Discuss the role of distribution in the supply chain 

Discuss the role of distribution in the supply chain 

Discuss the role of distribution in the supply chain

After reading Chapters 10 and 11, reflect and discuss the following questions:

Discuss the role of distribution in the supply chain. Provide examples of how distribution operations can positively and negatively affect supply chain performance.

Describe the major challenges faced by production managers in the current environment.

Discuss the role of transportation in the supply chain. Provide examples of how transportation can positively and negatively affect supply chain performance.

Describe the major challenges faced by transportation managers in the current environment.

Use the following headings to organize your paper: Introduction, Question 1, Question 2, Question 3, Question 4, Conclusion, References.

supply_chain_management__a_logi

Student 1: Julion

Introduction

“Distribution managers play a critical role in the supply chain, facilitating product flows to manufacturing facilities, retailers, and directly to consumers. Fulfilling these orders accurately and quickly while achieving the lowest possible cost is a balancing game that distribution managers must play daily.” (Coyle, Langley, Novack, & Gibson, p. 235)

Transportation is the movement of people and goods from one location to another. The many modes of transportation include; motor carriers, railroads, air transport, water carriers, pipelines, and the possible combination of two or more of these kinds of transport to deliver the goods to consumers. This is known as intermodal transportation. Coyle, Langley, Novack, and Gibson (2017)

Question 1

The role of distribution in the supply chain is to endeavour for a perfect balance between supply and demand, protect against uncertainty in changing environments, supporting production requirements, fulfilling omni-channel demand, and promoting transportation economies.

A positive effect distribution can have on supply chain management a supplying the retailer with an amount of holiday costumes that will provide ample choice for the consumer, but not leave the retailer with an oversupply so large they have to keep a seasonal outlet store open long after demand has ran out and to the point large amounts of product have to be liquidated or stored for next years season. This provides examples of negative and positive effects of balancing supply and demand. Coyle et al. (2017)

Question 2

 

First and for-most of the major challenges faced by production managers in the current environment are labor availability issues, demand variation, and increasing customer requirements. Demand variation can be attributed to products being seasonal in nature with varying peaks and valleys for demand. “The DC handling this product may be short on space capacity as inventory builds up in advance of the primary selling season but be nearly empty during the off-season.” (Coyle et al., p. 378).

“The business to consumer e-commerce trend has finally hit the business to business industry, and distributors around the world are scrambling to establish a formidable online presence before their competitors do.” (Heinz, T. para. 13)

Question 3

Transportation provides the critical links between a supply chains network of organizations that are separated by distance and time. “With efficient, effective transportation capabilities, organizations can build global supply chains that leverage low-cost opportunities and allow them to compete in new markets.” (Coyle, et al., p. 419).

Transportation must not be an afterthought to a business plan, rather it must be considered along with production and marketing as part of an overall business strategy. Effective transportation processes must exist as part of a total supply chain cost rather than being considered as a lowest cost solution.

An example of how transportation can positively affect supply chain performance is if a carrier is chosen based upon ability to transport good in a timely manner the supply chain will have less chance to be disrupted due to unavailability of goods needed for the supply chain to function. Conversely, if a carrier that is unable to get the goods to the right place at the right time is chosen, a supply chain will certainly be disrupted. Coyle et al. (2017)

Question 4

The major challenges faced by transportation managers include, supply chain complexity, competing goals among supply chain partners, changing customer requirements, and limited information availability. Offshore manufacturing is one example of supply chain complexity. Customer demand for smaller, more frequent deliveries is an example of changing customer requirements. Transportation capacity constraints and rate variations are also challenges faced.

Of special note are the areas of government regulations designed to protect the safety of the public, protection of the environment, and security-focused regulation due to the ongoing threat of terrorism. Coyle et al. (2017)

Conclusion

Distribution can greatly affect the supply chain in either a positive or negative manner. This of course depends on how the roll is played out. The mangers must have the experience to implement, and the backing of superiors, for distribution to have a desired positive effect on the supply chain.

Production managers must work in unison with the supply chain managers to ensure products are completed for the journey to their next step in the supply chain. A desired positive affect will be reached only if needed supply chain materials are ready in an allotted time frame.

The cog of the supply chain that is transportation must be able to deliver the materials on time and safely for the supply chain to function in a manner that is competitive. Coyle et al. (2017)

References

(Heinz, T. Ret. 10/01/2019) 4 Key Challenges Facing Modern Distributors

https://wholesale.rdx.sports.com/blog/4-key-challenges-facing-modern-distributors

Student 2: Juhi

Introduction

Distribution in the twenty first century focuses on the continuous flow of products to fulfill customer requirements at the lowest possible cost (Coyle, Langley, Novack & Gibson, 2017). While speed is important, running efficient distribution facilities and networks is also critical. Transportation service availability is critical to demand fulfillment in the supply chain. Transportation efficiency promotes supply chain competitiveness.

Discuss the role of distribution in the supply chain. Provide examples of how distribution operations can positively and negatively affect supply chain performance

 

Production and consumption are not perfectly synchronized, transportation of individual units is costly and co-ordination of activities between origin and destination points is complex (Coyle et al, 2017).To overcome such issues, distribution operations – centers, warehouses, cross docks and retail stores are established within the supply chain.

Distribution operations can bring value to supply chain performance in several ways (Coyle et al, 2017). Examples are assembly services, inventory management and visibility, product kitting/bundling/unbundling, product postponement, production sequencing, quality control, recycling/repairs and returns management. Distribution facilities can also negatively impact the supply chain, if not designed well. One example is the tradeoff versus transportation , where too many distribution centers can be built to increase total costs. Another tradeoff would be the inventory carrying costs which increase with the number of warehouses.

Describe the major challenges faced by production managers in the current environment.

The two aspects of order management are influencing the customer’s order and executing the customer’s order (Coyle et al, 2017). The first aspect is where an organization attempts to change the manner by which its customers place orders. Step one in this phase is to segment the customer base by profitability. The second step is to identify the product/service package for each customer segment. The third step is to develop and execute the best processes. The fourth step is to measure performance and continuously improve. The order execution phase occurs after the organization receives the order, which involves order management and order fulfillment. The term order to cash is used for outbound-to-customer shipments.

Discuss the role of transportation in the supply chain. Provide examples of how transportation can positively and negatively affect supply chain performance

Transportation systems link geographically separated partners and facilities in a company’s supply chain (Coyle et al, 2017). Transportation service availability is critical to demand fulfillment in the supply chain. Transportation costs should be taken into account during development of supply chain management strategies and processes.

Transportation efficiency promotes supply chain competitiveness (Coyle et al, 2017). Transportation service availability, capacity and costs affect the number and location of supply chain facilities in a network. Transportation capabilities, if aligned with customer goals (as in Amazon’s Sunday delivery service) can positively impact the supply chain performance. A shortage of transportation capacity can strand inventory in the system, leading to empty shelves and lost sales. Retailers such as H&M should work with financially solvent carriers to handle peak demands for freight services. Transportation disruption can negatively impact the supply chain performance severely. (Wilson, 2005). The impact can be studied using system dynamics simulation. The greatest disruption occurs when transportation is disrupted between the tier 1 supplier and the warehouse.

Describe the major challenges faced by transportation managers in the current environment.

Supply chain complexity, competing goals among supply chain partners, changing customer requirements and limited information availability inhibit the synchronization of transportation with other supply chain activities (Coyle et al, 2017). Offshore manufacturing creates major transportation challenges. Transportation rate variation adds to the complexity of the transportation function. The industry is also impacted by governmental requirements that affect cost structures and service capabilities. Numerous obstacles – global expansion of supply chains, rising costs, limited capacity etc. must be overcome to synchronize transportation with other supply chain processes.

Conclusion

Distribution managers play a critical role in the supply chain, facilitating product flows to manufacturing facilities, retailers and directly to consumers (Coyle et al, 2017). Fulfilling orders accurately and quickly while achieving the lowest possible cost is important for distribution managers.

Transportation is the largest logistics cost in many supply chains (Coyle et al, 2017). It directly impacts fulfillment speed and service quality. By keeping transportation expenses reasonable, the total landed cost of a product can be competitive in multiple markets.

References

Coyle, J.J., Langley, J. C., Novack, R.A., Gibson B.J. (2017). Supply Chain Management : A Logistics Perspective. Massachusetts : MA. Cengage Learning.

Wilson, Martha (2005). The Impact of Transportation Disruption on Supply Chain Performance. Retrieved from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/227427200_The_Impact_of_Transportation_Disruption_on_Supply_Chain_Performance

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