Supply Chain: An easy job?

28 October 2018


Supply Chain

Blog by Marc Baggen

In the industry I sometimes hear people say: “Supply chain, that is easy. Do some planning and send out the goods to the customers.’’ Yes, this is a good starting point, but far from complete. In a modern supply chain there is much more, especially in the Medical Devices Industry.

How about compliancy with different kind of standards? How about financial targets on stock levels? How about insurance of high value goods during stocking and transport? All these topics are not necessarily anchored within supply chain organisations, but could well be within Finance, Regulatory, Quality or other departments. It is quite a challenge to make sure that within supply chain the latest rules and regulations are always known and covered.

You should make sure that your business processes are documented and well known within the different departments. All should know where their responsibility starts and ends. Any doubt or different views? Resolve it and make it crystal clear who is responsible for what and when.

You probably have your basic process more or less covered, but how about your supporting processes? For instance, return of sold goods? And under warranty returns? Handling and reception of incoming goods? Do you execute risk analysis on your processes? Do you have a structural review scheme? Who is assigned as the reviewer?

When your company can answer to most of the previous questions, it is likely that your supply chain processes are pretty well covered. Then you can say: “Yes, supply chain is an easy job, because we have evaluated our processes very carefully”.

Now you are ready for the evaluation of the other two important pillars in your business: the people and systems.

Maybe I will write more on that subject another time. Have a great supply chain!


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