SCM – Decision Phases

Decision phases can be defined as the different stages involved in supply chain management for taking an action or decision related to some product or services. Successful supply chain management requires decisions on the flow of information, product, and funds that fall into three decision phases.

Here we will be discussing the three main decision phases involved in the entire process of supply chain. The three phases are described below −

Supply Chain Strategy

In this phase, decision is taken by the management mostly. The decision to be made considers the sections like long term prediction and involves price of goods that are very expensive if it goes wrong. It is very important to study the market conditions at this stage.

These decisions consider the prevailing and future conditions of the market. They comprise the structural layout of supply chain. After the layout is prepared, the tasks and duties of each is laid out.

All the strategic decisions are taken by the higher authority or the senior management. These decisions include deciding manufacturing the material, factory location, which should be easy for transporters to load material and to dispatch at their mentioned location, location of warehouses for storage of completed product or goods and many more.

Supply Chain Planning

Supply chain planning should be done according to the demand and supply view. In order to understand customers’ demands, a market research should be done. The second thing to consider is awareness and updated information about the competitors and strategies used by them to satisfy their customer demands and requirements. As we know, different markets have different demands and should be dealt with a different approach.

This phase includes it all, starting from predicting the market demand to which market will be provided the finished goods to which plant is planned in this stage. All the participants or employees involved with the company should make efforts to make the entire process as flexible as they can. A supply chain design phase is considered successful if it performs well in short-term planning.

Supply Chain Operations

The third and last decision phase consists of the various functional decisions that are to be made instantly within minutes, hours or days. The objective behind this decisional phase is minimizing uncertainty and performance optimization. Starting from handling the customer order to supplying the customer with that product, everything is included in this phase.

For example, imagine a customer demanding an item manufactured by your company. Initially, the marketing department is responsible for taking the order and forwarding it to production department and inventory department. The production department then responds to the customer demand by sending the demanded item to the warehouse through a proper medium and the distributor sends it to the customer within a time frame. All the departments engaged in this process need to work with an aim of improving the performance and minimizing uncertainty.

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