Core concepts of SCM?

SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT In commerce, supply chain management (SCM), the management of the flow of goods and services, involves the movement and storage of raw materials, of work-in-process inventory, and of finished goods from point of origin to point of consumption. Interconnected, interrelated or interlinked networks, channels and node businesses combine in the provision of products and services required by end customers in a supply chain. Supply-chain management has been defined as the "design, planning, execution, control, and monitoring of supply-chain activities with the objective of creating net value, building a competitive infrastructure, leveraging worldwide logistics, synchronizing supply with demand and measuring performance globally.” For more explanation visit: LOGISTICS Logistics is generally the detailed organization and implementation of a complex operation. In a general business sense, logistics is the management of the flow of things between the point of origin and the point of consumption to meet the requirements of customers or corporations. The resources managed in logistics may include tangible goods such as materials, equipment, and supplies, as well as food and other consumable items. The logistics of physical items usually involves the integration of information flow, materials handling, production, packaging, inventory, transportation, warehousing, and often security. For more explanation visit: CORE CONCEPTS OF SCM Shortly after your alarm clock goes off and the coffee maker kicks on, the aroma of your favorite coffee fills the air. The supply chain is responsible for getting those coffee beans across the world and to your kitchen. Something so common in every household, takes a great deal of planning, demand forecasting, procurement, and logistical expertise to move those beans to local sellers while still fresh. Without a strong supply chain in place, your caffeine-fix options would be severely limited. SCM involves a series of key activities and processes that must be completed in an efficient (fuel-conserving, cost-reducing, etc.) and timely manner. Otherwise, product will not be available when needed by consumers like you. The Seven Rights of Fulfillment The ability to meet customer requirements, for everything from coffee beans to Crocs, is built upon the expectation that everything is done correctly in the supply chain. And that means doing it right the first time – no mulligans, no mistakes are allowed. In the quest to provide quality service and satisfy customers, world-class companies along the supply chain are guided by the Seven Rights of Fulfillment. If you think about it, every order needs to be executed according to these seven goals. You must attempt to deliver a “perfect order” to every customer every time. Doing it right the first time makes the customer happy, saves the cost of fixing errors, and doesn't require extra use of assets. Thus, every part of the organization has a vested interest in pursuing perfection. A “perfect order” delivery is only attained when all Seven Rights of Fulfillment are achieved. To accomplish a perfect order fulfillment, the seller has to have your preferred product available for order, process your order correctly, ship the entire order via the means that you request, provide you with an advanced shipping notification and tracking number, deliver the complete order on time and without damage, and bill you correctly. A seller’s ultimate goal is to make the customer happy by doing the job right, which gives them a good reason to use the seller’s services again in the future. SCM Flows If the goal of SCM is to provide high product availability through efficient and timely fulfillment of customer demand, then how is the goal accomplished? Obviously, you need effective flows of products from the point of origin to the point of consumption. But there’s more to it. Consider the diagram of the fresh food supply chain. A two-way flow of information and data between the supply chain participants creates visibility of demand and fast detection of problems. Both are needed by supply chain managers to make good decisions regarding what to buy, make, and move. Other flows are also important. In their roles as suppliers, companies have a vested interest in financial flows; suppliers want to get paid for their products and services as soon as possible and with minimal hassle. Sometimes, it is also necessary to move products back through the supply chain for returns, repairs, recycling, or disposal. Because of all the processes that have to take place at different types of participating companies, each company needs supply chain managers to help improve their flows of product, information, and money. This opens the door of opportunity to you to to a wide variety of SCM career options for you! SCM Processes Supply chain activities aren't the responsibility of one person or one company. Multiple people need to be actively involved in a number of different processes to make it work. It's kind of like baseball. While all the participants are called baseball players, they don't do whatever they want. Each person has a role – pitcher, catcher, shortstop, etc. – and must perform well at their assigned duties – fielding, throwing, and/or hitting – for the team to be successful. Of course, these players need to work well together. A hit-and-run play will only be successful if the base runner gets the signal and takes off running, while the batter makes solid contact with the ball. The team also needs a manager to develop a game plan, put people in the right positions, and monitor success. Winning the SCM “game” requires supply chain professionals to play similar roles. Each supply chain player must understand his or her role, develop winning strategies, and collaborate with their supply chain teammates. By doing so, the SCM team can flawlessly execute the following processes: • Planning – the plan process seeks to create effective long- and short-range supply chain strategies. From the design of the supply chain network to the prediction of customer demand, supply chain leaders need to develop integrated supply chain strategies. Broadly, the typical sales and operations planning steps are: 1. Define Your Plan using demand planning and statistical forecasting generate a demand plan aligned with seasonality & product life cycle trends. 2. Agree on an Inventory Strategy to achieve desired service levels by defining statistical safety stocks and reorder point replenishment models. 3. Optimize Supply by rebalancing inventory across sites to resolve supply gaps. 4. Manage Your Constraints to ensure that there is enough capacity to fulfill demand increases and balance worker capacity with material levels 5. Make Decisions by evaluating financial trade-offs to maximize revenue and optimize inventory • Procurement – the buy process focuses on the purchase of required raw materials, components, and goods. As a consumer, you're pretty familiar with buying stuff! Procurement is just one of the many roles involved in a good supply chain. It should be considered a core component of a company’s corporate strategy. Proper procurement management is vital because an organization can end up spending over half of its revenue on purchasing goods and services. Procurement makes a huge difference between the success and failure of a business. The procurement process includes the following steps: 1. Identifying requirements 2. Approving the request for purchase 3. Finding suppliers 4. Making inquiries and receiving quotations 5. Negotiating the terms 6. Making a final selection of the vendor 7. Creating a purchase order and goods receipt 8. Shipping management 9. Receiving invoices and making payments • Production – the make process involves the manufacture, conversion, or assembly of materials into finished goods or parts for other products. Supply chain managers provide production support and ensure that key materials are available when needed. Production has following planning steps: 1. Sales Forecasting 2. Sales and Operations 3. Demand Management 4. Detailed Scheduling 5. Production: 6. Material Requirements Planning 7. Distribution – the move process manages the logistical flow of goods across the supply chain. Transportation companies, third party logistics firms, and others ensure that goods are flowing quickly and safely toward the point of demand. It is an overarching term that refers to numerous activities and processes such as packaging, inventory, warehousing, supply chain, and logistics. 8. Customer Interface – the demand process revolves around all the issues that are related to planning customer interactions, satisfying their needs, and fulfilling orders perfectly.

Demand Management?

Demand management is a planning methodology used to forecast, plan for and manage the demand for products and services. This can be at macro-levels as in economics and at micro-levels within individual organizations. For example, at macro-levels, a government may influence interest rates in order to regulate financial demand. At the micro-level, a cellular service provider may provide free night and weekend use in order to reduce demand during peak hours.

Supplier Relationship Management?

Supplier relationship management (SRM) is the discipline of strategic planning for, and managing, all interactions with third party organizations that supply goods and/or services to an organization in order to maximize the value of those interactions. In practice, SRM entails creating closer, more collaborative relationships with key suppliers in order to uncover and realize new value and reduce risk of failure. Supply chain management (SCM), the management of the flow of goods and services, involves the movement and storage of raw materials, work-in-process inventory, and of finished goods from point of origin to point of consumption. Interconnected, interrelated or interlinked networks, channels and node businesses combine in the provision of products and services required by end customers in a supply the chain.

Sourcing & Purchasing?

Sourcing describes all those activities within the procurement process concerning identifying and evaluating potential suppliers, engaging with selected suppliers and selecting the best value supplier.The outcome of the sourcing process is usually a contract or arrangement that defines what is to be procured, on what terms and from which suppliers. Purchasing refers to the portion of the procurement cycle that is actively engaged in buying a product or service from a supplier. Think of purchasing as the transactional portion of procurement. If procurement is the subject, then purchasing is the verb. Tasks that directly relate to the process of how goods and services are ordered are purchased while activities such as strategic sourcing and vendor contract negotiation constitute procurement.

Quality Management?

Quality Management, the six Total Quality Management factors that are related to supply chain performance are leadership, strategic planning, human resources management, supplier quality management, customer focus, and process management.Strategic Supply Management initiatives include: Reducing supply bases and establishing closer relationships with their suppliers, Buyers are working closely with suppliers and potentially launching joint strategic projects, Earlier supplier involvement and joint problem-solving efforts, leading to the early discovery of quality problems ,Inter-firm production scheduling breaks down barriers between organizations, resulting in shorter production runs, and developing a favorable quality culture based upon top-management commitment to improving beyond organizational boundaries.

Introduction to Logistics Management?

Logistics management is a supply chain management component that is used to meet customer demands through the planning, control and implementation of the effective movement and storage of related information, goods and services from origin to destination. Logistics management helps companies reduce expenses and enhance customer service. The logistics management process begins with raw material accumulation to the final stage of delivering goods to the destination. By adhering to customer needs and industry standards, logistics management facilitates process strategy, planning and implementation.


Transportation is defined as the movement of people, animals and goods from one location to another. Modes of transport include air, rail, road, water, cable, pipeline and space. The field can be divided into infrastructure, vehicles and operations. Transportation is important since it enables trade between people, which in turn establishes civilizations. I find it an interesting point that transportation is an enabler of civilization, but this makes sense, as it enables the ability to trade and communicate.

Reverse Logistics?

Reverse logistics ae the set of activities that is conducted after the sale of a product to recapture value and end the product's lifecycle. It typically involves returning a product to the manufacturer or distributor or forwarding it on for servicing, refurbishment or recycling. Reverse logistics are sometimes called aftermarket supply chain, aftermarket logistics or retrogistics. The aftermarket processes that a product can undergo in reverse logistics are numerous and include: Remanufacturing, Refurbishment, Servicing, Returns Management, Recycling, Waste Management, Warranty Management, Warehouse Management.

Cold Chain?

The term cold chain or cool chain denotes the series of actions and equipment applied to maintain a product within a specified low-temperature range from harvest/production to consumption. A cold chain is a temperature-controlled supply chain. An unbroken cold chain is an uninterrupted series of refrigerated production, storage and distribution activities, along with associated equipment and logistics, which maintain a desired low-temperature range.

Inventory Management?

Inventory management is a discipline primarily about specifying the shape and placement of stocked goods. It is required at different locations within a facility or within many locations of a supply network to precede the regular and planned course of production and stock of materials. The concept of inventory, stock or work-in-process has been extended from manufacturing systems to service businesses and projects, by generalizing the definition to be "all work within the process of production- all work that is or has occurred prior to the completion of production".

Introduction to Warehouse?

A warehouse is a building for storing goods. Warehouses are used by manufacturers, importers, exporters, wholesalers, transport businesses, customs, etc. They are usually large plain buildings in industrial parks on the outskirts of cities, towns or villages. They usually have loading docks to load and unload goods from trucks. Sometimes warehouses are designed for the loading and unloading of goods directly from railways, airports, or seaports. They often have cranes and forklifts for moving goods, which are usually placed on ISO standard pallets loaded into pallet racks.

Warehouse Process?

The six fundamental warehouse processes . Optimizing these six processes will allow you to streamline your warehouse operation, reduce cost & errors, and achieve a higher perfect order rate. They are : 1. Receiving 2. Put-Away 3. Storage 4. Picking 5. Packing 6. Shipping

Warehouse VAS?

A value-added service (VAS) is a popular telecommunications industry term for non-core services, or, in short, all services beyond standard voice calls and fax transmissions. However, it can be used in any service industry, for services available at little or no cost, to promote their primary business. In the telecommunications industry, on a conceptual level, value-added services add value to the standard service offering, spurring subscribers to use their phone more and allowing the operator to drive up their ARPU. For mobile phones, technologies like SMS, MMS and data access were historically usually considered value-added services, but in recent years SMS, MMS and data access have more and more become core services, and VAS therefore has begun to exclude those services.

MHE, Safety & Security?

Material handling equipment (MHE) is mechanical equipment used for the movement, storage, control and protection of materials, goods and products throughout the process of manufacturing, distribution, consumption and disposal.The different types of handling equipment can be classified into four major categories:transport , positioning , unit load formation , and storage . MANAGING WAREHOUSE SAFETY AND SECURITY There are many warehouse management procedures you can adopt today to better cultivate industry-leading safety and security. They are : Risk Assessments, Electric and hydraulic safety circuits within machine, Safety fencing and zoning ,Additional warehouse safety guarding.


E-commerce (electronic commerce) is the activity of electronically buying or selling of products on online services or over the Internet. Electronic commerce draws on technologies such as mobile commerce, electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, Internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems. E-commerce is in turn driven by the technological advances of the semiconductor industry, and is the largest sector of the electronics industry.


Enterprise resource planning refers to a type of software that organizations use to manage day-to-day business activities such as accounting, procurement, project management, risk management and compliance, and supply chain operations. A complete ERP suite also includes enterprise performance management, software that helps plan, budget, predict, and report on an organization’s financial results. A transportation management system is a subset of supply chain management concerning  transportation operations and may be part of an enterprise resource planning system. A TMS usually "sits" between an ERP or legacy order processing and warehouse/distribution module. A typical scenario would include both inbound (procurement) and outbound (shipping) orders to be evaluated by the TMS Planning Module offering the user various suggested routing solutions.


Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) and Collaborative Replenishment is a proven approach to streamlining inventory management and order fulfillment that improves collaboration between suppliers and their distribution partners by aligning business objectives and optimizing operations for all participants. You may be asking, what is the difference between VMI and Collaborative Replenishment. It’s simple, Collaborative Replenishment is an evolution of VMI that includes trading partners working together to ensure an efficient inventory management program. It goes far beyond the capabilities of what traditional VMI is thought of including things like truck building, available to promise and more. It offers companies more choices by enabling orders to be launched by any trading partner, offering multiple routes to market, and utilizing various types of demand signals. In all, collaborative replenishment is a more flexible approach to supply chain management, but at is core Collaborative Replenishment includes VMI and all its benefits.


As part of the Warehousing module on both the Logistics and Supply Chain Management MSc and the Procurement and Supply Chain Management MSc programmes, students have the opportunity to visit a choice of warehouses in the local Milton Keynes area. By visiting the warehouses, students are able to experience the processes and operations within a warehouse first hand and see the practical application of knowledge and skills developed on the course.

7 Ways ERP Benefits Logistics and Transportation?

7 ways ER benefits transportation

The radical growth in the logistics and transportation industry is undeniable, visible to everyone. With the rise of eCommerce and opening up of the global market allowing a convenient flow of supply and demand, the logistics market takes a leap towards being one of the important industries contributing to the world economy. Here is how ERP benefits logistics and transportation Industry. 

The supply chain and the eCommerce are the major sources of business for logistics and transportation (commercial) but as days go and the industry continues to grow with business depending on the various strategies that currently exist. When it comes to managing logistics in superior manpower, ERP is a term that becomes very much evident to consider. To understand further, let us clearly define the valuable question of what is ERP.

What is ERP?

As an acronym, it stands for Enterprise Resource Planning and is responsible for seamlessly operate various processes that influence the success of running a business. As software, it looks after accounting, human resources, inventory and order management, customer relationship management (CRM), and much more. For a layman to understand the basics of what an ERP function like does, it is, to say the least, that as the software it deals in integrating various functions compiling them onto a respective system. This allows in process streamlining and dispersal of vital information across the entire organization.

The kernel point of ERP systems operates on a platform that is a shared database. This platform is supportive of multiple functions that are being used by various business units. To break it down, it means that employees in different layers of work divisions, like accounting or sales, can solely depend on the same information for their respective needs and accelerate their business performances. Thus, being such benefitting software, it is a pivotal role to play in the domains of transportation and logistics.

Benefits of caring for ERP in the logistics and transportation industry

ERP software generally has the ability to integrate easily into many industry domains with various application purposes bringing all the major attributes of a business under a single dashboard to monitor and command. Here are seven best ways in which an ERP software can help accelerate transportation and logistics operations:

Get secure access to your vendor portal

The very first way in which ERP benefits logistics and transportation is getting secure access to the vendor portal. Every ERP software installed into business operations comes with a secured login account for registered people. This allows secure login into their account for knowing the status of the logistics and other important details. All communications are integrated through email or secured SMS systems that allow the user to receive updates in their personal profiles. 

Optimized inventory control and stock visibility 

One of the most vital tasks to ensure operational fluency in logistics and transportation is having complete control over the inventory. The most important things to keep a note are the current requests, stock, current deliveries on the route, and the sales tally. An ERP software brings all the notable works under one single dashboard allowing business heads to keep a keen eye on the current status of their inventory. 

This can bring a much need to influence the logistics and transportation industry leveraging them with essential tools and the right information to handle inbound or outbound orders, determining the number of items present in the inventory and out of stock items. Having complete information of the inventory status allows leaders and managers in the logistics industry to make better and faster decisions at times of dispatching or placing orders. 

Easy maintenance and transportation schedule

In the logistics and transport industry, the biggest assets are the vehicles and the person in charge of the vehicles. As the logistics network becomes complex maintaining and planning for the transit schedules becomes more difficult. With time such complexities in managing the schedules can hamper the logistics and transport business to a great deal. ERP software solutions make it much easier for the business while handing over total control and complete visibility to the complete logistics or supply chain network. This ultimately enhances the operational fluency of the business.

Improved distribution management and business intelligence

Another major advantage of using a single dashboard ERP software allowing suppliers, distributors, drivers, and managers to keep an exact track of their inbound and outbound logistics. This makes the entire logistics operational process more fluent and transparent in the hands of the shipper. They can easily track the live status, have access to customer details, distributor’s information, and a lot more. Once business leaders have all the necessary information right in front of them, it becomes easier to make a decision, understand ordering trends, comprehend the reasons for any delay and effectively handle customer escalations. 

Real-time shipment tracking

Tracking of shipments while in transit can be challenging. ERP software platforms integrated with real-time tracking features allows the shipper or the distributor to have access to the current location of the vehicle, have direct communication with the delivery person and a lot more. This enhances the overall customer support system for the business and also allows the business leaders to leverage real-time and accurate data.  This helps the logistics industry in developing better business plans with better business intelligence.

Staff Management

ERP platforms are considered to be an excellent tool when it comes to workforce management also indulging their applications into the logistics industry as well. An integrated ERP platform allows the managers in the freight operations department to track the working hours of the employees, break timings, leave tracking and other indicating attributes. With key performance indication feature installed with the ERP software, leaders can have access to ready-made reports on employee performance allowing them to make better workforce decisions.

Remote location access to your business

Another flexible benefit of having ERP software installed for the logistics and transportation industry is having remote location access. It might not always be possible for business leaders to keep logged in to their office systems all the time. ERP software allows you to have access to your account from anywhere with an internet connection. This makes it more flexible for managers and operators to keep in sync 24/7.  

Now that you know, the multiple benefits of integrating ERP into transportation and logistics, the next vital thing to know about the highly focused areas where ERP integration is indispensable in your business domain.

Focused Areas of ERP Integration

Data Management

Due to the bulk of data in the different B2B business models and operations, which includes all relevant customer information, shipping taxes, manufacturing costs, shipping taxes, you are bound to face difficulty in managing all of it. A robust ERP integration helps you to manage through all of your data efficiently without any manual errors leading to the loss of it. 

What is important here to understand is that ERP data integration systems are not simply responsible for capturing data; they are used in a much broader sense that talks about integrating the same. To clarify the above-mentioned statement, it can be said that the ERP integration system is competent to eradicate duplications in the data collection. It can also contribute effectually in interpreting the data in such a way that your business’s bottom line is not affected by any error and can run seamlessly.

Access of Data by Various Departments

The data stored in an organization’s ERP system is so valuable that it can run pervasive to the entire community of staff working there. This means, that the data stored in the ERP system can be useful and accessible to multiple departments and can be taken into consideration in regard to their respective usage reasons. With more customizations added to your ERP systems, you can trim down the same as per your business needs. Giving access to your ERP to the right personnel in your organization can help a lot in its contribution to improving efficacy and allowing various teams to designate their problems and locating solutions for the same too. 

Reduction of costs

To help the organization incur maximum profits, the areas of cost reduction can be manipulated with ERP systems. With the evolution of advanced ERP systems, its ability towards higher stages of automation can enhance efficiency and makes the working environment more dynamic and competent. With furthermore informed decisions, this becomes seven more evident. 

Aiding the Organization’s Forecast Team

The heightened level of ERP systems’ efficacy can be told by its competency to tell who your customers are, what they are purchasing and from which references they are coming from. This data can facilitate you in driving your strategy formulated of marketing and enhancing the decision for the same. The more valuable insights you fetch from the ERP system, the better your forecast team will be able to give you personalized and feasible future goals and objectives. In other words, it works like your personalized market researcher.


Thus, with so many advanced features and benefits you gather from integrating an ERP system in your business domain of transportation and logistics, you have already accelerated ion chasing maximum profits. With the competition in the market getting more stifled, being prone to the delay of an ERP integration can cost you high. So get started today.