Supply Chain discussion questions

8 August 2016

The first stage of the supply chain is the supplier. Initially, the supplier provides the material necessary for the production of the soda can to the manufacturer, who had previously passed an order for the material. When the material is passed from the supplier to the manufacturer, money is passed from the manufacturer to the supplier. Here, there was a flow of money, information, and material. After this, the distributer passes information to the manufacturer who in turn makes the product and delivers it in return for money. Again, we have a flow of money, information, and the product.

Now let’s go back to the retailer sold the soda can to the customer. In order for the retailer to get the soda can, he had to order it from the distributor. In this stage of the supply chain the product is passed from the distributor to the retailer, and money and information is passed from the retailer to the distributor. A customer purchasing a can of soda at a convenience store shows the end of the supply chain, which is the fulfilling of the customer request. The flow occurring with this purchase is the can going to the customer and the money and information going to the retailer that sold the soda can to the customer.

Supply Chain discussion questions Essay Example

Why should a firm like Dell take into account total supply chain profitability when making decisions? The objective of any supply chain is to be able to maximize the supply chain surplus, which is the difference between what the value of the final product is to the customer and the costs the supply chain incurs in filling the customer request. Total supply chain profitability is the difference between revenue generated from the customer and the overall cost across the supply chain.

A company like Dell needs to take into account total supply chain profitability when making decisions because it is the total profit to be shared across all supply chain stages, and the higher the supply chain profitability, the more successful is the supply chain. For any profit making company, the supply chain surplus means the profit they are making, and a focus on growing the supply chain surplus pushes all the supply chain members towards growing. The success of a company relies mainly on the success of its supply chain and how it will manage to generate supply chain surplus.

Dell recently had to change its supply chain due to new market demands. They are making improvements to their supply chain in order to respond to their customer demands in order to achieve supply chain surplus and make enough profits to stay on top. Dell, like any other company needs to keep track of its supply chain and keep improving its performance in order to be profitable. 3. What are some strategic planning and operational decisions that must be made by an apparel retailer like The Gap? Successful supply chain management requires many decisions relating the flow of information, product, and funds.

All of the decisions are made for one purpose: the maximize supply chain surplus. Depending on the frequency and time frame of the decisions, they fall under three categories: strategic, planning, and operational. Strategic: During this phase, Gap should decide how to structure the supply chain over the next several years. Some of the strategic decisions that should be made by gap would be the location of the stores and warehouses. They should also make transportations decisions such as if they should take care of it themselves or hire someone for the transportation.

Also, long term marketing plans about their brand should be made. Finally, the manufacturing decisions should be made such as where the manufacturing should be done and the choice of their suppliers. Planning: The goal of planning is to maximize the supply chain surplus that can be generated over the planning horizon given the constraints established during the strategic or design phase. The time frame for planning is considered to be 3 months. In this section, Gap should plan their seasonal marketing, as well as the seasonal demands and what clothes to be put on sale for the season.

Here, they can also decide on which retailers to use, and the best times for their promotions. Operation: For the operations, the time frame is weekly or even daily, which means decisions made here are regarding individual customer orders. The only goal is to handle customer orders in the best possible way, since all of the other important decisions have been made in the other phases. Gap here would have to make decisions regarding where to allocate their inventory, pass their orders and chose delivery date. They will also have to schedule staff working time and work allocation, as well as replenishment dates.

Consider the supply chain involved when a customer purchases a book at a bookstore. Identify cycles in this supply chain and the location of the push/pull boundary. All supply chain processes can be broken down into cycles that fall under four categories. These four categories connect two successive stages of a certain supply chain. Customer order cycle: this occurs when the customer purchases the book from the bookstore and connects the customer with the retailer. Replenishment cycle: this occurs when the retailer needs to pass an order from the distributor in order to have more books to sale.

This cycle connects the retailer with the distributor. Manufacturing cycle: this occurs when the distributor’s warehouses start getting empty and they need more books to be made and delivered to them. This cycle connects the distributor to the manufacturer. Procurement cycle: this occurs when the manufacturer needs more supplies in order to make the books. They need the supplier to provide them with the material necessary for the book fabrication. This cycle connects the manufacturer with the supplier. In the case of the bookstore supply chain, the push/pull boundary exists between the customer order cycle and the replenishment cycle.

Pull process means a reaction to customer demand, while push processes respond to speculated demands. During the customer order cycle it is the pull process occurring. The bookstore executes all processes in the customer order cycle after the customer order has taken place. All processes done in the other 3 cycles are done in anticipation of demand and therefore are push processes. 5. Consider the supply chain involved when a customer orders a book from Amazon. Identify the push/pull boundary and two processes each in the push and pull phases.

Amazon sells books but does not have retail stores. Their books are sold via their Internet website. Amazon has their own warehouses where they store books to be sold, and they order their books directly from the publishers. Here the boundary between the pull and push processes can be different. If the customer orders a book that Amazon has in their warehouse, the customer order cycle is the only cycle using the pull phase and the other cycles are using the push phase because orders are being made speculatively since they are not made after customer order.

On the other hand, if Amazon receives a specific customer order which they can not fulfill because they do not have it in their inventory, they will have to order from the publisher or another party making this part of the pull cycle. Push phase: one of the processes in this phase would be the amount of books inventory to be kept in their warehouses and how they should be arranged. The other process would be the replenishment of their inventory from the publishers. Pull phase: one of the processes would be fulfilling customer orders and the other would be the billing and shipping of books to the customers.

In what way do supply chain flows affect the success or failure of a firm like Amazon? List two supply chain decisions that have a significant impact on supply chain profitability. Supply chain flows affect greatly the failure or success of a firm like Amazon. Especially for firms like Amazon, the flow of products must be quick and effective in order to satisfy customer demand. When customers make their orders they expect the product to be delivers within a certain period of time, and it is the correct functioning of the supply chain of the firm that will allow for that to happen and for the customer’s demand to be fulfilled.

Without that, the company is doomed to fail. With a good flow of information, money, and product from the publisher to the distributor to the customer, and the good coordination of all the members of the supply chain, the success of Amazon is achieved. Two supply chain decisions that would have a significant impact on supply chain profitability would be replenishment orders and sourcing decisions. .

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