What is Supply Chain?
APICS* defines supply chain as, “The processes from the initial raw materials to the ultimate consumption of the finished product linking across supplier-user companies.” Additionally, it is further defined as, “The functions within and outside a company that enables the value chain to make products and provide services to the customer.”
Additionally, The Supply Chain Council’s definition is, “All customer interactions (order entry through paid invoice), all physical material transactions (supplier’s supplier to customer’s customer. This includes equipment, supplies, spare parts, bulk product, software, etc.) and all market interactions (from the understanding of aggregate demand to the fulfillment of each order).”
Even in the above definitions, it’s clear why the supply chain is perhaps the single most important process within company operations. It contains almost all of the assets, touches almost all of the costs and delivers all the product to the customer.
Supply Chain Management
Traditionally, most companies have focused primarily on what’s inside the “four walls” of their factory to improve operational performance. However, there are significant efficiencies and cost savings to be realized by improving the performance of the entire supply chain. The difference between an average and well-run supply chain can mean significant profit improvements. For most, optimal supply chain management can have an impact throughout their entire company.
Read this Supply Chain Risk Management Whitepaper which is based on insights from experts in the MEP National Network; topics in this whitepaper include responding to impacts and preparing for what comes next, mapping your supply chain network, self assessment tool for supply chain risk management, supply chain risk management to-do list and much more.
Supplier Scouting Services to Match Domestic Manufacturers
VMEC assists Vermont manufacturing businesses to become stronger and more resilient by helping them rebuild or re-invent supply chains. One program we leverage is the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) National Network “Supplier Scouting” service.
Manufacturers need critical products that are in short supply to ensure our nation’s health and safety as well as our national and economic security. Small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs) are especially challenged with sustaining operations in light of current conditions. There is a widespread struggle to find domestic manufacturing suppliers to meet present needs.
VMEC, as part of the MEP National Network’s Supplier Scouting program, is able to connect Vermont and U.S. manufacturers that have relevant production capabilities and capacities with other manufacturers enabling them to fulfill current market and societal needs. We can then assist those manufacturers in actually delivering needed products.
We can support your vendor, materials or technical search by identifying:
- Technical and process capabilities
- Production capacities
- Ability to make products
Contact VMEC for help with rebuilding or growing your supply chain. We can help to:
- Make connections with new customers looking for U.S. based manufacturers
- Find suppliers for hard-to-source parts and services
- Identify backup and secondary suppliers as part of a COVID or disaster recovery plan
*APICS is the premier professional association for supply chain management and the leading provider of research, education and certification programs. Their focus is to elevate supply chain excellence, innovation and resilience. The APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM), APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), APICS Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD) and APICS Supply Chain Operations Reference Professional (SCOR-P) designations set the industry standard. With over 45,000 members and approximately 300 channel partners, APICS is transforming the way people do business, drive growth and reach global customers.