Backed with a strong supplier group, flow of raw materials to the production unit never ceases. It lays the path for uninterrupted manufacturing activities. In this phase, supply chain management service actually starts its activities. Here the management team makes comprehensive studies about the areas to put major focus on. If the finished goods are defective or if the production cost is exorbitant, then this phase loses its significance. In such situation planning activities are to be started from 'ground zero'.
Delivery or supply phase follows the manufacturing stage. Producing huge bulks of goods is not enough if it is not backed with smooth delivery mechanism. With timely delivery of goods to the destinations, company will definitely lose its customer-friendly image.
Companies often tend to reduce cost in delivery phase and avail the service of lowest rate freight carriers. But it generally proves to be disastrous as these transporters do not guarantee of the safety of the delivered goods. Moreover, they deliver the goods to the destination well after the scheduled dates. Poor transportation may destroy the products that took days and intense effort to be produced at plants. SO, organizations should give proper weightage to delivery activities just like other areas of supply chain management.
After successful implementation of the delivery activities, supply chain management reaches the final stage. Many believe that 'returns' don't have key significance in in SCM if previous four phases went well. But this area needs importance. Even simple glitches in any phase may hamper growth. However, this final phase offers genuine opportunities to add glitter to business operations. Guided by proper attention and well-researched planning, goods returns can ensure pleasant experience for both the end-customers and the manufacturing company. It in turn always adds value to the company's market image.
All the five basic phases of supply chain management have immense potentiality to drive forward a company and enable it to establish a strong identity in the market. New ideas crop up as the market expands but these basic components have no alternatives. Even during recession and intense global competition, companies follow these phases to survive. However, It is directly relies upon a comprehensive and pro-active initiative to mold the strategies and investment patterns. With proper mix of work and research activities, business ventures can easily fight against the odds both at domestic and global fronts.