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Operation Management Process: Supply Chain

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Question:

Discuss about the Operation Management Process for Supply Chain.

 

Answer:

Introduction

Processes are an essential part of human lives. Various processes revolve around the daily lives assisting in obtaining the expected output. Every business organization follows a set of steps or a process to manufacture its goods and finally deliver the goods to the customers. This report highlights the supply chain management process in the business organization Woolworths.  Woolworths being one of the largest retailers and supplier of grocery has to follow a strict process in order to reach the position of a leader in the retail market. The supply chain management process has been highlighted in the report, along with the use of the concept of the process design analysis.       

Supply Chain Management Process  

The process of supply chain management has a key significance in the competitive market. The supply chain management is the process of the flow of goods and the products from the manufacturing department to the customers. Moreover, the flow of the raw material, to the production unit and its supply into the work-in progress inventory is also included in the Supply Chain Management process. The various stages of the Supply Chain Management process are as follows:

  1. Plan: The first stage of the Supply Chain Management process is the planning stage. The planning is essential in order to ensure the efficient supply chain management. It is essential that Woolworths plan the supply of the raw materials to the production unit, along with ensuring that the raw materials are supplied to the production unit and once the production is done, the final products are transferred to the delivery unit (Arli et al. 2013). The finished goods as well as the groceries need to be timely supplied to the customers, thus ending the supply chain. Effective planning of these stages is important in Woolworths.
  2. Develop: Once the planning stage is completed, the focus shifts to the development of an effective relation with the suppliers of the raw materials (Fernie and Sparks 2014). If the supplies of the raw materials are somehow disrupted, then the overall production will be hampered, thus damaging the supply chain. Woolworths have a wide variety of suppliers; hence a positive relation is to be developed with all these suppliers in order to ensure effective supply.
  3. Make: This is the third stage of the Supply Chain Management process. In this stage, the actual manufacturing of the product take place. In this stage of the Supply Chain, the products are produced, tested as well as packed (Connelly et al. 2013). In this stage, the process is dedicated to ensure that the manufacturing of the products along with the testing and packaging is done effectively.
  4. Deliver: In this phase of the Supply Chain Management process, the completed products are shifted to the delivery section and are delivered to the customers. This stage is significant and of importance since the delivery, stage has to ensure that the customers receive the products, fresh and in time. Any form of negligence will result n delay of delivery of the products to the customers, thus bringing in disruption of the Supply Chain.
  5. Return: The last stage of the Supply chain Process is the return stage, where the damaged goods are returned from the customers and brought back to Woolworths. The efficiency of the previous stages ensures that lesser number of products will be brought back to the company from the customers (Fernie and Sparks 2014). Thus, if there is negligence in the previous stages of the Supply Chain, then the return stage will result in return of higher number of products, thus affecting the brand image of Woolworths.

Concepts of Process Design Analysis

An effective process of the supply chain management includes all the steps that are needed in the completion of the overall process. Fawcett et al. (2014), have mentioned about various process design related to the process design of supply chian management of a retail company. The supply chain process of Woolworth Limited contains all the integrated process that helps to deal with the manufacture and the delivery of the products helps in the overall business operations. The supply chain of the retail manufacturing units is mainly composed of two level of integrated process. The first step is the planning production and inventory process control that is followed by the steps of logistics and distribution process.

Design of Supply Chain Process

Figure 1: Design of Supply Chain Process

(Source: Fawcett et al. 2014)

In the planning production and inventory control process includes the overall manufacturing and the storage units. The planning of the production includes all the process that is the part of manufacturing of a product. Being one of biggest retail units the Woolworth has one of the largest chains of suppliers that include nearly 6000 suppliers. It is possible support nearly 20000 users, which is the major party of the company. It is the duty of the supply chain managers and production unit to be a part of the fast growing supply chain management of the company (Arli et al. 2013). The packaging of all the products related in the production unit of the company is marked with barcodes that help in the specification and identification of the products. The trademark of the company helps in proper identification of the brand and hence, delivers the products accordingly. The system of multi coded pallets help in the process of identification of same type of units with the supply chain process.  It is also important in the context to follow the legal guidelines of the product delivery system, which will help in the process of maintain clarity.

The followings step in the supply chain operation process includes distribution of the products in logistics process. The Woolworths limited has dedicated warehouse, from where all the required products are being supplied to the customers and also to the retailers. The mode of transportation is also an important part of the distribution of the supply chain. With the advancement of the latest form of technology, it is also advisable to use the latest tracking device that helps in the process to get the information about the location of the products (Stadtler 2015). The process of controlling inventory is also an important part of this process and it helps to deal with managing the overall time that is needed in the overall process. The main objective of the supply chain process is to reduce the time that is involved in the overall process of the supply chain management. Hence, with less delivery time management, it is possible for the company to have faster modes of delivery.

Conclusion

The effective supply chain management is thus one of the most important part of the overall operation management of the Woolworth Limited that helps in the overall process gaining competitive advantage. The overall process and the concepts related to the supply chain management is the main part of the operations related to the supply. It is also important in the context to note that with the proper design and implication of the supply chain management plan, it is possible to have effective business operations.

 

References

Arli, V., Dylke, S., Burgess, R., Campus, R. and Soldo, E., 2013. Woolworths Australia and Walmart US: Best practices in supply chain collaboration. Journal of Economics, Business & Accountancy Ventura, 16(1).

Connelly, B.L., Ketchen, D.J. and Hult, G.T.M., 2013. Global supply chain management: toward a theoretically driven research agenda. Global Strategy Journal, 3(3), pp.227-243.

Fawcett, S.E., Ellram, L.M. and Ogden, J.A., 2014. Supply chain management: from vision to implementation. London: Pearson.

Fernie, J. and Sparks, L., 2014. Logistics and retail management: emerging issues and new challenges in the retail supply chain. Kogan Page Publishers.

Stadtler, H., 2015. Supply chain management: An overview. In Supply chain management and advanced planning (pp. 3-28). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

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