Supply Chain Management : Case Study

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Kevin Lane
Professor Wenninger
25 March 2015
Supply Chain Management
Tom Greening once said, "All management begins with planning” (Tom Greening). Those who study and research supply chain management will agree that the aforementioned quote holds true in their field. Companies looking to reduce their costs and better their customer service often look to implement supply chain management. In order to effectively execute successful supply chain management one must acknowledge the importance of demand management, communication, collaboration, integration, and technology.
According to Investopedia, supply chain management is defined as the streamlining of a business ' supply-side activities to maximize customer value and to
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Along with demand management, effective communication and collaboration improve overall efficiency and production of the supply chain. Good communication ensures that all of the company’s team members are on the same page, this way each member can perform his or her duty on time and respond to a change in demand. Communication between members can act as an advantage, for example if a new product becomes available they can jump on it right away and get it on the market as fast as possible. Integration provides a different type of advantage than communication and collaboration because it helps to reduce costs. For instance, Wal-Mart calls upon their suppliers to share up-to-date information on demand to route their products to Wal-Mart’s warehouses, from there the products are shipped to the stores in need, with minimum time in inventory. This integration allows Wal-Mart’s to reduce costs significantly, enabling them to offer customers highly competitive pricing.
Technology plays a very important role in the management of the supply chain. Not only does technology make communication and collaboration easier but it also allows for better insight into the demand signals that drive product schedules. Teleconferencing technology allows for company managers to meet face to face on the computer instead of having to fly or drive to wherever their headquarters may be located, ultimately saving the company a lot of dollars. Technology has also improved companies’ inventory
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