What are the key five main elements of supply chain?

Sep 29, 2022

We are all quite familiar with supply chain and the way it works. Its basically a set flow of products and/or services which includes all processes that turn a raw material to its finished product. Streamlining of supply and management activities so that supply chain becomes more efficient is of utmost importance to companies so that they get a competitive edge over other businesses. Even though this way of supply and production has been around for quite a while, people have started focusing on it more now as they have realized it adds more value to their business and production. 

Supply chains, as the name suggests, are phases of manufacturing and production linked together in a chain. Companies managing supply chain keep a close control over inventory, production, distribution and delivery so as to reduce costs and handle shortages or problems that may arise. There are five main elements in a supply chain: 

  1. Planning: 

Companies must be able to anticipate the future supply and demand and meet them accordingly. Planning is essential to match supply with customers and make sure they have the essential raw materials for each stage of production and if they have enough staffing. It is essential to have the right equipment, to know the limitations of the process and to prepare for any problems that may come in the way – all of this requires forethought and planning.  

 2. Sourcing: 

Sourcing the right raw materials from the right suppliers is important. It includes getting the best quality of raw materials and acquiring cost that is at par with market expectations. The supplier also has to be flexible and meet unexpected demands in unforeseen events. This part of supply chain is especially critical when it comes to perishable goods since its time sensitive. 

3. Manufacturing phase: 

This is where the product gets assembled using labor and heavy machinery. It can include sub levels like creating, testing, packaging depending on the specifications of the product. This is the main event of supply chain. 

4. Delivery of product: 

Making sure the product reaches its destination is where delivery comes in. Once the final product is completed and sales is finalized, the company has to make sure an efficient, robust and secure way of delivery is established. This is because the way a product is delivered can be a contribution to the company’s brand image since that’s the first way a customer is interacting with the company.  

5. Returning and Customer Support: 

A good efficient supply chain must end with an interactive and helpful customer service. It should make the process of returning a product as easy as possible because its already unpleasant to have a product returned. The company has to identify the cause of return – if the product was faulty or non-adhering and take steps that ensure this is not repeated again. 

As we can see now, supply chains have an extensive process that has to work in sync and being efficient and secure is imperative. With the advancement of technology, supply chains can achieve all this quite easily with blockchain. Blockchain provides with a distributed ledger in a shared network to all the participants of the supply chain. They can update information about the location of the product and the phase itself, so that we can track in real time. Smart contracts can be drawn up into the logic of the programming to make sure each phase adheres to the rules and regulations and transactions are secure and seamless. Delivery of the product can be traced by the customer and they can also engage in giving feedback about the entire process of delivery and the product itself.  

With MSRvantage, your supply chain will get a new boost with our solution-oriented service that will be customized to your chain management needs. We ensure that all five elements of your supply chain are optimized to give you the best results and a rewards and loyalty program that will keep your customers coming back. MSRvantage can help in building a brand image for your business that is synonymous with authenticity, security and efficiency.  

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