cornell Certificate Program Management Essentials Management Courses Manufacturing Process At this stage, the raw material gets transformed into a completely new product. This is a crucial stage of production where quality control, optimization of the manufacturing process, and improving efficiency and cost efficiency are looked after. Manufacturing Process involves Production Planning and production Execution. Production planning means planning the production process or scheduling the production process. Which includes the decision to choose the right type of machinery for production, method of production, factory layout, stages of manufacturing, etc. These decisions help in controlling the cost of production, reducing the bulk movements of goods, and productivity. After these important decisions are undertaken, Production Execution takes place. This stage is where the real transformation of raw material takes place and convert into finished goods. Warehousing Process The warehousing Process involves the Process of keeping a record of all the stored goods, maintaining their track record, and storing them in desired condition for their longevity. When a product enters the warehouse it should be stored for a minimum period so that the cost of storing goods should be minimum to the company. Warehousing includes inbound Processing, Outbound Processing, and Physical Inventory management. Inbound Processing involves all those steps essential for external procurement that is necessary for the procurement of goods. Outbound Processing makes them ready for shipping.  Physical Inventory management is all those support activities that regulate the flow of goods to the production space at the correct time. Order Fulfillment Process When the goods are produced and sold the outflow of those goods is looked at under Order Fulfillment Process. This step involves the process of Sale Order Processing and Billing Process.  Sales order processing allows maintaining the outward flow of goods at the desired time while recording the pricing, shipment, order entry, etc. The billing process is issuing the correct bill and recording incoming payments. Transportation Process The transportation Process involves planning, executing, and costing the freight process. After the goods are ready to be transported. Transportation Planning is the process of making a plane with the least financial cost and time-consuming transportation. Transportation Execution is executing the plan that is created. the practicality of the pan is necessary for achieving efficiency.  The freight Costing process helps in calculating the freight cost.  Top Management Skills to Learn SL. No Top Management Skills to Learn 1 Consumer Behaviour Online Courses Financial Analysis Courses FinTech Courses Online 2 HR Analytics Courses Online Communication Courses Online Effective Communication Courses 3 Research Methodology Courses Mastering Sales Courses Business Communication Courses 4 Fundamentals of Journalism Courses Economics Masterclass Online Courses Conclusion: Supply chain management is the key factor that affects the business’s health both in terms of financial and manpower resources. Correct supply chain management helps a business to flourish and grow, on the contrary, a poor SCM process can have repercussions on business health. In the past, there are plenty of examples in which poor SCM completely drained the business resources. So SCOR model supply chain is the lifeline of any business and needs due diligence. 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.
Read More

by Keerthi Shivakumar

27 Jun 2023

Top 10 Supply Chain Management Books To Increase Your Horizon
7222
Businesses nowadays are involved in cut-throat competition with each other. Whenever a new business opportunity presents itself, the race to reach the customers first starts amongst the existing players in the field. The ease of doing business has improved quite significantly over the years. Small companies with unique products that effectively address customers’ pain points are growing fast. To emerge as a winner in the harsh business environment, the companies have to focus on every detail of the entire business operation, from procuring the raw material to ensuring the timely delivery of the product to customers. Companies hire skilled professionals from specific fields to help them achieve their targets. One such domain which has become essential in current times is Supply Chain Management. Learn Supply Chain Management Courses online from the World’s top Universities. Earn Masters, Executive PGP, or Advanced Certificate Programs to fast-track your career. What is Supply Chain Management? Supply Chain Management (SCM) is the entire process of manufacturing a product, from procuring raw materials to delivering the final item. Supply Chain Managers have to work on smoothening the process by ensuring the timely completion of the job with the least possible cost. SCM is one of the essential aspects of the business, which helps enhance the company’s profit. How can you gain knowledge in the field of Supply Chain Management? Getting a degree- The traditional and most popular learning method gives you an in-depth knowledge of the field. You can even get a job as a Supply Chain Manager through on-campus placement sessions.  Work Experience- The best way to learn is through practical experience. You can opt for internships to learn about SCM in more detail.  YouTube- YouTube is, hands down, the most feasible way to enhance your knowledge. There are short videos as well as long documentaries on any topic. You can learn according to your pace from your favourite creators.  Podcasts- Podcasts are becoming increasingly common nowadays. You can listen to the famous and experienced people in your field and learn about SCM from them. Books-  Many books written by experts in the field explain various aspects of the topic from their viewpoint. Books help you develop your perspective and enhance your understanding greatly. Top 10 Supply Chain Management Books 1. Strategic Supply Chain Management: The Five Core Disciplines of Top Performance, by Shoshanah Cohen and Joseph Roussel  This supply chain management book talks about good supply chain management strategies and how to implement that into your own business. According to the authors, one strategy is not efficient for all types of business. Instead, the strategy should be tailored to the needs of the company. The book also explains the five disciplines that supply chain managers should consider. 2. Principles of Supply Chain Management: A Balanced Approach, by Joel D. Wisner This book takes you through each step of Supply Chain Management. It focuses on all the essential aspects of Supply Chain Management, such as logistics, purchasing raw materials, etc. The author has explained various real examples, which enhances the understanding even more. 3. Lean Supply Chain and Logistics Management, by Paul Myerson Considered one of the best books on Supply Chain Management, the book focuses on how one should single out the ineffective components of Supply Chain Management. The book also describes lean methodology and tools and how to use them to your advantage. 4. The Forklifts Have Nothing To Do, by Joseph L. Walden Written by an author having 25 years of experience leading supply chain operations, the book gives excellent insights into supply chain operations. It contains practical improvement methods for smoother SCM and better company profits eventually. 5. Managing Supply Chain Operations, by Lei Lei, Leonardo Decandia, and Rosa Oppenheim This supply chain analytics book focuses on various determinants of Supply Chain Management, such as demand forecasting, capacity analysis, and inventory management. There are also case studies and strategies in the book which help you get your foothold strong in the subject. 6. Avoiding a Supply Chain Apocalypse: Be Ready For Any Supply Chain Disaster, by Tom DePaoli The book offers several approaches which can be followed to ensure smooth Supply Chain Management. It includes solutions to identify and correct supply chain mistakes and run a supply chain based R&D department.  7. Essentials of Supply Chain Management, by Michael H. Hugo The supply chain management book clearly explains the management and operation of the supply chain. It contains guides and real-world examples of various supply chain activities adopted by the companies.  8. Supply Chain Metrics that Matter, by Lora M. Cecere Through this book, you will be able to understand various impactful steps to use the supply chain effectively to provide help to the company. It lives up to its title well. 9. Supply Chain Management for Dummies, by Daniel Stanton This is a comprehensive guide that helps manage all aspects of a business, such as sales and purchasing. This leads to a positive impact on the supply chain of the company, hence boosting overall efficiency and business growth. 10. Supply Chain Revolution: Innovative Sourcing and Logistics For a Fiercely Competitive World, by Suman Sarkar The supply chain analytics book presents valuable insights for companies to excel in the current business environment. It lays out strategies on how to satisfy the consumers.  If you are interested in building a career in the field of Supply Chain Management, you can check out Michigan State University’s Global Master Certification in Integrated Supply Chain Management in collaboration with upGrad. You get the chance to learn from the live sessions hosted by the esteemed faculty of Michigan University. You also get the opportunity to interact and learn from your peers spanning all over the world. There are also one-on-one mentorship calls and interview preparation help available for the students.  Our Top Management Programs & Articles Product Management Certification Program from Duke CE Leadership and Management in New-Age Business from Wharton Online Top 4 Functions of Management Process Explained Leadership and Management in New-Age Business from Wharton PG Program in Management from IMT 5 Key Skills Required for Successful Management Career & How To Achieve Those Skills? 8 Crucial Business Management Skills Every Manager Should Have Why Should You Consider Product Management as a Career Option? Top 7 Career Options in Management To Choose [For Freshers & Experienced] Conclusion- There are a lot of employment opportunities created in a field due to the increasing need for specialised individuals. The business wants to have a strong team that can assist them in reaching their goals faster.  Supply Chain Managers are one such group of expert professionals who are in huge demand due to the excellent strategies they devise that help the company achieve its targets. Many youngsters are opting for this career path for the field’s excellent exposure.  At upGrad, we have guided students from all around the globe and helped them land the perfect job in SCM. Check out our Global Master certificate in Integrated Supply Chain Management to get more details about our offering. This MSU accredited course runs for six months and provides you with all the information and guidance needed to begin your SCM journey. 
Read More

by Sandeep Pereira

26 Sep 2022