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18 August 2008

My Management Collection-Defining the Supply Chain Management?

What is Supply Chain Management?
As per the Institute of Supply chain management Inc, US, SCM can be defined as design, and management of a huge, value added process across organizational boundaries to meet the real needs of the end customers. Personally from my observation, supply chain management is finding the most optimized way to delivery
value to customers and the organization as well.
Continuing with more of would explain that when you put together the technological resources which would include the most sophisticated tools available(from forcasting to inventory management), to the hardware side of the ever changing hardware with the people working with them, thats is termed as Supply Chain integration. Ain't no rocket science yet.
There was no substantial need felt for any of these, until the business started going above bounds and the aspects which were covered by the business house themselves, was let off to be a responsibility of the vendor/supplier itself and this fusion led to more management joints and nut bolts needed to get the system working. These days, for a huge business to run successfully, most of the collaboration is fused from the outside entities to the business like, suppliers, distributors etc. Such an arrangement of lesser control and more integration gave all the supply chain concepts and Logisitics handling, inventory management, distribution and stock handling took as much of concentration as forcasting the trends took the industry share.
Supply Chain Major Focus Areas:

Some of the major areas of concentration, in todays business are:
  • Distrubution Network Configuration.
  • Distribution Strategy
  • Information
  • Inventory Management
1,Distribution network configuration: The words can sound too techie but in real terms its a very common sense phenomenon but unrealistic to come to terms with. DNC takes into account of Number of location of suppliers, production facilities, distribution centres, Warehouses and customers. Well, if some one could find a perfect resoution, life would be a better one but it one of the tough bets to conlude upon. The real analogy would include, having a store and then find all the permutations and combinations of cost involved in different no of suppliers, no of carriers, their no of shifts of work and then the conclusion telling us the optimal figure good for the business.
2, Distribution Strategy: I shall try and write another writeup on different distribution strategies to explain more in details, but for the completeness, the strategy to be choosen could from either Centralized Vs Decentralized, Cross docking or Shipment directly, Pull or Push Strategies, Third party logistics etc. Its again basically a variable to choose how you want to distribute your stuff.
3, Information:Integrate systems and processes through the supply chain to share valuable information, including demand signals , forecasts, inventory and transportation.Its as simple and tough as that.
4, Inventory Management:Quantity and location of inventory including raw material, work-in-process and finished goods service providers and customers.
I shall be writing on different aspects of supply chain management and shall try to write another one on forcasting as that is one of my favs.

My Management Collection-Consumer Behaviour and purchasing

Consumer:It would refer to an individual or household which would use goods and/or services, and dictate and emulate their production.

Consumer Behaviour:
Consumers make purchases in order to satisfy needs. Some of these needs are basic and must be filled by everyone on the planet (e.g., food, shelter) while others are not required for basic survival and vary depending on the person. It probably makes more sense to classify needs that are not a necessity as wants or desires. In fact, in many countries where the standard of living is very high, a large portion of the population’s income is spent on wants and desires rather than on basic needs.
Over here, when I mention the consumer i am referring to the actual buyer, the person spending the money. But it should also be pointed out that the one who does the buying is not necessarily the user of what is bought and that others may be involved in the buying decision in addition to the actual buyer. While the purchasing process in the consumer market is not as complex as the business market, having multiple people involved in a purchase decision is not unusual. For example, in planning for a family vacation the mother may make the hotel reservations but others in the family may have input on the hotel choice. Similarly, a father may purchase snacks at the grocery store but his young child may be the one who selected it from the store shelf.
So understanding consumer purchase behavior involves not only understanding how decisions are made but also understanding the dynamics that influence purchases.






What Influences Purchasing


The decision-making process for consumers is anything but straight forward. There are many factors that can affect this process as a person works through the purchase decision. The number of potential influences on consumer behavior is limitless. However, marketers are well served to understand the KEY influences. By doing so they may be in a position to tailor their marketing efforts to take advantage of these influences in a way that will satisfy the consumer and the marketer (remember this is a key part of the definition of marketing).we will break these influences down into three main categories: Internal, External and Marketing. However, those interested in learning more about customer buying activity may want to consult one or more consumer behavior books where they will find additional methods for explaining consumer buying behavior.
For the most part the influences are not mutually exclusive. Instead, they are all interconnected and, as we will see, work together to form who we are and how we behave.
For each of the influences that are discussed we will provide a basic description and also suggest its implication to marketers. Bear in mind we only provide a few marketing implications for each influence; clearly there are many more.


Internal influence shall cover:


1, Perceptual Filter which shall cover Exposure, attention, awareness and retention.
2, Knowledge.
3, Attitude.
4, Personality.
5,lifestyle.
6,Roles and Involvements.


External Factors shall include:


1, Culture.
2, Group.
3, Situation.



How Consumers Buy

This process is presented in a sequence of 5 steps as shown below. However, whether a consumer will actually carryout each step depends on the type of purchase decision that is faced. For instance, for minor re-purchases the consumer may be quite loyal to the same brand, thus the decision is a routine one (i.e., buy the same product) and little effort is involved in making a purchase decision. In cases of routine, brand loyal purchases consumers may skip several steps in the purchasing process since they know exactly what they want allowing the consumer to move quickly through the steps. But for more complex decisions, such as Major New Purchases, the purchasing process can extend for days, weeks, months or longer. So in presenting these steps marketers should realize that, depending on the circumstances surrounding the purchase, the importance of each step may vary.

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