Getting orders to your customer in a timely and efficient manner is crucial to the overall success of an organization. What strategies would you use in fulfillment and distribution? Why? What role does logistics and supply chain management play in fulfillment and distribution? Can information technology be integrated into fulfillment and distribution? How?
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No matter how hard a company might try to create a perfect product and how detailed the production process could be, delayed delivery of the product to the customer, the delivery of a product that has been deformed in the process of transportation, or any other issue related to the fulfillment stage, will inevitably harm a company’s reputation and avert the customers. Therefore, a series of reasonable solutions concerning logistics must be made in the fulfillment and distribution process. To start with, the key principles of logistics must be used to check whether the current route is perfect for delivering the goods. The following issues must be taken into account:
- Distance (the shorter, the better);
- Method of transportation (the fastest and the safest is preferable);
- The specifics of goods (if fragile, previous two issues should be overlooked);
- Costs (e.g., export duties);
- Means of distribution.
The point at which each of the aforementioned issues crosses is the most reasonable choice in terms of logistics. Supply chain management factors into the given plan in that it allows coordinating the process even if the products are delivered to another state.
At the given point, the significance of information technology should be mentioned – the latter helps inform the clients, consider negative and favorable outside factors, etc. It will be a good idea to integrate the principles of information sharing within the company, seeing how the product is likely to be distributed with the help of a third-party company and, therefore, the data must be kept updated all the time with free access to it for all those concerned, including the distributors.
Complex organizations in a global economy need a comprehensive supply chain network. How would you determine what type of supply chain network is needed by the organization? What aspects of information technology do you need to incorporate into your supply chain network?
The process of goods transportation, distribution, and delivery to the end customers is a complicated task that must be fast and efficient (Coyle, Langley, Novack, & Gibson, 2013). As a rule, there are several basic steps that any type of supply chain management includes; to be more exact, these are inbound, internal, and outbound logistics. However, for supply chain management to be efficient, one has to adapt it to the specifics of the company, depending on the key features of the latter. As a rule, the following types of SCM can be distinguished:
- “The Logistics Network – Service vs. Cost” (Newton, n. d., p. 3);
The given type of SCN allows for choosing the least costly avenue for delivering the goods to the customer.
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- “The Supply Chain Network – Service vs. Profit” (Newton, n. d., p. 3);
Similar to the previous type of SCN, the given one embraces more issues, including the evaluation of metrics and contribution.
- “The Business Unit – Service vs. Profit and Cash” (Newton, n. d., p. 3)
Providing an efficient means to optimize the company’s working capital reductions, the given type of SCN is the most popular among the owners of all types of companies, starting with SMEs and up to large corporations that have already expanded into the globalized market. Therefore, when speaking about the strategy that seems most reasonable, one should probably pick the last one, seeing how it can be tailored to the needs of any company. Thus, it can be assumed that the choice of supply management strategy must be based on such factors as the possible costs and losses, the region in question, and the product family.
Coyle, J. J., Langley, C. J., Novack, B. A., & Gibson, C. J. (2013). Supply chain management: A logistics perspective, 9th ed. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.
Newton, T. (n. d.). Meeting the network optimization challenge. Web.