Supply chain methods, frameworks, and approaches are numerous. Some are more effective, some less. But what is the best way to optimize supply chain management, lower operative costs, and minimize disruptions? With end-to-end supply chain planning.
So what is end-to-end supply chain planning? What are the benefits? How is it different from traditional supply chain management? This article will answer all of these questions and explain the different links in a supply chain. So let us start from the basics.
An end-to-end (also referred to as E2E) supply chain encompasses all the processes of a product’s lifecycle, including product design, material procurement, manufacturing, storage, and delivery to the end customer. Depending on the situation, it can also include after-sale services and reverse logistics.
Consequently, end-to-end supply chain planning necessitates integrating all of these stages, from product design to delivery, into a holistic, comprehensive plan of action for a product’s entire life cycle. E2E supply chain management should also include advanced technologies for tracking, monitoring, and data analysis.
On the surface, an end-to-end supply chain and a traditional supply chain look the same. However, the difference is in the management approach. In a traditional supply chain, each stage is segmented, planned separately (although communication is still necessary), while end-to-end supply chain planning necessitates a comprehensive approach.
Every E2E supply chain includes 5 stages:
Each phase of a supply chain is complex in its own right and includes many substages, particularly in large operations. Consequently, even minor mismanagement or unpreventable disruption at any stage can have a ripple effect on the entire supply chain. The purpose of E2E supply chain planning is to minimize these issues.
An end-to-end supply chain can have two additional stages, based on the business needs:
Because end-to-end supply chain planning deals with a product’s entire life cycle, certain tools, techniques, and methods need to be utilized for it to be effective. The foundation of effective E2E supply chain planning is:
Let us illustrate (and simplify) a common issue in supply chains that do not utilize end-to-end planning.
A clothing retailer is ordering items for the fall/winter season. Because they could not meet last season’s demands, they overestimate this year’s demand and order more than necessary by a significant margin.
The manufacturer, seeing this large increase, orders even more textiles from their supplier, anticipating an increase in demand from other retailers. The supplier orders even more textiles from the raw material producer.
This effect can expand depending on how many links there are in the supply chain. When small fluctuations at the retail level cause larger disruptions all the way to the raw materials level is a common occurrence in supply chains; it even has a name – the bullwhip effect. This further leads to warehousing and other logistics issues.
And this is only a simplified version of a common problem in supply chains. More complex operations, with more links, can face much larger issues. End-to-end supply chain planning integrates all stages of a supply chain and prevents these kinds of problems from occurring.
We have illustrated a common issue that can happen in a supply chain that does not utilize end-to-end planning, but what are the benefits?
Every link in a supply chain is important, but it all rests on highly-effective logistics. UNIVAL Logistics can efficiently handle the logistics side of your operations so you do not have to. We deliver packages safely and on time to your customers.
All vehicles in our fleet are equipped with real-time tracking devices, so you always know where your packages are located. You can also integrate your website's functionality with our API to ease the fulfillment process. On top of that, you can get full-value insurance for high-value items at premium rates.
If you need more information or want to work with a reliable partner, contact UNIVAL Logistics.
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