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As businesses grow and and shift their focus to a global market, it becomes increasingly

more difficult for such companies to operate in silos. Instead a strong focus must be placed on
working with both customers and suppliers to achieve an overarching common goal. Supply
chain management takes these concepts and puts into place a very detailed process by which
companies can work together to achieve this goal. The supply chain management process is
made up of customer relationship management, supplier relationship management, customer
service management, demand management, order fulfillment, manufacturing flow management,
product development and commercialization, and returns management. Each of these processes
clearly defines a roadmap by which a crossfunctional supply chain management team should
follow in order to ensure success for both themselves but also the suppliers and customers.
It is important for companies to have the foresight to see beyond the boundaries of their
own companies and move to establishing a working relationship with both their customers and
suppliers. In order to stay competitive companies must cross the traditional boundaries,
previously created by older business models, and work together with suppliers towards a
common business goal. Supply chain management gives companies the tools that they need to
go about creating and maintaining this type of business model. The definition of supply chain
management is, “the integration of key business processes from end user through original
suppliers, and information that add value for customers and other stakeholders,” (Croxto, Garcia-
Dastugue, Lambert, & Rogers, 2001, pp. 13-36). There are four main cores that make up supply
chain management, customer relationship management, customer service management, demand
management, order fulfillment, manufacturing flow management, supplier relationship
management, project development and commercialization, and returns management. It is
important to note that the focus and overall management strategy will change and be modified
depending on the company and industry in which it is being utilized.
The first of these cores is the concept of customer relationship management. This gives
companies the groundwork by which they should develop and maintain the vital relationship
they have with their customers. Within this main core of customer relationship management are
five subprocess. The first subprocess allows the company to identify which of the customer
segments are the most vital to the success of the business. The company will then look at all
their customers and categorize them into two or more categories, depending on the vitality of the
customer to the business. This allows management teams to determine which customers should
given specific product and service agreements, and which customer qualify for standard product
and service agreements. For those customers that qualify for a customized product and service
agreement, the third subprocess details the degree to which a product service agreement should
be tailored. Next the team must develop the framework of metrics. The first step in this
subprocess is looking at the how the customer effects the profitability of the company and to
what degree they have on that impact. The final subprocess details how the company with go
about improving their process and then translate those improvements back to the customer.
The next core is the customer service management portion of the supply chain
management tree. This core, “provides the single source of customer information, such as
product availability, shipping dates and order status… customer service management is
responsible for administering the PSA,” (Croxto, Garcia-Dastugue, Lambert, & Rogers, 2001).
This core is mainly focused on preventing any problems from reaching the customer, including
things such as late delivery date, etc.
One potential problem that lies outside of the control of those working within the supply
chain management process is a disaster, either political or due to weather. While many
components of the disaster may lay outside of the control of the company, it is the job of the
supply chain management team to work with both the customers and suppliers to ensure that
customer demands are met as quickly as possible. The overall goal of a supply chain
management team is to create a resilient supply chain. “An ideal resilient supply chain is not
only transparent and enables access to information along the supply chain partners, but is also
resilient, agile, and has inherent a high level of collaboration,” (Renken, Jackman, & Beruvides,
2014).
The third core is the demand management portion of the supply chain management
process. This portion of the process is focused on ensuring that the company can effectively
meet the customer’s demands. This portion of the process takes careful planning and
management. It takes careful balancing of customer demands with production capability.
The fourth core of the supply chain management process is the order fulfillment stage.
The order fulfillment stage of the process, “includes all activities necessary to design a network
and enable a firm to meet customer requests while minimizing the total delivered cost,”
(Lambert, 2008). Part of this process involves analyzing which countries should be the supplier
to the customer’s country, including the countries’ tax rate.
The fifth core is the manufacturing management core. This is one of the more tricky
aspects of the supply chain management process because it involves all moving products through
the plant, including ordering all parts necessary to manufacture the product, manufacturing the
product, and then delivering that product to the customer. While the main goal of this process is
delivering products to the customer on time, a focus is also placed on ensuring that the company
is as flexible as possible.
The sixth core in the supply chain management process is the product development and
commercialization. This is one of the most important core components of the supply chain
management process and must involve a highly cross functional team. Product development and
commercialization provides the structure of how the product will move from the suppliers, to the
company, and then finally to the customers. At the same time a large focus is placed on the
commercialization of the product.
The seventh core is the returns management core of the supply chain management
process. “Returns management is the supply chain management process by which activities
associated with returns, reverse logistics, gatekeeping, and avoidance are managed within the
firm and across key members of the supply chain,” (Lambert, 2008).
Overall, through all the main cores of the supply chain management the overarching
theme is the strong focus on the various management teams that make up the business to work
together towards a common goal. No longer are teams allowed to work in silos, but instead
should focus on moving together for the bettering of the company. Beyond intercompany groups
supply chain management teams must actively work with teams from both their suppliers and
customers. “Trust is considered the most important variable influencing interpersonal or inter-
group behavior, and commitment represents the highest stage or relationship bonding, and both
together reduce the perception or risk associated with opportunistic behavior between parties,”
(Kiessling, Harvey, & Akdeniz, 2014).
As businesses become larger and more globally expanding it is important for
management teams to fully understand the value of both their suppliers and customers. They
must truly be willing to work from across the aisle to move both them selves, their customers and
their suppliers all in the direction they want to go. Through tools such as the supply chain
management process a strong groundwork is put into place to guide companies through the
process of supplying product or services. The supply chain management process is made up of
nine cores which are, customer relationship management, supplier relationship management,
customer service management, demand management, order fulfillment, manufacturing flow
management, product development and commercialization, and returns
management. Throughout each of these processes a strong focus on crossfunctional comradery
is vital.

Bibliography
Croxto, K., Garcia-Dastugue, S., Lambert, D., & Rogers, D. (2001). The Supply Chain Managment
Processes. The International Journal of Logistics Management.

Kiessling, T., Harvey, M., & Akdeniz, L. (2014). The evolving role of supply chain managers in global
channels of distribution and logistics systems. International Journal of Physical Distribution &
Logistics Management, 688-671.

Lambert, D. (2008). An Executive Summary of Supply Chain Managment Processes, Partnerships,


Performance. Sarasota: Supply Chain Managment Institute.

Renken, K., Jackman, A., & Beruvides, M. (2014). AN ANALYSIS OF THE SUPPLY CHAIN IN EMERGENCY
MANAGEMENT. Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Management 2014
International Annual Conference, 1-6.