Essay Examples on Supply Chain Management

Published: 2018-01-03
Essay Examples on Supply Chain Management
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Management Strategy Business
Pages: 13
Wordcount: 3432 words
29 min read

Essay Sample #1

Supply chain management is a broad concept that traverses the limits of a single firm to span associated actions of all the businesses that are in the chain of supply. Any business must apply a harmonized, bi-directional delivery of its commodities plus services, available sale data, anticipated finances and the associated demand trajectories (Benton, 2014). There are four known types of flows which are significant for the successes of any supply chain management in a business unit. Going beyond the boundaries of any organization in fundamental nature implies that the supply chain needs to work in satisfying the final client (Chopra & Meindl, 2007). The chain of supply needs to be effective as this is what drives growth, the realization of profits and customer satisfaction. Toyota is world’s largest car manufacturer that prides itself on being home one of the most efficient supply chains for its products (Heim, 2013). As the company’s supply manager, I strive to ensure great efficiency in the face of changing trends in the field informed by innovations and a shift in customer preferences in relation to the supply method. In my position, I have a huge role to play in the success of the supply chain. Integration is not a sufficient reason for the supply chain's success. Better coordination and integration is required.

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The way products move from the companies plants be it the cars or the spare parts to the consumer is of great significance. It remains an important constituent in the management of Toyota’s supply chain (Benton, 2014). Clients anticipate their requested orders are made available in an appropriate, consistent, and consumable condition. The transport medium remains crucial in attaining this result (Christopher, 2011). The flow of products is not unidirectional in today’s setting, a factor attributable to the need for methods of taking back improper goods to the purchaser for the reason that they are spoiled, outdated and tattered (Stadtler & Kilger, 2005). There are many other reasons for this growth in reverse systems, but there are no doubts to a paradigm shift in the handling of supply chains for business entities (Benton, 2014). The schemes for the return of goods usually have to be planned differently from the existing forward techniques. Certain factors such as the location of the clientele, the size of ordered commodities, and arrangement of facilities for such services are typically different from those of supply to the consumer. There should be a prudent utilization of the available medium of transport in a way that the customers find a value for the items ordered. Accordingly, there has been a development of business firms that specialize in returning goods to the manufacturer in case they have not met the agreements that were in the order document from the consumer. Toyota is keen on exploring such alternatives to ensure client satisfaction at all times. The figure below is a simple depiction of the manufacturer’s supply chain.

Another type of flow is the movement of information. Over the years due to the evolving supply chain management systems, the flow of information has become a necessary ingredient for the success of a company. Conventionally, the available sales data belonging to a firm has been going to a direction parallel to the way in which products move. However, in the recent information age, this has long been forgotten; the manufacturers and the consumers share day to day information including client requests (Coyle, Novack, & Gibson, 2015). This information can help the business units in predicting the demand for a particular product because they can directly speak to the consumer and know the specific needs. In the event of lack of information regarding the requirements for goods or a long channel of communication, the logistics personnel will usually have a rough time figuring out the client needs. For the avoidance of such doubts, supply experts have developed communication channels that can handle well the information bit so that they are not far apart from the consumers (Chopra & Meindl, 2007). In the event of lack of such avenues the company will incur a lot of costs while storing products that a consumer may not be interested or not being consumable. The outcome will ultimately be high inventory costs, creating more avenues of being less profitable business (Coyle, Novack, & Gibson, 2015). There ought to be information channels with which supply personnel can get real-time customer related data of what the consumer needs, cutting the costs of storing such goods in warehouses. The chain of supply of a product from the manufacturer to the client can take half the time in a case such methods do not exist. It is even possible to eliminate an inventory because a firm will have a direct control of the products' marketplace. (Chopra & Meindl, 2007). An important effect of supply chain firmness and quicker order cycle periods have been more rapid cash flows. Consumers take delivery of orders immediately, and they are payable sooner, and the companies can receive money earlier (Lebreton, 2007).

For any business to succeed in managing its inventory well, it is necessary that it understands the characteristics of the items it sells (Cox, 2011). The traits can be in the form of the cost incurred, the required time before the items are delivered to the consumer once ordered and the demand characteristics. The nature of the actual demands holds the greatest effect and thus classified into dependent and independent demand. The independent demand is one that is not related to the request for other items. Dependent demands refer to the demand that emanates from an existing demand attributes of a product whose details are in an inventory (Chopra & Meindl, 2007). However, for example, a company such as Toyota, it requires a product structure for which it would make no sense to forecast something like wheel assemblies independently, simply because the wheel assemblies are dependent on and derived from the demand for the automobile product. Aggregate planning identifies the best way to utilize the limited resources of a company to meet the time varying demand (Benton, 2014). This type of planning established the most optimal planning strategy so as to have a so-called monopoly in the marketplace (Gattorna, 2009). The objective of this model’s effectiveness is measured by the ability to allocate system capacity to alternative products over time in the face of demands so as to optimize some features of system performance. A materials requirement planning works best in assisting business entities in developing a demand that is dependent on the inventory and also to estimate the orders expected in a particular period. In specific terms, the latter is a critical technology developed to establish orders that customers would request so that the manufacturer knows how much to produce to avoid the loss result in from stocking many unordered products (Chopra & Meindl, 2007).

Material requirement planning is a systematic method the company is implementing to determine the quantity and the timing of items that heavily rely on demand. Since the introduction of the concept, the development and implementation of MRP have both made substantial progress. However, since it has become evident that MRP alone is not sufficient to cope with balancing capacity with demand adequately; further development has introduced capacity planning requirements (Coyle, Novack, & Gibson, 2015). The output from the aggregate planning is usually optimal workload of the product which can be further broken down into its dependent demand items. Moreover, through better services to the consumers, a company can be successful and reach even a global space. The key thing to ensure that there is better customer service is to ensure that the clients always find the products and should not go out of stock for whatever reasons. The essential tool in controlling the availability of a product in the market is through the use of Master Product Schedule (Coyle, Novack, & Gibson, 2015). The achievement of this may be via the control of initial inventory to create a sure forecast for a particular period. The calculations can be complicated in an environment with multiple products, so it is necessary to avoid errors. The reliability of such results depends on the mistakes and constraints incurred in the process. MPS is a useful tool in establishing the availability of the product in the market with a careful consideration of the costs (Mukerjee, 2008). The MPS is a predictable schedule of demand. The MPS includes a forecasted demand as backlogged customer orders (Chopra & Meindl, 2007). The application of the principles of supply chain management can help to reduce costs, waste and enable the prediction of our product demand. There is the maintenance of a minimum level of inventory that is carried and is maintained at a few crucial points. I intend to apply some of the inventory management theories in ensuring the success of the initiative. Another major objective of the supply chain is applicability in planning for cost reduction. The cost per unit for the end customer reduces (Coyle, Novack, & Gibson, 2015). Now, on the one hand, the firm can predict demand quite accurately, and it also tries to reduce wastage and improve quality and harmony. Supply chain management thus creates benefits to the customers (Gattorna, 2009). Reduction of waste, better prediction of demand, cost reduction all aim at benefits to the customers. The supply chain is primarily meant to enhance performance for a business marketer, through integration, coordination and cooperation between multiple firms (Christopher, 2011).

Forecasting in this context is the technique of being able to predict demands in the future so as to efficiently handle the market forces. Many managers treat forecasting as purely an art form and assume that the best forecasts are a creation of experienced managers using their intuition (Christopher, 2011). However, this does not mean that forecasting is a futile exercise, but it is important to recognize that forecasts will never be perfect and therefore firms should find ways and means of reducing the errors involved in the practice. In certain situations, future demand can be estimated accurately using structured analysis, while in some it may be difficult to forecast demand (Christopher, 2011). Demand forecasting has been the weakest link in most supply chain planning. Forecasting is a management process, and like any other process needs a careful organization with attention to people, processes, and the tools that constitute the forecasting management (Benton, 2014). The quantitative type of forecasting provides a general idea of the historical customer demands for a particular product. Through the use of statistical analysis, it is possible to identify two main categories of consumer patterns. One of the patterns has its basis on the time periods in which certain product demand was high and at certain periods when the demand was low. The process of identifying and predicting these patterns with regard to time is achieved using a time series technique (Coyle, Novack, & Gibson, 2015). Another type is the use of patterns which have a direct influence demand at a particular point in time (Christopher, 2011). Such analysis has been made easier through the use of regression analysis.

Contrary to the above, qualitative forecasting method also known as subjective forecasting entails the steps of reflecting on ideas by experienced who can easily predict the demands they are finally making these reports formal (Greef & Ghoshal, 2004). One can also explain it as the process of analyzing the future sales data, predicting how such data will change to obtain future demands. In some cases, the data obtained from this technique has worked whereas in some cases it has failed. Therefore, the best process is to incorporate the two techniques, and the results can form a basis for better confidence going forward (Greef & Ghoshal, 2004). It is not, however, possible to correctly predict what may happen in future for any business. In such cases, historical demands become the primary source of useful forecast deductions. It is necessary to compare the viability of such projections to ensure that the data is reliable. For an entirely complete estimate, it is necessarily healthy for any business to combine the two techniques. Demand forecasters need to employ qualitative forecasting techniques when they have reason to believe that the future will not necessarily resemble the past. Toyota should do both qualitative and quantitative forecasting so that the forecasted demand is correct beyond any reasonable doubt to eliminate any chances of errors (Gattorna, 2009).

The first process is to guarantee a break-even point. Many businesses have collapsed because they got it wrong when it comes to implementing a working chain for a better place in the market. Toyota has always had a culture of analyzing customers’ needs frequently, and determining the appropriate course of action, a factor has enabled it to drive through turbulent times in the automobile market (Hines, 2008). The supply cycle must ensure that the customers feel valued at the end of the process of delivery. Value addition is possible and can cut costs from both the consumer and manufacturer’s side. This process has to happen so that there is no gap between the producers and the final consumers. It is important to conduct reliable demand forecast for more exact needs of the customer at hand. Firms need to invest heavily in the model of supply and also ensure that the model interacts well with their business model.


Benton, W. C. (2014). Supply chain focused manufacturing planning and control. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.

Chopra, S., & Meindl, P. (2007). Supply chain management: Strategy, planning, and operation. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Christopher, M. (2011). Logistics & supply chain management. Harlow, England: Financial Times Prentice Hall.

Cox, S. S., Desai, H., Desai, K., & Sherman, A. K. (2011). Mswires: Sourcing for a Parts Supplier. Journal Of Critical Incidents, 497-99.

Coyle, J. J. (2013). Supply chain management: A logistics perspective by Jonh J. Coyle, 8th edition.

Coyle, J. J., Novack, R. A., & Gibson, B. J. (2015). Transportation: A global supply chain perspective.

Gattorna, J. (2009). Dynamic supply chain alignment: A new business model for peak performance in enterprise supply chains across all geographies. Farnham, England: Gower Pub.

Greeff, G., & Ghoshal, R. (2004). Practical E-manufacturing and supply chain management. Oxford: Newnes.

Heim, S. (2013). Capability building and functions of SMEs in business groups: a case study of Toyota's supply chain. International Journal Of Automotive Technology & Management, 13(4), 338-353. doi:10.1504/IJATM.2013.056860

Hines, P. (2008). Benchmarking Toyota's Supply Chain: Japan vs U.K. Long Range Planning, 31(6), 911-918

Kotabe, M., & Mol, M. J. (2006). Global supply chain management. Cheltenham: Elgar Reference Collection.

Lebreton, B. (2007). Strategic closed-loop supply chain management. Berlin: Springer.

Mukerjee, H. S. (2008). Industrial marketing. New Delhi: Excel Books.

Stadtler, H., & Kilger, C. (2005). Supply chain management and advanced planning: Concepts, models, software and case studies. (Springer e-books.) Berlin: Springer.

Essay Sample #2

Supply Management Practices in the United Arabs Emirates

Supply chain management is the flow of merchandise and enterprises which involves the development and storage of defective materials, work-in-process stock and of finished merchandise from the point of production to the point of utilization. In the supply chain, a hub of business and interlinked systems join in the provision of items and services required by end clients. Since April 1996 United Arab Emirates (UAE) has to be a shareholder in Gulf Cooperation Council. The country has to be a beneficiary of the free-trade contracts between Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Singapore and also a guarantor in Greater Arab Free Trade Agreement (GAFTA). These have made Dubai the leading trading center. With appropriate use of supply chain management (SCM), the country achieves profits in short and long term projects. In this research, I will shed light on the supply chain management practices in the United Arab Emirates.

During the recent years, the UAE's specialists centered around decreasing the nation reliance on oil exports by expanding the economy, production areas, making blasting business as well as tourism. The United Arabs Emirates is one of the significant economic centers in export thus making the country the third-largest business focus in the world. The oil industry has pulled in a huge deluge of foreign laborers who together with emigrants, now make up more than seventy-five percent of the populace in Dubai. Business managers have to put into consideration the long-term impact as they make decisions in commercial organizations. The United Arabs Emirates has a project of developing nuclear energy to enhance electricity sources. This project guarantees a prompt economic development in the country. It thus resolves that the volume of gas that could be made accessible to the state's power part would be lacking to take care of the future demand, giving sufficient fuel for just 20,000 to 25,000 MW's of energy era limit by 2020 which will lower the massive economic costs.

Logistics and transportation in United Arab Emirates SCM

Since the beginning, Emirates Logistics has made vital interests in Infrastructural improvement, universal agent system, technology and expertise empowering their quick amplifying as a valuable and efficient brand both in UAE and the Middle East. There are Organizations which give Logistics and Supply Chains Management transportation, logistic services and Cargo sending, warehousing storage and distribution in UAE. They also provide easy manufacture, storage, and transportation of goods in a limited time. For example, Al Bassami. There is the largest company major in vehicle translation within the Middle East. This company offers vehicle transportation in local and international marketplaces, logistic services, VVIP transportation as well as maintenance and repair of vehicles. With their massive sort of skills and services, they are capable of meeting all distribution models to complete every logistics need. Al-Bassam has been one of the best transport agency across Gulf Cooperation Council.

In the Middle East, UAE skyline is the most advanced despite the environmental problems that succumb the city. However, in the last decade tourists have swum in the midst of raw sewage in Dubai's cut of the Persian Gulf. The decontaminating of seawater to sustain taps and wellsprings is raising saltiness levels. What's more, in spite of sitting on great oil saves, the district is coming up short on vitality sources to sustain its rich way of life. In an undeniably global commercial center, nations can overcome locational inconveniences or boost the advantages of the area to enter global supply chains and accomplish global financial combination. Dubai is the main illustration. Despite the fact that they are poor in natural assets, United Arabs Emirates can assert that it is associated with 33% of the global populace through a four hours airplane ride from its air terminals and its incorporated land-air-ocean transport framework. Customary supply chain management concentrates on minimal effort, high quality, diminished lead time as well as great services level. The presentation of the Extended Producer Responsibility in various nations and businesses has changed the standards of the market practices. Today manufactures need to contemplate the post-utilization period of their items, the purported end-of-life stage. The ecological problems acquired in various phases of the item exchange from producer to the final client and after that to the disposal site. The blame is on the Companies for the environmental issues by the society.

Political influences in United Arabs Emirates SCM

In UAE, research shows that political problems have increased recently. These comprises political power, political force as well as government payment defaults. According to the Marsh-Maple croft Political Risk Map, since 2010 to the year 2014 political problems has increased with a rate of 63% in the Middle East. These affects the countries with the great goods and raw materials production globally. Large enterprises are as well affected by this crisis. For example, Deutsche Post stopped to deliver letter and packages to Crimea. Many of the direct suppliers experience these problems before other providers. Therefore, procurement may experience more problems. In enhancing straightforwardness over the production network; supplier areas ought to be incorporated into hazard examination also in the major logistics center points; transport organizes centers as well as transport routes.

Supply chain management includes management of raw material movement into an organization. These carryout activities of subcontracting to other corporations that can perform the operations more efficiently to satisfy the customer's demand. It is important for United Arab Emirates SCM leaders to associate themselves with managerial philosophy regarding competing for economic and environmental needs for social sustainability.


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Mian, M., et al. (2017). Green Supply Chain Management for Sustainable Business Practice.

Wang, (2013). Management Innovations for Intelligent Supply Chains. Hershey, Pa: Business Science Reference

Simons, (2011). Operations Management: A Modern Approach. Oakville, Ont: Apple Academic Press.

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