Integrated Supply Chain
Integrated Supply Chain Definition
This is a network of businesses and contractors that work and coordinate closely together to manufacture, transport, distribute, and sell retail goods. Unlike a regular supply chain which is more of a linear process that follows a product from one phase to the next, an Integrated Supply Chain is more collaborative and can entail joint product development, shared information, and common systems.
An age-long proposition that ‘production is not complete until it gets to the final Consumer’ still holds today. It has become more realistic with several organizations and myriads of products competing for an edge within the market. Therefore, to compete successfully in our thriving society, several measures must be put in place to enhance the production and distribution phase of products. One known way to achieve this is by adopting the integrated supply chain system.
Integrated supply chain involves the cooperation or union between the producers, suppliers/distributors, storage, distribution centres, retailers or any input involved in the total production process until the final consumer. It is a unique system with its main focus on the consumer.
Just as the saying goes; “nobody is an island”, it has become imperative for force to be joined together to make for the overall success of production, especially with many options from competitors, presently open to consumers.
Today, the competition is very high and people are settling for a more reliable product that can be easily assessable to them. It is pertinent therefore that all modalities and decisions made in sourcing, production and delivering products to final consumers are integrated.
For integrated supply chain to be efficient, several innovations must be put in place such as the ability for consumers to make choices or order products only by a click of devices accessible to the internet. Consumers should also be given the opportunity to decide on how product should be distributed and delivered to them – yes!
Consumers now make this ‘big’ choices. Also, the production process must embrace technological innovations prevalent today such as electronic means of payment.
Integrated supply chain has a lot of benefits such as: pliability and opportunity to easily meet up on consumers’ demand, ability for easy supply or distribution of products, prompt response to customers’ views or complaints, fast and efficient restock, help products gain competitive edge, improves time management because when hands are joined, there will be efficiency which will lead to prompt delivery of products or services.
Finally, integrated supply chain can earn a business loyal customers which is one major aspect which is indispensable for business growth.