When it comes right down to it, supply chain managers have three (3) questions to answer:
- How do we get what we need when we need it?
- How do we make available what whoever needs them at when they need them?
- How do we deliver to whomever wants them when they need them?
When supply chain managers answer these three (3) questions, their responses must be relevant to their mission, which is: Fulfil Demand.
And when we say Fulfil Demand, it must meet the following criteria:
- It must be productive, i.e., at lowest cost to maximise profit margins and at minimal capital investment;
- It must result in competitive advantage, that is, the enterprise should come out better than that of its rivals;
- It must meet expectations not only of customers (i.e. quality, complete & on-time deliveries) but also stakeholders (e.g. shipment volume targets) and the communities they work in (e.g. compliance to laws, environmental sustainability)
- It must result in stronger relationships with customers, vendors, stakeholders.
When supply chain managers answer the aforementioned three (3) questions to the satisfaction of the criteria mentioned, they would be deemed on their way to success.