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What is Supply Chain Strategy: Everything You Need to Know

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11th Jun, 2022
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What is Supply Chain Strategy: Everything You Need to Know

Businesses across the world aim to provide exceptional services delivering quality to the customers and generating a sustained profitable margin towards gradual growth. To achieve these goals, a team of multiple organs works in alliance on diverse aspects of the supply chain, which again claims a strategic switch towards improvement. Supply chain strategy is an essential aspect that assembles all the dynamic steps involved in any service’s manufacturing and distribution process. The continuous flow of products and information has to be handled efficiently to maximise overall value since the lack of efficiency at any stage may lead to a quick switch in strategy. 

Regardless of owning a small business, a supply chain strategy is necessary to set term goals and manage different stages, from planning to product distribution. On the other hand, large-scale management faces problems, including a lack of visibility and accurate monitoring. Both instances require smooth supply chain management strategies for smooth compilation of product batch time and again to keep up with the changing trends and tools suspecting the competitive market environment. 

Supply chain management and strategies involve diverse concepts offering assistance at every stage of product development. So let’s find out more about supply chain strategy!


What is Supply Chain Management and its Strategies?

Supply chain management incorporates the lengthy process of product or service creation, which encompasses various steps such as planning, sales, operational planning, sourcing materials, manufacturing, and distribution. Supply chain management extends an end-to-end process to compile each aspect of supply under vigilance. Supply chain management aims to optimise operational efficiency, gauge system inaccuracies, and opt for leading trends to meet market demands. For a business to compile an effectively running supply chain management, they require equally effective strategies. 


Supply chain strategies help customise pre-existing supply chain systems, incorporating steps, techniques and technologies tackling the area of concern. With pre-established management, the changing market demand and fluctuating trends are no longer accessible. Frequently altering strategies that thoroughly consider supply chain conditions helps businesses walk head-to-head with the market. In addition, a robust supply chain strategy can strike problematic areas to generate better results and profitability. 


Why is Supply Chain Strategy Important?

The entire motive of supply chain strategies is to create the best quality results that include exceptional products for customers and sustained profit margins for manufacturers. In addition, supply chain strategy catalyses efficiency while cutting down high costs on insignificant operations, which may have been a part of previous management but offer no vitality in the current state. Here are a few reasons why supply chain strategy plays a crucial role in any chain supply.


Achieve mapped out goals

Listing and keeping track of things is a firm aspect of setting strategies that will help businesses reach their mapped out goals systematically. By analysing previous work trends and current requirements, resource optimisation simplifies, leading to better results initially planned out resource division. Achieving goals is inevitable with a supply chain strategy making complete use of current resources.


Keep track of inventory

While month-end production reports offer insights on inventory, it is only wise to keep track of inventory by complying with the supply chain strategy. Pre-made strategies allow businesses to prepare for further changes without running out of sourced materials through the manufacturing period. Visibility in inventory conditions is significant in any end-to-end business for stable compliance. 


Accepting changes in diverse regions

Every industry is open to innovation, so are the manufacturing and supply industries. Instead of fearing it, accept changes to incorporate better ideas with time. Product features created in the initial stages are not likely to last forever among consumers. Ensure growth by adapting changes that come with switching strategies periodically. 


Incorporating technologies

The development of new technologies can always bring freshness to the table in the shape of new devices and resources. Supply chain strategies allow a visible past course of work to monitor and assess requirements of any new inclusions or expand the digital workforce for better performance. 


Challenges Faced by Supply Chain Strategies

Supply chain strategies are susceptible to multiple challenging situations depending on product type, manufacturing location, sales, logistics and various other factors. However, these challenges are easily curbed by dynamic supply chain strategies created by market experts. Let’s take a look at some of these supply chain strategic challenges.


  • The presence of multiple channels in the market creates a competitive market for faster production to serve customers better services than competing brands. If not applied efficiently, supply chain strategies may fail to meet the rising demand.


  • A rise in cost throughout the supply chain is a big concern for strategies to carry out full functionality. The fluctuating price of resources primarily affects production value which may or may not comply with the production budget. For example, the rising cost of petroleum directly affects the higher logistics costs. 


  • Shorter product life cycles are difficult to keep up for supply chains. It may be a profitable factor for businesses to continuously offer fresh products in the market. However, the supply chain or any business is most likely to work under pressure during the production of any such product range. Supply chain strategies also get affected under time restrictions and regular supply chain organising for different products. 


  • Growing consumer demand is also challenging for supply chain strategies, as production may increase with limited time and similar quality requirements. Although great news for businesses, it draws great pressure on supply chains.

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Best Supply Chain Management Practices for Better Strategies

Supply chain management practices include certain features that can substantially amount to planning better strategies towards efficient supply chain operations. However, these features depend on the current and predicted requirements of businesses.

  • Keep practicality as the leading figure. While strategies are helpful to compile long-term plans, it is essential to keep an eye on evident points assessing supply chains. Efficient strategies are made up of practical points instead of following concepts. Go through the details and evaluate their real-world influence before planning supply chain strategies.
  • The supply chain must be managed effectively, keeping the end product and its recipient in mind. Customer’s requirements should be the topmost priority of any supply chain to manage their resources and production accordingly. 
  • Stable communication among various business organs or stakeholders must be maintained, achieving compliance from every perspective. Conflicts undermine a great part of effectiveness from a supply chain with a lack of conformity. Ensure every business unit is included before initiating the supply chain.

Certification to Strengthen Your Career in SCM

The interdisciplinary field of supply chain management can be an exciting career for many. Learners looking to make it in the supply chain field can kick start their career with upGrad’s Global Master Certificate in Integrated Supply Chain Management, offered by one of the world’s leading universities, Michigan State University. 


The 6-month online course covers end-to-end supply chain management topics and hands-on experience, preparing learners for competitive study. With added benefits of interactive boards, career mentorship, live lecture and best-in-class content, upGrad offers an exceptional environment for learners and logistics professionals to equip themselves with an industry-ready course at their convenience.


Supply chain strategies greatly influence production, quality, and management. If leveraged accurately, they can provide great results for businesses. Analysing every component of the supply chain and keeping track of data is a sure shot way to create effective supply chain strategies. Regardless of being small or large-scaled, companies must have a reliable supply chain strategy to enhance operational efficiency, ultimately leading towards market leadership!

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Sandeep Pereira

Blog Author
Responsible for working with the various teams and other management to establish long-range goals, strategies, plans and policies and set up new programs at upGrad. With a demonstrated history of working in the EdTech industry.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1What are the basics of a supply chain?

Supply chain management and demands consistently change with the market trends and predictions. Analysing numbers and making predictions is the only way to develop effective strategies. The essential components of any supply chain work in compliance with the created plan only if the approach helps reap noticeable results and effectively deals with any hindrance.

2What is the supply chain process?

Supply chain encompasses the entire lifecycle of a product which includes a definitive series of steps for its compilation. These steps include sourcing raw products, transforming them into finished products, transporting them to the distributors, and the product reaching their recipient. Therefore, the process of a supply chain is crucial for all businesses.

3Is supply chain strategy necessary?

Before executing a plan, generating a blueprint with all detailed steps clarifies the whole process. Similarly, developing a reliable supply chain strategy allows businesses to estimate, prepare, alter, and execute strategies meant to reap good results. As a result, supply chain strategies help increase efficiency and reduce unnecessary operational costs.

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