Supply Chain Management structure
A supply chain is a very critical aspect of any organization. It majorly focuses on acquisition of raw materials from suppliers by an organization. In addition, it undertakes them through the production process to realize final products or services which are then distributed to either intermediate or final consumers. According to Wilding (2003), effective and successful supply chain management integrates all organizational activities. This includes purchase of raw materials, manufacturing, and distribution of final products to the target market. However, Fabbe-Costes & Jahre (2008) noted that an effective supply chain must put into consideration both inbound and outbound organizational supply chain management activities (Croxton, García-Dastugue, & Lambert, 2001). Some of the company groups include: This is a Student Sample ORDER YOUR PAPER NOW
Management: González-Loureiro, Dabic, & Kiessling (2015 ) noted that to make supply chain management effective, the management team must be in the forefront during the supply chain management.
Purchasing Department: The procurement team helps an organization by providing it with expertise and flexibility that are essential for supporting the supply chain projects throughout an (Burges et al., 2006).
Supply Chain Partnerships: Supply chain partnerships are entitled to identify, foster and manage supply chain management partners who are in alignment with the strategies created by supply chain management teams.
Tiers: Tiers are the organizations that rely on particular groups in supply chain for necessary supplies. The essential supplies may include scarce raw materials or critical resources needed for production of the company’s products.
Application of Supply Chain Management Structure in Footwear
The aspects attributable to the company’s supply chain are as discussed below:
Upstream: Toms applies the aspect of upstream by engaging in search for raw materials to be utilized during the manufacturing process. Toms engage in a search for raw materials such as leather, soles, Buckles, Bolts and color threads.
Downstream: Toms undertakes the aspect of downstream by taking the raw materials through production process. The company undertakes raw materials from production process into finished products.
Tier 1: The closest partners of Toms are RK Leather Suppliers which supplies the company with leather needed for manufacturing the company’s final products.
Tier 2: Toms’ second suppliers are Sagar Colors that provides the company with color threads.
Tier 3: The third suppliers of Toms are local markets that provide the company with designer stationery, soles, buckles, and bolts.
Focal Point: Toms target market is in North America targeting a population of people between thirteen and thirty years. This group includes both men and women either college degree holders or high school holders.
How Supply Chains Compete
The supply chain may compete from various perspectives such as time, cost, quality, and sustainability. These four aspects must be integrated together for an effective supply chain (Squire, Cousins, Lawson, & Brown, 2009). This is because successful supply chain management focuses on improving business activities, at the same time observing efficiency and speed. Alternatively, it aims at providing customers with quality products because these customers always consider the aspect of value in a particular product (Williamson, 2008). This paper explores each supply chain aspect of determining how organizations can use them to establish competitive advantage both in their markets and industries. Organizations have different forms of supply chain management depending on demand and supply of a given product. For instance, if a product has high demand, then the supply chain curve will also be positively skewed. On the other hand, if the demand is low, then the supply chain curve will be skewed negatively. Supply chains compete in the following ways:
In terms of time, supply chains compete according to the period taken to complete a supply chain cycle (Naslund & Williamson, 2010). This ranges from the point of sourcing production essentials from suppliers until the time when the product is distributed to the customer. Organizations with long supply chain cycles tend to be more competitively advantageous that organizations whose supply chains are short. Organizations that have adopted short supply chain cycles tend to have a robust competitive advantage than the organizations using long supply chain cycles. Sukatia, Hamida, Baharuna, & Yusoffa (2012) noted that different supply chains have different time intervals and cycles. In support Azedegan & Philips (2011) acknowledged that effective supply chains should consider critical aspects. Some of these aspects include ordering lead time, production cycles, and the number of distributions, inventory levels and services associated with delivering the products to customers.
Cost is a sensitive aspect for any organization. Companies always tend to adopt supply chains which are less costly as a way of maximizing their profits (Kumar, 2014). Therefore, the majority of organizations will tend to adopt cost-effective supply chains as a way of increasing their competitive advantage. This will be accompanied by high quality and cheap products delivered in a quick manner. For example, top companies will tend to use very complicated logistics facilities that include computer algorithms that help them to establish unique and cost effective strategies for carrying out production operations as well as distributing final products to their customers.
Qualitative aspect in supply chain is very fundamental (Sharma, Garg, & Agarwal, 2012). This is because customers will often expect high-quality products from the company as time progresses. If a product is of low quality especially during production, it will be less marketable than products which are of high quality. This is because most customers always prefer quality goods. Therefore, the management should ensure that supply chain is of good quality enough to meet all operations it performs in the whole procedure of supply chain. The high-quality supply chain will be a competitive advantage to the company (Sharma, Garg, & Agarwal, 2012).
Sustainability is a crucial aspect in the competitive advantage of any organization. According to Popa & Duică (2011), many organizations have claimed leadership positions in their organizations through sustainable supply chain management. In support Arif, Bakkappa, Sahay , & Metri (2012) noted that once the companies lose their supply chain competitive advantage, the process of losing the market leadership to competitors will begin. However, companies that have developed sustainable supply chain enjoy continuous leadership both in the market and in the industry. For example, companies such as Honda, Dell, and Wal-Mart have been able to outdo their competitors in marketing because of their supply chains’ competency (Yarusso & Sanderson, 2010). The products of any company should always be sustainable. This is a Student Sample ORDER YOUR PAPER NOW
From the analysis of supply chain management, it is clear that competitive advantage for any organization is majorly found in supply chain competency. Successful companies in their industries have mastered the importance of competitive aspects such as time, cost, quality, and sustainability. They have applied them effectively to outperform their competitors. Therefore, supply chain is a competitive aspect, and thus each organization should focus towards establishing a robust one.
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