Proxima

25 January 2023
Topics in this article
  • Supply Chain & Logistics

Everything you need to know about Supply Chain Consultancy and Optimization

Improve Effectiveness And Resilience in Your Critical Supply Chains

More organizations are facing challenges to modern supply chain management than ever before. This is due to a historical focus on price and consolidation, creating supply chains that are highly efficient but lack simplicity, transparency, and resilience.

As a result, leaders seek supply chain solutions that increase the visibility, transparency, and traceability of what actually happens within their organization and ensure protection against supplier failure, cost variance, and reputational damage within their wider supply chains. 

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Organizations need supply chain solutions that can operate seamlessly within a volatile economic environment, balancing price against availability, agility, sustainability, and working capital needs. Our Supply Chain & Logistics Services are designed to build supply chains that can last for the long term, while still addressing what leaders need in the short term. Our supply chain services provide:

  • Mapping of critical supply chains and identification of vulnerable points and risks
  • An analysis of ‘trade-offs’ for adaptive flexibility and resilience
  • Insight into new market opportunities that have opened up
  • A prioritization of sustainability in the supply chain to reach decarbonization goals
  • Optimal supply chain visibility and planning

DEFINITION OF SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT

Supply chain management (SCM) refers to an organization’s management of the flow of goods and services, and covers all steps involved from raw materials, to product creation through to delivery to the customer.

Aspects of modern supply chain management include service or product creation, order fulfillment, and information tracking across all involved parties, such as suppliers, transportation, and retailers.

Supply chain solutions provide support across all primary areas of supply chain management, which comprise the following:

Planning

Planning refers to the analysis and selection of different options presented within an operations strategy, such as deciding whether to manufacture a product or purchase from an external supplier, or whether goods are made to stock or to order. It also involves mapping out the manufacturing facilities network in order to determine the levels of production and organize efficient transportation between sites. Forecasting is one of the most critical activities within Supply Chain Planning; assessing volumes in order to assure timely and correct supply of all materials to enable efficient operations.

Sourcing

This stage of supply chain management involves acquiring the raw materials and components required to create the final product. Priorities include supplier identification, vetting sources, running tender, negotiating sales contracts, managing inventory, and scheduling deliveries, and may involve working with a network of suppliers if choosing to outsource product creation. Whilst raw materials and components are the most obvious examples, other goods and services will need to be sourced to set up or manage a full chain such as logistics, warehousing space, IT systems, labor, drivers, etc.

Product Development

Product development refers to the actual production of the product or service and covers the scheduling of activities, product testing, product packaging, and release. Key aspects of product creation include determining quality standards, performance indicators, and ensuring regulatory compliance is paramount.

Delivery

Another critical aspect of supply chain management is organizing delivery or fulfillment to ensure products reach the organization, and or its customers efficiently and seamlessly. This stage encompasses all the steps from processing inquiries to selecting transportation options, as well as warehouse and inventory management.

Which of our supply chain services will prove most beneficial to your organization is dependent on your needs, which differ from industry to industry. While some organizations will require a larger focus on creating a physical product and dealing with prioritized planning and delivery across a broader global supplier base, those offering services will focus on service orchestration.

For help determining which aspects are pivotal to your organization, please take advantage of our supply chain consultancy services.

What Can a Supply Chain Management Consultant Offer?

Implementing a streamlined supply chain management process is crucial to ensure your organization can optimize cost and resilience whilst competing within an increasingly complex market and meeting its other business goals.

Whether that’s a focus on quality, innovation, working towards becoming carbon neutral, or growth through expanding your customer base.

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With effective supply chain consultancy and management, you can expect to:

  • Improve supplier and distributor collaboration 
  • Ensure quality control and regulatory compliance
  • Maximize the return on critical investment 
  • Reduce overhead costs while benefiting from the same quality
  • Improve order fulfillment lead time and grow your customer base
  • Optimize shipping while minimizing transportation costs
  • Improve sustainability in the supply chain, including decarbonization
  • Mitigate risks around chain disruptions or order issues

Delivering Positive Change – The Proxima Approach

Reduce the stress of supply chain management by utilizing a Financial Times and Forbes award-winning supply chain consultancy like Proxima.

Our team of experts is deployed into the organization to undertake a comprehensive review of your supply chain, allowing us to create and implement crucial improvement strategies.

We will work to understand critical needs as part of our in-depth appraisal to ensure our strategy meets the business needs of both your organization and key partners and further supplement our analysis with a review of supplier contracts and associated performance. In addition, we will:

  • Develop specific strategies for critical goods/services and supply chains.
  • Work with existing suppliers on their transparency and resilience strategies.
  • Set up complementary or shadow supply chains as required.
  • Support the organization to build a risk framework and implement digital monitoring.
  • Balance the short-term acceleration opportunity with long-term requirements.

Supply Chain Consultancy FAQs

What is Supply Chain Management, and why is it important?

Supply chain management (SCM) is the handling and supervision of the flow of goods or services, covering all elements from product planning and creation through to customer delivery. The aim of SCM is to improve the efficiency, resilience, and cost of the chain including product distribution in order to maximize customer value and compete with rival organizations.

How Supply Chain Management (SCM) works

Supply chain management works by encouraging suppliers to develop and implement chains that are as streamlined and economical as possible. This covers everything from production and product development to delivery and information systems that monitor performance and any other elements involved in the creation and distribution of goods.

SCM ensures reliable supply and that no part of this process generates higher costs than necessary, ensuring organizations can benefit from high product or service level quality without compromising on price.

What will affect supply chains in the future?

Labor supply is predicted to evolve significantly over the next decade due to rapid growth in emerging economies and moderate growth in developed economies influencing the labor pool available to organizations.

Current supply chain strategies must adapt to accommodate these projected changes to ensure organizations can survive in the long term. Whilst the location of the labor pool is important, many global supply chains rely upon specific pools of skill expertise, a trend that organizations must either continue to embrace or make a strategic plan to reduce reliance through onshoring or automation, for example, to drive availability and productivity.

What are the main supply chain challenges and risks?

The primary challenge facing supply chains is managing spend in the face of numerous and sometimes conflicting business priorities. A lack of visibility, accountability, and strategic procurement strategies will result in unnecessary and costly operational expenses.

Key contributors to rising costs include fuel prices, increasing commodity prices, high labor costs from suppliers and manufacturers, and complex international logistics resulting in higher charges for product storage, transfer, and handling.

If you want to find out more the future of supply chains, our EVP Simon Geale provided expert commentary to Supply Chain Dive.

What are the different types of supply chain strategies?

Overall, there are six supply chain models, but there can be hybrids of different models.

The core six can be divided into two main groups; those which focus on efficiency and those that prioritize responsiveness.

Efficiency-oriented models will orient around metrics measurement with the purpose of improving materials utilization, cost reduction, and performance, while responsive chains will focus on planning and predicting market changes in order to ensure constant relevance and continued product provisions.

Which is best for your organization depends on your needs and goals. 

Talk With One of Our Supply Chain Specialists 

To find out more about how your organization can benefit from our supply chain solutions, speak to our expert consultants today. We have a number of examples of how we’ve helped businesses streamline their provisions and the associated benefits, covering all industries. 

Please contact us if you wish to discuss building a resilient supply chain.

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