Call Us Today: 213-368-3444


End-To-End Supply Chain Planning and Its Benefits

two men discussing logistics

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.

What Is an End-To-End Supply Chain?

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.

How Is It Different from a Traditional Supply Chain?

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.

What Are the 5 Stages of a Successful Supply Chain?

Every E2E supply chain includes 5 stages:

  1. Supply and demand planning – creating sourcing strategies based on forecasts and predictions.
  2. Raw material procurement – choosing raw material vendors/suppliers, making procurement agreements, and finally placing orders.  
  3. Manufacturing – the creation of the product itself.
  4. Storage – creating and implementing plans regarding warehousing and inventory management.
  5. Distribution – the logistics operations that entail delivering products to retailers and end users.

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.

The Two Additional Stages of an E2E Supply Chain

An end-to-end supply chain can have two additional stages, based on the business needs:

  1. After-sale services – this stage can include directing returns or maintenance.
  2. Reverse logistics – this stage includes upstream supply chain logistics, like returning, repairing, or recycling products or materials.

What Is the Foundation of E2E Supply Chain Planning?

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:

  • Real-time information sharing across all stages of a supply chain, which necessitates utilizing advanced communication technologies.
  • Accurate (as far as possible) demand predictions and analysis.
  • Reducing waste by taking a lean approach to inventory management, which ultimately leads to faster and more accurate fulfillment.
  • Planning human resources to reduce unnecessary actions and effectively respond to disruptions in the supply chain.
  • Setting up metrics to analyze the effectiveness of a supply chain in its entirety and optimizing the processes where possible.

A Simple Example of Not Utilizing E2E Supply Chain Planning

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.

The Benefits

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?

  • Improved communication between all links in a supply chain
  • Better predictions of market demands
  • Better responsiveness to market changes
  • Optimization of existing processes and procedure
  • Reduced logistics delays
  • Waste removal, leading to lower labor and material costs
  • Increased customer satisfaction

Do You Need a Logistics Company to Participate in Your Supply Chain?

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.

Latest blogs

How To Ship Coins: Everything You Need To Know

Thu, Jan 26th 2023, 01:20

Continue Reading →

The 4 Most Important Shipping Documents for Domestic Shipments

Wed, Jan 11th 2023, 06:07

Continue Reading →

Package Insurance for High-Value Items

Thu, Dec 22nd 2022, 23:13

Continue Reading →

Shipping Types and Methods Compared

Tue, Dec 20th 2022, 23:07

Continue Reading →

Ecommerce Shipping: Tips, Solutions & Best Practices

Mon, Dec 19th 2022, 00:56

Continue Reading →

Categories

default