Supply chain operations in any business or company are regarded as some of the highly essential processes that serve as the backbone. Managing the efficiency and effectiveness of the supply chain processes within a business, therefore, determines its performance and profitability in the short and long term. Whereas the concept of supply chain management involves the general control and monitoring of the flow of goods and services in a business, it is highly complicated and thus should be controlled and monitored to optimize the business’ performance. To keep the supply chain processes in a business under control, three critical areas should be monitored and regulated, including the inbound processes, the storage processes, and the outbound processes.
Inbound Supply Chain Processes
The inbound processes, depending on the nature of business concerned, are the various avenues where a business has the opportunity to take in products by way of either procuring from partner companies, or manufacturing goods within the company. Managing the inbound processes requires the evaluation of various critical activities. To maintain the supply chain process at its optimum level of performance, the supply chain manager should be able to compute the accurate stock levels required to be maintained. This requires an understanding of each of the inventory items and being able to track them using the stock keeping unit numbers.
The manager should always take note of any existing excess stock that, when not properly monitored, could lead to a reduction in the working capital available for the business. The inbound processes should be harmonized with the customer demands for the particular stocks to prevent instances where obsolete stock consumes capital and space, something that can culminate to operational losses.
Storage Supply Chain Processes
The second important part of the supply chain processes involves the storage operations. Management activities can be quite complicated especially since the manager has to rely on accurate information relating to location and quantities of certain stock as well as harmonizing it with the inbound and outbound processes. The integrated nature of the storage component of supply chain management requires the use of an appropriate enterprise resource planning tools that can only be achievable using an appropriate supply chain visibility software which is designed to give an accurate overview and estimation of the volume of stock required to maintain a healthy supply chain process. The necessity of the software is particularly overemphasized by the fact that modern-day supply chain processes involve tracking of huge amounts of data from multiple warehouses, a process that can be complex to mediate without such software.
Outbound Supply Chain Processes
The last important component of the supply chain process involves the outbound activities which involve the various avenues where the stored stock is channeled out of the warehouse to the respective avenues where it is demanded. Outbound processes are complex, data-driven, and involve tracking individual stock levels and stock types. They also involve matching the stock with the respective customers while tracking the sales made as well as keeping accurate communication with the inbound activities. The outbound processes also require synchronization with the various outbound logistics platforms such as the shipment methods to be used to avoid a backlog of outbound stock.