In the last blog, I promised my perspective on supply chain management and procurement in the light of the wisdom shared by so many “cyber friends” to illuminate personal experiences of participating in challenging projects with industry leaders of all sizes.
Let me begin by stating that in my opinion, the term product can be interchanged with that of service without compromise although both will obviously manifest in distinctly different supply chains.
I like definitions as I think they bring shared clarity although I recognise that depth of understanding takes time which is why the songs of Leonard Cohen invariably improve with listening. The Supply Chain Operations Reference model (SCOR) has a fine pedigree and is based on five distinct management processes: Plan, Source, Make, Deliver, and Return.
Michael Kelsey, Owner at Business Software Solutions
In these days of ultra-competitive pricing, the retailers are making every effort to control costs within their own businesses. With the labour cost attached to moving stock through the organisation, streamlining activities within the supply chain becomes ever more critical. A number of retailers are requiring their suppliers to support this process by providing information electronically in advance to ensure stocks can be received, stored and acknowledged with minimum manual intervention.
Last week, I promised to share with you the synthesis of my take-aways from this discussion. What strikes me is that supply chain management of which procurement is a vital component is practiced with enthusiasm and skill by professionals all over the world. And, it is not just the multinational corporations that strive to optimise customer satisfaction in a net value manner. Every company, irrespective of size, global footprint and industry, pays particular attention to its supply chain. Successful companies recognize the key competitive importance of supply chain management.
I’m not sure what W.B. Yeats might say about the advent of social media and if indeed “a terrible beauty is born” but I would say that something has “changed utterly”. Today, I share with you over one social medium the results of another. Over the last weeks, I have solicited the help of an international group of LinkedIn procurement professionals to help clarify real world differences between procurement and supply chain management. The 110 contributions (and counting) have been fantastic in so far as they all added value and over time turned my initial premise inside out and back again in a genuinely helpful way.
Regardless of how “good” a business may be, ultimately its fate rests on a solid cash flow. In order to continue trading, every company needs money to come in so that they can purchase raw materials, which can be processed and converted into saleable goods and in turn create more cash.
As harsh economic conditions continue to bite, businesses are delaying payment to their suppliers to moderate their own cash flow, but in doing so jeopardise the viability of the other members of their supply chain. So how does a business encourage its customers to pay on time, or better yet, early?
Leading computer and smartphone manufacturer Apple has topped Gartner’s global supply chain ranking table for the fifth consecutive year. The report accompanying the release of the rankings was impressive – a 20.2% return on assets coupled with a 51.5% growth in revenue on the previous year gave Apple an unassailable lead.
Although tech giant Apple may have a superb supply chain to thank for much of their continuing success, a recent report by insurance provider Zurich suggests that medium-sized UK tech companies are not so fortunate. In the document, entitled ‘Weakest Link: UK Plc’s Supply Chain’, analysts reported that 88% of the 500 businesses surveyed had experienced at least one significant and costly disruption to their supply chain.
Ask anyone in accounts payable what takes longer to process than an invoice, and they will give a simple answer: a duplicate invoice. A standard invoice takes an unexpectedly long time to process from receipt in the post to despatch of payment, and it is this time factor that makes the entire procedure so costly. However if a second, identical invoice is received, the cost is further increased.
Celtrino Express provides a document transaction platform for moving information between supply chain partners securely and with a full audit trail history to provide transparent reporting of processing progress. John Behan, Director at Celtrino, explains more about the potential applications of Celtrino Express.
John Behan, Director at Celtrino
“Transferring documents electronically between businesses has always been a trade-off between simplicity with error, such as when using email, or extremely complex to prevent these errors, such as traditional EDI. Neither of these approaches is ideal as online businesses move towards a more social model,” said Behan, “which is why Celtrino Express has been specifically designed to be simple and intuitive to use whilst providing a secure mechanism for transparent audit trail creation and workload reduction.”
The latest innovation from Celtrino is the new Celtrino Express platform designed to improve supply chain performance by reducing the administrative costs associated with business document transfer. Celtrino Express is a web based trading partner portal which allows for audited document transfer ensuring that critical information gets to the correct party whilst being as simple to use as popular websites like Facebook.