Links in supply chain
A supply chain involves all the parties working together both directly and indirectly in order to satisfy the consumer’s expectations. The process of chain supply does not only include manufacturers and suppliers; it also involves other parties right from the raw material source, transporters, warehouses, retailers and customers. The current business environments within which corporates operate is highly unpredictable; therefore, organizations have been compelled to employ various stratagems to safeguard their existence in the ever competitive product market. The unrelenting competition that has taken over the marketplace and the introduction of new products with limited life span as well as very high customer expectation has become a constant challenge to organizations, therefore, limiting options to concentrating all their efforts in supply chains. This paper seeks to identify the links in the chain supply as well as explain their purpose within the business system and the value of each of the chains. Raw Material extraction
Raw material is the most important element in any manufacturing industry. Some industries take the responsibility of extracting their raw materials while some enter into contracts with a supplier. The supplier has a duty of extraction and ferries the raw materials to the manufacturing plant. When a company enters into an accord with another organization with the objective of supply of raw materials, the cost is relatively higher than when the manufacturing firm by itself takes the initiative of extracting the raw materials for themselves. In order to produce the right and the anticipated products by the consumer, the raw materials must be of the required quality. Manufacturer
The manufacturer is the backbone of any business; it is a department that carries with it all the responsibilities of ensuring the creation of a perfect end product. It does the entire planning of the product mix and produces the designs of the products, determines the most suitable materials for manufacturing the products. There are well-established structures within the firm that are responsible for various levels of manufacture ensuring a smooth flow of operation and management within the system. The manufacturer also has the responsibility of making the products and conducting the advertisements regarding their products, as well as ferry to the middlemen. In other cases, the middlemen fetch the products direct from the manufacturer. However, the process of manufacture involves various procedures and steps, therefore, elevating the cost of production. It means that this supply chain link carries the most expenses compared to other links. When the middlemen fetch the products from the manufacturer, it reduces carriage costs although the prices drop. Distributor
Aside from the manufacturer, another important supply chain link is the distributor. It has the responsibility of linking the manufacturer with the consumers’ world. The job of this department is to receive the shipment from the manufacturer, establish relationships with retailers, extends credit to retailers and disintegrates bulk quantities into small packages. For example, according to Li (2007), enhances the relationship between the supply partners and results to stronger business links. The distributor also ensures that the product reaches the customers at the correct time and a favorable price. Retailer
The retailer is the last link before the products reach the customer. It is the link that directly deals with the customer. Its work is to advertise the products by way of display in order to attract customers. It is also has the responsibility for selecting the products to suit the customers, convince the customers to walk into their stores as well as help those customers to make the best choice and decision to purchase the products. In other cases, the retailer transports the purchased items to the...
References: Li L., 2007. Supply Chain Management: Concepts, Techniques and practices: The enhancing value through collaboration. London: World Scientific Publishing Co.
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