Quality Supply Chains

Instead of writing another important topic on Internet banking, today I thought of writing how to manage a good supply chain and why internet is useful in this process.

There are thousands of e-bay retailers selling variety of things. Each one of them is trying to maintain their business as efficient as possible. To be successful they must be able to satisfy their customers with quality purchases and on time delivery.

One of my friends who had an e-bay retailing business told me the insecurity of e-bay. Several times when she inquired the wholesaler about the stock they told her there is more than she needed. She always placed half of it as available in her website. When a customer orders the item, what does the wholesaler say? “We do not have that much stock we are sorry”. Finally the retailer gets the bad name as not being able to meet the requirements. This does not only affect the retailer, this affects the whole supply chain. Retailer is only part of it. Wholesaler will get the bad name of not being able to provide accurate data. This is why business owners should have a good relation ship with each other in there supply chain.

The supply chain needs an accurate information flow for the transformation of goods from the origin of the raw material to the final consumer level. This involves distribution of product from supplier to the manufacture, wholesaler, and retailer and to the final consumer. These are points of the supply chain. This process includes activities of production planning, purchasing, materials management, distribution, customer service and forecasting. Ultimate success depends on the efficient functioning of the entire chain.

A wholesaler’s inability to maintain inventory control or respond to sudden changes in demand for stock may mean that a retailer not being able to meet the final consumer demand. And also if the retailer cannot maintain sales data properly may result in inadequate forecasting of manufacturing requirements. The dispatch and distribution functions need to be effective as well. Movement of product from one point to another has to be timely. The key to better communication is electronic transfer of information.

Using the internet in this process has a number of benefits.
It saves money and time by removing paper transactions. Reduce errors in the information passed along the supply chain by avoiding re-keying data from hand written or faxed documents. It improves satisfaction of the customers with the delivery of information in real time. Integration of dispatch and distribution data with product development data at each end results in real cost savings.

For information exchange associated with the movement of product along the supply chain to work effectively, the adoption of agreed data standards and conventions is required. The standards should be consistent with globally agreed standards. And technology should be proven. The standards should provide unique identifying numbering for products and business. Standards should include supporting information such as date and address. Allow the information to be read in a machine-readable format such as barcode. Message formats for the transactions and business documents you normally use.

Internet empowers the global supply chains (GSC) to function as one. You are not limited to your local niche. To maintain the (GSC) properly, you should communicate and find trustable businesses for your supply chain. For this you might even want to find out your wholesaler’s buying links. This is essential to maintain a good supply chain and prevent your business from getting a bad name.

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