Supply chain models related to responsiveness

Efficient Supply Chain
This is best suited model for markets characterized by intense competition with several competitors fighting for the same group of clients/customers who may not perceive major differences in their quality values; hence competition is based on price.
Companies should aim for reducing their costs by:

  • Large scale production to achieve economies of scale by guaranteeing product availability.
  • Reducing transportation costs, which is a major cost in large batch transportation and consolidating customer order.
  • Having an extra warehouse where demand is anticipated to go up.
  • Consistency in quality
  • Extra production if demand rises.

Continuous Flow Supply Chain
This model is a very mature one with little variation in customer demand. It consists of continuous flow of information and products e.g. Bread and milk. The following can be done as to make the model successful:

  • Having prescheduled order.
  • Having enough stock in case of slight demand.
  • Works well for products with short lifecycle.

Fast Supply Chain Model
This supply chain model is best for companies that produce trendy products with short lifecycles, for customers, what matters is how best they are able to update product portfolio in accordance with the latest trend. It‘s also about how well manufacturers are able to keep up with new trendy products at affordable prices e.g. smartphones.

Custom Configured Supply Chain Model
In this chain, products are configurable within a limited combination of product specification usually by combining parts into a set or assembly. Usually product configuration is accomplished during an early assembly process where some parts are mounted or assembled according to customer needs.

Configuration can also be done in other processes like mixing, packaging, printing etc. Configuration commences after receiving customer orders.
This supply chain can be made successful by:

  1. Clearly understanding customers‘ requirements to avoid making wrong orders.
  2. Configuring products accurately
  3. Keeping inventory level at a minimum to meet customer needs. A pull system is better than a push system

Examples of companies that use this type of models are restaurants.

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