Supply Chain

Improve top-line growth and lower costs

Business Cluster: Operational Excellence

Supply chain management (SCM) creates efficiencies, raises profits, lowers costs, boosts collaboration and more. SCM enables companies to better manage demand, carry the right amount of inventory, deal with disruptions, keep costs to a minimum and meet customer demand in the most effective way possible.

SCM encompasses the integrated planning and execution of processes required to optimize the flow of materials, information and financial capital in the areas that broadly include demand planning, sourcing, production, inventory management and storage, transportation — or logistics — and return for excess or defective products. Both business strategy and specialized software are used in these endeavors to create a competitive advantage.

SCM is an expansive, complex undertaking that relies on each partner — from suppliers to manufacturers and beyond — to run well. Because of this, effective supply chain management also requires change management, collaboration and risk management to create alignment and communication between all the entities.

Subjects

  • Customer-centric supply chain. The increasingly global nature of today’s supply chains and the rise of e-commerce, with its focus on nearly instant small deliveries straight to consumers, are posing challenges, particularly in the area of logistics and demand planning.

  • Supply chain sustainability. Technology – especially big data, predictive analytics, internet of things (IoT) technology, supply chain analytics, robotics and autonomous vehicles – is also being used to help solve modern challenges, including in the areas of supply chain risk and disruption and supply chain sustainability.