Barton International

What is Supply Chain Management, and Why Is It Important?


Discover the importance of our supply chain management services and why you should avoid going directly to an offshore supplier for parts.

Supply chain management has never been more important for businesses in an increasingly unstable global market. 

In June 2022, 20% of active UK companies experienced worldwide disruption, with the manufacturing industry recording the highest percentage of interference for companies containing 10 or more employees.  

Read on to learn how effective supply chain management from a reputable company like ours can solve such issues with coherency, adaptability and organisation across the five vital elements.

Discover the importance of our supply chain management services and why you should avoid going directly to an offshore supplier for parts.

What is Supply Chain Management?

Supply chain management is the organisation and administration of parts, products, and services that flow from material sources to the eventual end user. From manufacturing to delivery, supply chain management includes all processes that transform raw materials into finished products ready for purchase and subsequent distribution.

Often businesses will create a network of suppliers that move products from different stages until reaching the consumer. Essentially, supply chain management helps streamline your process and ensure quality control and legislation are satisfied across every stage.

Why is Supply Chain Management Important?

Supply chain management is important because it enables businesses to provide maximum value and quality for their customers and gain a competitive advantage over the competition in the market.

It also gives businesses complete control and peace of mind to know consumer expectations across time, cost, and quality are consistently sustained.

Several business objectives can be achievable with supply chain management, including:

  • Controlling manufacturing processes.
  • Ensuring quality control and avoiding costly shortages or inventory excess.
  • Reducing the risk of recalls or lawsuits.
  • Managing delivery to maintain consumer satisfaction.
  • Convenience for worldwide operations managing large volumes of supply.

However, crucial to supply chain management is certifying the relevant accreditation of your products. For example, in the UK, supply chain management firms are expected to be certified with ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) and UKAS (The United Kingdom Accreditation Service) standards. 

Although not mandatory, these standards ensure consumers that they can trust a supply chain manager to comply with international and national standards for the products and services they provide.

Supply chain management provides consistency and allows businesses to build healthy relationships across a network of consumers, manufacturers, and suppliers.

By companies managing the supply chain, they can help cut excess costs and deliver the product or service to consumers faster to further boost customer satisfaction and loyalty. 

5 Important Elements of Supply Chain Management

The importance of supply chain management is proven across these five vital procedures:

1. Strategy

The key to success in any process is organisation. And the same goes for the supply chain management. Regardless of the size and flow of your supply chain process, the first stage requires planning. A supply chain management strategy will allow your business to align manufacturing and consumer demands with delivery objectives.

This initial planning stage requires predicting future costs and production volumes and meeting these demands with the necessary supply. From raw materials to production and shipping, your business needs experts to conduct an accurate strategy across the supply chain to meet expectations at every subsequent stage.

2. Sourcing

With our strategy in place, the next element is to ensure we source the materials and parts for our product or service from the correct suppliers. Building healthy relationships with your suppliers is key to ensuring communication remains cohesive.

Raw materials must meet manufacturing specifications for quality and cost, while businesses should always consider lead time and whether their supplier complies with all the necessary arrangements.

3. Manufacturing

Next, we have the essence of supply chain management with the crucial element of manufacturing. Similar to sourcing, healthy relationships go a long way with your manufacturers to enable your goods to be transformed from raw materials into finished products ready for the shelves.

It’s not uncommon that the manufacturing process in your supply chain is divided into separate tasks such as assembly, testing, inspection, packaging etc. While it’s ideal to have one trusted manufacturer managing every aspect, you may have to spread the manufacturing across multiple outlets, which requires more management obligations to support the efficient flow of your supply chain.

4. Delivery

Now, what appears like the final hurdle in your supply chain, after the hard work is completed, ensure your product is delivered on time to avoid upsetting your consumers.

It’s wise to establish alternative delivery options in case your main transport method fails unexpectantly. Extreme weather and unstable geopolitical issues are just a couple of unknown factors known to cause significant travel disruption.

5. Returns

If a consumer is unsatisfied with your product or service, it’s essential to create a convenient and cohesive return policy to maintain customer loyalty.

Known in the trade as “reverse logistics”, returns are an essential element for sustaining your brand reputation by solving an issue directly with minimal confusion and delay. This process relies on establishing a concise refund policy to remedy any customer dissatisfaction.

Across all five elements, the importance of supply chain management is to ensure efficient and effective delivery of quality to meet your business goals while being prepared for unknown delivery complications with a swift remedy for returns.

Speak to a Specialist in Supply Chain Management

At Barton International, we’ve built the foundations of our business upon the passion and endeavour to simplify the supply chain for our clients. We focus on delivering optimal value, delivery, and quality across a broad range of products and processes. 

We’re committed to providing support through product design, testing, final assembly, packaging, and logistics solutions.

From designing to co-designing and manufacturing numerous commonplace products across multiple industries, our combined experience and global accreditation enable us to provide reliable quality across our products and services your business can trust.  

Key to our success and reputation is the relationships we maintain with local Midlands-based manufacturers alongside global partners with a history of trading in China spanning over 30 years.

So, if your business requires a reliable supply chain management service across every aspect, from creation to completion, we have the skills and experience to exceed your expectations.

Get in touch for more information.

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