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Supply chain management for the high-tech industry


The Supply Chain Manager in the course of time

Nowadays, high-tech companies are forced to permanently optimize their processes. However, the internal rationalization measures inevitably reach their limits. The search for further improvement possibilities then goes beyond the company's own limits. Supply chain managers must adapt to new challenges and optimize production processes.

Well organised supply chains

Optimization potentials within the supply chain play an important role in the rapidly developing industrial sectors. Because "time is money". This advice by Benjamin Franklin from 1748 is still highly relevant today. Profit making and corporate success depend to a large extent on efficiency and flexibility. A poorly organized supply chain leads to delays, dissatisfied customers and high follow-up costs. Supply chain managers are responsible for the smooth flow of processes within the value chain.

Today's Supply Chain Managers

With excellent organizational skills and an eye for the big picture, supply chain managers are responsible for the cross-company coordination of logistics processes. There is a clear trend towards system suppliers. This means that suppliers will be more closely involved in the production of the end product in the future. Instead of individual parts, complete modules such as complete cabin and seating systems are now being supplied. Supply chain managers monitor the delivery of components and adjust the production area to customer requirements. Instead of a tunnel view of one's own specialist area, this profession requires entrepreneurial thinking.

The inclusion of all areas of the company shows a clear trend towards change in the occupational field. For a long time, the image of the classic logistics employee conveyed monotonous administrative tasks within the company. The modern supply chain manager, on the other hand, thinks globally. In addition to supplier selection and contract design in the procurement process, there are a number of other tasks on the daily agenda. These include, among others, sub-areas of production monitoring and sales forecasting. The supply chain manager's job profile is increasingly developing into an all-rounder and strategist who masters his business skills.

Increasingly economical models that can at best still be digitized, such as e. g. production machines orders automatically the exact required material, illustrate the relevance of supply chain management. Even small savings on supplier parts have a leverage effect on the success of a company. Supply chain managers play a key role here. Instead of simply conducting supplier negotiations in accordance with demand forecasts, they can be included in early phases of product development. In this role, supply chain managers can act as consultants for logistics, purchasing and, later, sales. In order to find the ideal balance between customer satisfaction, costs and inventory, key performance indicator systems are often used within the planning processes.

Digital transformation of supply chain processes

Industrial products stand above all for one characteristic: safety. The processes in the value chain therefore go hand in hand with an absolute focus on quality and reliability. At the same time, they have a high project character. Industrial manufacturers in particular are feeling the increasing pressure. On the one hand, business is booming, while on the other, start-ups are forcing their way onto the market with a more efficient and/or cost-effective range of services, forcing industrial companies to be more innovative and adaptable. MAN, a manufacturer of utility vehicles, is setting a good example. It bundles digital solutions from the Transport & Logistics ecosystem into an application called RIO - a uniform information and application system with forecasting functionality links shippers, freight forwarders, transport companies, shippers, dispatchers and drivers. ARTS also supports its customers in the digitization of supply chain management. For the Airbus A350 test aircraft near Bordeaux, among other things, we have created our own material management logistics system for recording and storing the wing section.

Supply chain performance through customer orientation

But not only digitization, but also customer orientation is an essential guarantee for success. Particularly with system suppliers such as manufacturers of aircraft or car seats, customer requests for changes sometimes only arrive in the middle of the production process. In such situations, supply chain managers must be able to react flexibly to short-term changes in customer requirements and project objects. A customer-oriented supply chain not only benefits from good networking with departments anchored in the process, but also from maintaining a good customer relationship with the outside world. However, close customer relations nowadays also require physical proximity. The establishment of foreign locations is now unavoidable for established industrial companies. In view of these development trends, there are signs of a restructuring of the supplier industry. The outsourcing activities of manufacturers are opening up new opportunities for companies, but also for job seekers. Business process outsourcing for supply chain management and related technology consulting, as offered by ARTS, are increasingly moving into the value-added focus of high-tech companies.

Positive change in supply chain management

The optimization of the supply chain at high-tech companies will be a central challenge in the coming years and therefore the corresponding job profile of the supply chain manager has more future potential than ever. ARTS supports many of its industrial customers in digitizing and optimizing their processes within the supply chain and always needs support from new experts in this area.

Source: industry-of-things.de 

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