supply chain is the activity and process of sourcing the essential raw materials or products from various suppliers and organizations for making a product or services to the customers. The product or the service then comes to the customers at the doorstep or in the store. This implies that, this process can be called a huge network. The network of suppliers and the companies engaged in making the product or providing the service is termed as the supply chain. The supply chain can be defined as the sequence of steps taken by the organization or an organization from the selection of raw materials and from the selection of the components and equipments to the delivery of the final product to the end users.
A good example to illustrate the concept of supply chain in India would be the construction of a house. In case of manufacturing of any product, the supply chain also plays a vital role. There are various ways in which the organization or an organization in India can reduce the time and cost involved in the production of the products and services.
To start with, there should be an arrangement to segregate the activities within the organization. This would include the creation of separate departments or tasks. For instance, a department of production can be established to undertake the manufacturing of the products and then it can be handed over to the sales department for handling the distribution. The department of distribution can handle the distribution of the products. Similarly, the department of sales can be established to deal with the sale of the products should be sold at a margin that can be assured by the existing marketing activities.
The activities of the various departments can be carried out through a central office or some other established location of the organization. The main aim of having a central location is to facilitate the coordination between all the departments and also to ensure that the activities are coordinated for the purpose of improving the productivity. This is done by having an efficient system of communication among the different departments. This is done by using proper systems like telephones, fax machines, teleconferencing etc.
Another way in which information can be provided is through the use of software like ERP and other software such as MS, Lotus and ERP. It can also be provided through the use of data analysis tools. The information gathered through these systems can be used to plan the activities of the different departments in order to ensure that the flow of the information is smooth and uninterrupted.
Apart from this, another way in which the supply chain can be improved in India is through the establishment of centralized information systems to provide information to all the concerned departments. Information on the status and progress of the activities can be provided to all the concerned departments on a regular basis. The same can be provided to all the vendors through web portals and the vendor information can be sent to the customer via email and they can even request for reports about the products and services being offered.