Today, we have capabilities that allow us to do things faster, farther and better. But at the end of the day, the ultimate objective remains the same as it did decades ago. Take the game of golf for example. For hundreds of years, the spirit and rules of the game have remained the same; get this little ball in the little hole with as few strokes as possible. But today the PGA projects that American golfers will spend over $35 billion a year on golf (apparel, lessons, training aids, equipment, greens fees, etc.). So with so many resources out there it is easy to get bogged down in the minutia of everything that’s available, but the objective is the same…put the ball in the hole. Supply chain management can fall into this same trap.
The same three elements that have always driven the supply chain have not changed, even though everything around them has. Manufacturing, transportation and distribution are still the three drivers of any supply chain, but projecting the future of consumer demand and logistical capabilities can distract from the original goal. A recent article from Modern Materials Handling highlights the “three-point stance” of supply chain management.