Supply Chain

FAQ – What is a Supply Chain?

PMG provides labor solutions to American manufacturers. That’s what we do in a nutshell and we take the “solution” part of that equation seriously. As a result, all of us here end up asking a lot of questions to make sure we find the right way to solve the real problem. But, in that process, we end up getting asked a fair amount of questions ourselves. This blog will try its best to provide the answers to the things PMG employees get asked the most.

What is a supply chain and why is it important?

The term supply chain is fairly self-explanatory but its importance to businesses of all kinds may not be as apparent. A supply chain is the entire process of making and selling commercial goods. This includes every stage from the supply of materials and the making of the actual goods to their distribution and sale. Supply chain management, or SCM, is the management of that process by which goods and services turn from raw materials into products sold to consumers. It includes the methods of moving and storing the materials used to produce goods, storing the finished products until they sell and tracking where sold products go. This information drives future sales. SCM seeks to streamline every part of the chain and the processes involved. This maximized profits and minimizes product defects. The success of a business is linked to the efficiency of its supply chain. A business with a well-managed supply chain may significantly reduce all of the operating expenses connected to that chain, which contributes to a greater profit.

The full scope of changes to our modern American supply chain, as a result of COVID-19, are still hard to fully predict. However, there are three root movements you will likely see to some extent in most companies’ chains going forward.

1)           A move from globalization to regionalization

Logistics hubs will re-emerge at the regional level to eliminate single-source dependencies. Efforts to establish a flexible and adaptable   supply chain will cause those involved at all levels of production and distribution to source, assemble and deliver from their own backyards as much as possible.

2)           Supply chain stress tests

To assure balance sheets and cybersecurity mechanisms are prepare for system shocks, financial institutions and technology companies perform stress tests. In a post-COVID-19 world, supply chain stress tests will become a new normal as well.

3)           A human touch

Big and unexpected changes in volume make most statistical models useless. These models assess events like the pandemic as “outliers” and, therefore, discard them from the data. Although we need statistical data for people in the supply chain to be able to make decisions, most decisions should be made manually due to these outliers. Meaning, technology can provide the information but humans still are best at applying it to reality.

We sincerely hope this helped grow your understanding of supply chains and their importance to all industries. If you’re looking for more insider info on the processes involved in production, consider watching this PMG webinar Mapping Manufacturing. Interested in helping PMG provide solutions to the supply chain problems of companies across America? Send your resume to recruiter@pmservices.com to learn more about our positions and projects. Finally, if you have your own question for PMG we have an answer, and we’d love to share it, so send it to writingteam@pmservices.com and look for it in our next FAQ blog!

 

About the Author

Josh Erickson, Retool & Technical Associate