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QUESTION

Internal supply chain control is a managerial tool to assist management of a firm to run its daily
activities effectively. However, there are challenges which actually weaken its effectiveness.
Deliberate on the measures which could counter the weaknesses/limitations of internal supply
chain control in an organization.
Introduction to Internal Supply Chain Control
The concept of “supply chain” is well established in the literature and is generally referred to as
the alignment of firms that bring products or services to market (Tang, 2006) The supply chain
includes manufacturer, suppliers, transporters, warehouses, wholesalers, retailers, other
intermediaries and even customers themselves. The field of Internal Supply Chain Control was
born to manage the flow of information, products and service across a network of customers,
enterprises and supply chain partners. (Russel and Taylor, 2009) and since its introduction as a
concept in the 1980s, supply chain control has undergone significant changes and extensions.
Challenges Facing Internal Supply Control
As organizations strive to enhance internal supply chain efficiencies and gain greater control of
related costs, the biggest obstacles standing in their way include a lack of visibility into all steps
in the supply chain, poor synchronization of end-to-end business processes, and little or no
access to accurate, time-sensitive information. Just one of these three barriers let alone all of
them combined can prohibit shippers from achieving their long-term supply chain goals; having
a significant financial impact along with wasting precious resources. (Tang, 2006)
Other Challenges
Cost containment
Internal supply chains control can’t keep pace with cost volatility. Internal Supply chain
executives rank cost containment as their number one responsibility to the business far ahead of
enterprise growth and product/service innovation. This intense focus on controlling costs is also
quite evident in their activities and programs; two out of the top three types of initiatives are
aimed at improving efficiency.(Deveshwar and Rathee 2010)
Risk
Executives agree on importance of risk management, but mounting internal supply chain risk
even more than increasing customer demands and higher costs has leaders on edge. (Deveshwar
and Rathee 2010)
Customer intimacy
Companies interact with suppliers more than customers. Rising customer demands ranks as the
third highest internal supply chain control challenge, and two out of every three companies
struggle to accurately identify customer needs. (Deveshwar and Rathee, 2010)

Prepared by Winifrida Masanja: NIT/BPLM/2016/814


Globalization
Many companies are encountering issues with global sourcing, including unreliable delivery (65
percent), longer lead times (61 percent) and poor quality (61 percent), with an additional 14
percent of respondents anticipating such problems within the next three years.
Strategies used to combat the challenges of Internal Supply Chain Control
Instrumented
Internal Supply chain information that was previously created by people will increasingly be
generated by sensors and other devices and systems. In terms of visibility, internal supply chains
not only will be able to “see” more events, but also witness them as they occur. They will rely
less on labor-based tracking and monitoring, as objects like shipping containers, trucks, products
and parts report on themselves. (Tang, 2006)
Interconnected
Smarter internal supply chains will take advantage of unprecedented levels of interaction not
only with customers, suppliers and IT systems in general, but also among objects that are
monitoring or even flowing through the internal supply chain. Besides creating a more holistic
view of the supply chain, this extensive interconnectivity will also facilitate collaboration on a
massive scale. (Tang, 2006)
Intelligent
To assist executives in evaluating trade-offs, intelligent systems will assess myriad constraints
and alternatives, allowing decision makers to simulate various courses of action. A smarter
internal supply chain should also be capable of learning and making some decisions by itself,
without human involvement. This intelligence should be used not only to make real-time
decisions, but also to predict the future. Equipped with sophisticated modeling and simulation
capabilities, the smarter supply chain will move past sense and respond to predict and act. (Tang
2006).
Conclusion
Therefore assessing internal supply chain performance leads to identification of problems and
opportunities. Having a strategy and measuring key parts are necessary to understand and take
control of organization internal supply chain.

Prepared by Winifrida Masanja: NIT/BPLM/2016/814


References
Deveshwar L and R. Rathee (2010), Challenges for Supply Chain Management in Today’s
Global Competitive Environment International Review of Business Research Papers,
Russel B.S and Taylor, M. (2009). Internal Supply chain management practices in Indian
industry. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 33: 7,
Tang C.S (2006). Robust strategies for mitigating supply chain disruptions. International Journal
of Logistics: Research and Applications, 9:1, 33–45.

Prepared by Winifrida Masanja: NIT/BPLM/2016/814