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Supply Chain

Effective techniques to attain High Quality

INTRODUCTION

For every organization the operation-management accounts to be of utter importance. It deals effectively with the creation of services as-well-as products upon which dependency is showcased (Baldwin and Lopez‐Gonzalez, 2015). The organization that has been taken in consideration is the Gulf Agency Company of Jordan. It is famous for providing the shipping as well as logistics-services within Jordan. Because of effective supply chain management they have established themselves as the key player in port Aqaba's shipping-market. In addition to this, diversified logistics-services across the entire nation is provided to customers at cargo-destinations (Brandenburg and et.al., 2014). With the aid of effective operations-management an organization is able to enhance their revenues thereby ensuring efficient production of products and services. Furthermore, supply chain accounts to be the system of organization, activity, information, resource involved in process of moving a product from supplier to customer (Fawcett, Ellram and Ogden, 2014).

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The report discusses about the supply chain management of cited organization in context with various models. In addition, the analysation of chosen process in supply chain of GAC has been effectively done. Also, various issues that affect the operations of organizations have been discussed along with possible solutions to deal with these key issues.

SECTION 1

AC 1.1 Supply chain of Gulf agency Company

The supply network of GAC includes both suppliers as-well-as customers. The material, parts, and other relevant-information all flow through network of relationship between supplier and customer. The side of supply regarding an operation consists of suppliers who supply parts, information and services. These have their own suppliers and so on each level has their own suppliers. Customers are present on the demand-side of the operation. Also, there is a possibility that these might not be the final end-users. They might have their own set of customers. The supply-side consists of operations-groups that are responsible for directly supplying the operations and are often called first-tier suppliers (Christopher, 2016). The second-tier suppliers are intended to supply the first-tier suppliers. Similarly, in context to this, main group of customers are first-tier customers and they are responsible for supplying the second-tier customers. The customers and suppliers who have direct contact with an operation are referred to as immediate-supply-network. On the other hand, network which is formed by customer's customers and supplier's suppliers who come under total-supply-network.

With particular reference to the Gulf Agency Company, supply chain network is stated as below :

Raw materials → Production-&-Finished-goods → Value-added-services → Order-processing → Distribution

  1. The raw-materials include global management of freight, consolidation, tracking-system, inventory-management, storage-&-warehousing (Supply Chain Management, 2017).
  2. The level of production-&-finished good includes, sample-preparation, testing, sequencing, controlling quality, storage-&-warehousing and managing inventory activities.
  3. The level of value-added-services incorporate labelling, promotional-packaging, printing by ink jet, assembling components.
  4. Order-processing includes consolidating and making receipts of the purchase-orders along with inspecting overall involved process.
  5. The distribution includes multi mode transportation, managing the transport facilities, forwarding international-freight, controlling of import-&-export along with effective track system.

AC 1.2 Resource flow in between operations of the organizations

The process is defined as a way in which various functional requirements of people get satisfied by either shaping or configuring sources along with activities that formulate a particular product. GAC in Jordan incorporates the shipping along with an inclusion of logistic services.

The main push-demand involves trade-show, showroom, retailer gathering for stock-production and in the end, facilitating distribution process by creation of supply-chain. The pull-demand provides the necessary motivation to customers for actively seeking out the brand new products of organizations (Dekker and et.al., 2013). This is also supposed to happen when the brand is very much strong.

GAC also has some performance objectives for achieving the processes at each level of supply chain. The process design assures that the process-performance is appropriate enough for achieving the set objectives. Objectives of the operations-performance are directly translated into process design objectives.

Henceforth, following table illustrates the result of strategic-performance objective upon the performance as well as process-design :

Cost

For meeting the demand presence of appropriate capacity.
The process-waste is eliminated with respect to following :

  • Capacity is in excess.
  • Capability of process is in excess.
  • In-process is delayed.
  • Error in in-process.
  • Inputs in the process are not appropriate

Speed

  1. Time for throughput is minimum.
  2. Appropriate output-rate to meet the demand (Fawcett, Ellram and Ogden, 2014).
  3. Inventory involved within in-process is lower.

Flexibility

  1. The resources having capabilities should be provided according to appropriate range.
  2. In between the states of processing changes could be easily established.
  3. For processing a wide range of products/services ability is there.
  4. Changes with the fast products and services is lower.
  5. Change involved in the cost/fast timing & volume is lower.
  6. For coping with the unexpected changes, ability is there.

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Quality

  1. Appropriate resources to be provided that possesses the ability of achieving product's specifications.
  2. The method of processing to be free from errors.
  3. The production of services/products is done according to specification.
  4. The efforts for recycled and waste materials during a process is less.

Dependability

  1. The resources to be provided should be dependable as per stages involved in process.
  2. The timing along with volume for process output.
  3. The products and services are delivered on time.
  4. Within a process lesser reschedule, confusion and disruption is there.

AC 1.3 Analysation of the process

With reference to Gulf Agency Company the analysation in context with process has been done according to following manner.

I. Describing the resources and supply chain

With reference to Gulf Agency Company selected process is the 'production & finished goods'. Management of the global supply-chain has been a success for the retailers and manufacturers of GAC. In the process of production along with finished goods, at first stage each material that has to be supplied is tested (Fernie and Sparks, 2014). After testing preparation for the sample is accordingly done. Then another activity has an inclusion and that is the batching process. Here the manufacturing of machine tools is done. Then the activity involved is controlling of quality. Another activity involved in the process is storage and warehousing of materials. And finally the management of inventory is done.

II. Mapping the process

The process of mapping aids in describing the process activities that how they are related to each other. First of all to map the process symbols are utilised that enable the flow of activities in a process. GAC employs 10 people for doing the testing of components and service. It then has established the role of 20 people for preparing the sample. Furthermore, in order for batching that is the manufactured machines for processing those samples, company has employed 20 people. The quality control is checked by the team of 5 people. After checking the quality, the storage and warehousing is accordingly done by the help of 200 employees. Furthermore, the management of the inventory is done by aid 50 employees.

Allocating this as per the mapping tools, each of the involved activity could be challenged systematically.

The amount of work done in total for production of unit's output comes under the work-content. The time involved in between the emerging outputs-unit is considered as cycle-time. At each level of the activity involved in the process work content is calculated to find out the throughput time (Govindan, Soleimani and Kannan, 2015). The throughput time is the required time for moving units through a process. In this case the activity of inventory management is done by 50 employees. The throughput time will be given by the multiplying of cycle time involved by in-process work. So according to this case,

III. Describing process

The main aim of the process-design is to attain all the five objectives of the performance. Their target is to meet the demands of customers in terms of quality , cost, speed, flexibility and dependability. The information technology plays a vital role in all the activities of the chosen process of production and finished goods. Every organization needs a partner in logistics and GAC has established itself as a sole proprietor in this field.

The advanced type of information technology used in the tracking of freight as well as storage & warehouse management allows the GAC to attain high quality. The service of inventory is aided with entire range of logistic-service. Furthermore, the activity of quality control is quite managed effectively by the aid of information technology. Effective monitoring of each and every step is possible by the aid of information technology. This also assures that the validity of the service or product to be shipped is good enough to satisfy the clients.

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SECTION 2

AC 2.1 Identifying where the process selected shows problems

The first problem observed in the process of production & finished goods was the order batching-problem (Mangan and Lalwani, 2016). This has an inclusion of the grouping up of the orders that the warehouse receives in particular set of batches. This activity is carried out in such a way that time required for collecting all the orders gets minimum. The batch so formed is usually collected by a single-picker which causes difficulty. This is usually done without exceeding the limit for actual capacity.

Another activity in which the problems were actually faced was management of inventory. As per the effective management of inventory, the measurements of performance are usually found out to be lacking. Also, the employees that have been hired for management of the inventory are not qualified enough. Also, in addition to this the lacking forecasting lead to the planning being in -appropriate. Also, during the carrying of the warehouse operation the physical counting of the items or products was not done properly.

In addition to the above problems faced in the process of the GAC, there are also some critical issues that restrain it achieving the performance objectives set by it. The fives basic objectives are in terms of quality, dependability, flexibility, cost and speed (Monczka and et.al., 2015). Quality often gets affected by the manufacturing process adopted to supply the materials for warehousing as well as storage. In the process of batch, difficulty in timely arrival of products to the picker this shows that the dependability on the single picker is affecting the performance overall company. The delay in arrival at the warehouse affects the flexibility of the overall process as well. This causes in late execution of the entire process. The late arrival also cause the additional costs to increase. This further causes the company to inappropriately distribute the investment that is planned. Furthermore, the late arrival affects the speed as well. Only a single picker is there for the batch process. So, this increases the time. And as a result lack of pickers causes the speed to be slow. Henceforth, this particular process of production and finished goods is causing hindrances the five performance objectives in accordance with the Gulf Agency Company. So there is a definite need to control the process of the supply chain of GAC for ensuring that all processes have been carried out effectively.

AC 2.2 Suggested solutions

The performance of supply chain could be further improved with help from attempts assured by supply chain management (Rushton, Croucher and Baker, 2014). A majority of them are in accordance with establishment of coordination among the various activities in an operation. The following improvement measures could definitely make the performance better :-

The supply chains along with the combination of e-business will entirely modify the entire supply chain. At each of the involved stage, information will be provided in an effective manner that too at faster rates. With the attainment of higher accuracy as well as circulating real-time information, the efforts of the integrated disparate-elements will ensure benefits to the entire supply-chain.

Usually the operations that are carried out in the supply chain do not have and overview of the happenings across the entire chain. If the sharing of information has been carried out throughout the entire chain then, the majority of fluctuations will be managed and thereby prevented. The transferring of information throughout the entire chain will therefore enable effective monitoring of the true demands of the operations thereby preventing all sorts of fluctuations as well as distortions.

The adjusting of schedules, movements of the involved materials, stock-level, price, sale-strategy will enable all the operations to come in line with each other. This overall phenomenon or process will be termed as channel-alignment (Slack, Brandon-Jones and Johnston, 2013).

For simplifying the throughput of the entire chain, complexity-reduction, cost-reduction along with throughput-time reduction are enabled by the means of operational efficiency. The uttermost important approach in the phenomenon of supply-chain accounts to be time-compression. Regarding this approach, the materials-flows speed down the chain is enhanced and the information flows back up towards the chain.

Lean-operations:-

For making a particular operation more dependable and faster, key principle of lean-operations is involved. This ensures that all the waste has been removed. The quality of the produced is enhanced, prices involved are further reduced. The lean philosophy basically involves three main steps which are :

1. Elimination of the waste : Waste is known for not adding up any sort of values. It involves many techniques such as the 5S terminology. The 5 S stands for sort, straighten, shine, standardize, sustain. Sorting means to eliminate the not-needed things and only keep the required materials. Straighten means that the things should be placed properly so that they could be easily founded. Shine means that no presence of dirt or refuse shall be there and all the things involved have to be kept neat and tidy. Standardize means maintenance of proper cleanliness. Sustain means that the company should make commitments and feel proud of staying up-to the standards.

Another measure besides the 5S is there and that is the throughput time. If materials are held back at inventory or moved, checked or subjected to other things, for longer time then, this does not add value and also the progress time gets enhanced (Snyder and et.al., 2016). So, if each of the item is looked during a process then, the waste materials could be easily identified.

2. Involvement from everyone : The main aim of the lean philosophy is to assure that guidelines are able to embrace every person as well as process within the organization. The team-based solving of particular problem is assured along with the job-enrichment, job-rotation and enabling of multi-skills. It assures that people are able to have a deep sense of their individual responsibilities at personal-level, sense of engaging in operations involved and also the ability to own the job.

3. Continuous improvement : Ideals have been established by the lean objectives and they are : instantaneous meeting of demands along with the perfect-quality & no-waste. The current operations that are carried out are far away from this set ideal. As per the fundamental belief of lean approach, there exists a possibility to get closer to these ideals of lean. Henceforth, the continuous-improvement process accounts to be of uttermost importance for the lean-philosophy.

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JIT Techniques:-

Just In Time approach is a very disciplined type that improves the entire productivity & waste gets eliminated. With its aid, production-process becomes effective enough by delivering only the required amount of parts having the appropriate quality as well. Thee parts have to present at right place within the right-time. JIT is that factor whose dependability gets determined by the balance between users and suppliers flexibility.

  1. Basic practices of working should be adopted such as the operations carried should cover the following : flexibility, creativity, disciplined-nature, working-life quality, personnel-development.
  2. The improvements in designs could majorly impact the costs of product. The product-design should be such that the processing gets quite eased.
  3. Each process involved in the supply chain should be laid equal emphasis and the set operation-objectives should be focussed (Stadtler, 2015).
  4. Using small machines instead of large once will allow simultaneous processing of services as well as products.
  5. If the involved process in an operation is long then, delay and inventory-build-up opportunities are there. These further add no values to the product. To deal with this, the workstations should be placed close to each other so that the inventory don't get the opportunity to build up.
  6. The approach of Total Productive Maintenance should be adopted which will reduce the unnecessary variations during processes occurring because of unplanned-breakdowns.
  7. Adoption of set up time reduction should be done by aid of variety of processes such as reducing the time wasted in searching for the required tools.
  8. The process of operation should be transparent enough so that the management as well as staff could easily manage the associated tasks and further ensure the improvement.

Total Quality Management techniques :-

The products and services of GAC could achieve continuous improvements in terms of quality and thereby meet the expectations of customers by aid of total quality management approach. The Just in time approach discussed above is a technique of TQM only. So, besides this Six Sigma is also popular (Wisner, Tan and Leong, 2014). According to it, the causes responsible for defects are first identified and then removed. This way the variabilities involved within the manufacturing processes are reduced.

CONCLUSION

It can finally be concluded that the supply chain has to be effectively managed for ensuring that each of the involved processes is able to meet the five performance objectives of flexibility, quality, cost, dependability and speed. Furthermore, the problems observed in the processes of GAC have to be improved by eliminating the wastes and delays involved. These problems if not assessed then the entire supply chain of the organization will be hindered. So timely assessment of the key problems has to be done. This could be effectively achieved by the approaches of lean-philosophy, JIT techniques as well as six sigma techniques of total quality management.

REFERENCES

  • Christopher, M., 2016.Logistics & supply chain management. Pearson UK.
  • Dekker, R. and et.al., 2013.Reverse logistics: quantitative models for closed-loop supply chains. Springer Science & Business Media.
  • Fawcett, S. E., Ellram, L. M. and Ogden, J. A., 2014.Supply chain management: from vision to implementation. London: Pearson.
  • Fernie, J. and Sparks, L., 2014.Logistics and retail management: emerging issues and new challenges in the retail supply chain. Kogan Page Publishers.
  • Mangan, J. and Lalwani, C., 2016.Global logistics and supply chain management. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Monczka, R. M. and et.al., 2015.Purchasing and supply chain management. Cengage Learning.
  • Slack, N., Brandon-Jones, A. and Johnston, R., 2013. OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT. Pearson Education Limited.
  • Snyder, L.V. And et.al., 2016. OR/MS models for supply chain disruptions: A review.IIE Transactions.48(2). pp.89-109.
  • Stadtler, H., 2015. Supply chain management: An overview. InSupply chain management and advanced planning(pp. 3-28). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
  • Wisner, J. D., Tan, K. C. and Leong, G. K., 2014.Principles of supply chain management: A balanced approach. Cengage Learning.
 

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