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A comprehensive guide to various types of Supply Chain Management

Supply Chain Management and its Types:

Supply Chain Management (SCM) entails the management and coordination of product movement from the acquisition of raw materials to its delivery to the end users. Supply Chain Management can be grouped into several types. In the traditional perspective of Supply Chain Management, the main goal includes the minimization of costs. Lean Supply Chain Management on the other hand aspires to reduce wastage and efficiency. Agile SCM is also effective in changing market trends, especially in situations where there is a variation in demand. Green SCM focuses on sustainability within the environment by the inclusion of environmental management techniques.

A comprehensive guide to various types of Supply Chain Management | JEL

Elements of supply chain management:

Several elements come together to form a supply chain, and they can vary, depending on the industry type, size, and location. They include:


Integration in SCM allows for synchrony in the implementation of all the activities of the supply chain. It covers the coordination of processes, the exchange of information in real time, and efforts to facilitate interactions between suppliers, manufacturers, and retailers. Integration makes operations efficient, reduces time wastage, and increases organizations’ ability to respond to emerging market trends.


The operations in Supply Chain Management pertain to the processes that are performed in the regular course of manufacturing and supplying products. This includes production scheduling, inventory control, quality assurance, and distribution. Organizational operations aim at the timely production and delivery of goods to the customers while minimizing the consumption of resources.


Management in Supply Chain Management refers to the coordinated activities in terms of planning, organizing, and controlling resources and activities in the supply chain. The demands result in pressure on SCM managers to continually reduce costs and improve quality and speed while managing risk. They are directly involved in the sourcing and acquisition, making sure that the entire supply process is in line with the objectives of the firm.

A comprehensive guide to various types of Supply Chain Management | JEL


Purchasing in SCM focuses on buying materials and parts required in production and incorporating them into the production process. These stages involve choosing suppliers, conducting negotiations, and awarding contracts. Purchasing plays a major role in ensuring that the company acquires high-quality materials at reasonably low prices and on time to meet the manufacturing program.


The final type of distribution in Supply Chain Management is the delivery of the finished products to the final consumers. It involves storage, picking, transportation, and other activities as well. Marketing communication guarantees that goods are delivered to the customers in the right quantities and at the right time. Inventory, selecting the appropriate modes of transport, and synchronizing delivery schedules takes much planning and implementation.


Solutions introduced into the area of Supply Chain Management usher in great gains in the quality of business performance as well as in the conservation of resources and enhancement of the level of satisfaction of customers. The use of innovative technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and blockchain has already changed supply chain management. The above-mentioned technologies improve openness, reduce the chances of protocol, and facilitate real-time decision-making.

Seven Principles of Supply Chain Management:

Supply Chain Management (SCM) consists of seven principles that drive the efficient management of logistic chains in businesses. These principles aim at increasing the value of the customers, increasing the effectiveness of the organization and its operations, and ensuring the sustainability of the process.

Inventory Visibility:

Visibility of inventory in operations of Supply Chain Management is important so as to track the progress and location of the products across the network. It means a continuous update of the position, location, and condition of stock on the shelves. Greater visibility enables the companies to minimize excess stock holding, experience minimal stock-out situations, as well as facilitate order completion. RFID, IoT, and big data analytics are valuable for the delivery of accurate and timely information on inventory.

A comprehensive guide to various types of Supply Chain Management | JEL

Improve Forecasting Models:

The enhancement of Supply Chain Management  forecasting models requires the use of better analytical tools to enhance the level of forecast. Accurate prediction minimizes the cases of producing more than what is required or, going short of stock by producing less than what the customers require. The integration of machine learning algorithms, historical data, and trend analysis can increase the probability of an accurate forecast.

Enhance Supplier Diversity:

Supplier diversity in Supply Chain Management focuses on increasing SCM firms’ sourcing of diverse suppliers from diverse areas. It may help avoid adverse effects from supply chain disruption and spark creativity and growth through having a variety of suppliers. Supplier diversity is also inclusive of social responsibility and community development.

Risk Management:

Supply Chain Risk Management deals with the identification of potential risks in the supply chain as well as the control, and treatment of those risks. This pertains to natural calamities, political instabilities worldwide, some of the suppliers, and volatility and uncertainties in the markets. Managing risks includes diversification, contingency planning, and supply chain mapping as potential methods.

Maintain Partnerships:

Proper management of relationships is crucial in Supply Chain Management to enhance the cooperation between supply chain individuals. Effective cooperation with the supply chain members increases information exchange, efficiency, and benefit of the parties involved. Developing long-term relations and including constant communication, mutual objectives, and feedback, guarantees that all the parties are on the same page and working accordingly.

Source Strategically:

In the case of Supply Chain Management, strategic sourcing entails the identification of the best suppliers through an assessment of their functionality, price, and credit standing. It intends to foster the development of a secure and inexpensive supply network. Strategic sourcing involves market research, supplier assessment, and contract management with the aim of getting the best for the organization.

A comprehensive guide to various types of Supply Chain Management | JEL


The concept of sustainability in SCM is centered on the enhancement of green approaches and the minimal supply chain environmental footprint. This encompasses elements of waste avoidance, reductions in carbon output, and the use of sustainable resources. This concept entails the use of green shipping, better routing, and persuading suppliers to be friendly to the environment.

Types of Supply Chain Management:

Different categories of Supply Chain Management are meant to satisfy divergent business requirements relevant to a particular market. These types are deemed to maximizing corresponding characteristics of the supply chain, like speed, convenience, or flexibility.

Continuous Flow:

Continuous flow Supply Chain Management is useful for industries that have a constant high need for their products such as the food and beverages industries. This type tends toward maintaining a constant production process and low fluctuation of material and work-in-progress inventories. Its purpose lies in guaranteeing the availability of products by working on processes and shortening lead times.

A comprehensive guide to various types of Supply Chain Management | JEL


Agile SCM is fit for the environment with high volatilities, fluctuating demand, and a good deal of change as is often seen with products like clothing or electronics. This is quite advantageous as it enables companies to easily adapt to the changes in demand by overhauling their supply chain swiftly. Effective agile supply chains use real-time information to work concurrently with suppliers and customers.

Fast Chain:

Fast-chain Supply Chain Management  has been useful for industries where the life cycle of products is short such as electronics industries. In the area of organization, the primary consideration is a fast-paced system that applies to everything from the creation of new products to their delivery. This kind of Supply Chain Management is common with companies that focus on fast development and swift entry into the market.


This Supply Chain Management strategy applies to firms that produce goods with fluctuating demands over time, as observed in seasonal products or the agriculture industry. This type can be deemed as flexible as it allows for increasing or decreasing the volume of the production according to the need. Flexibility is realized through the openness in the manufacturing types and the adapting models of logistics.

A comprehensive guide to various types of Supply Chain Management | JEL

Custom Figured:

Industries that need special products or services ranging from automobiles to electronics need custom-configured SCM. The idea hinges on the integration of concepts of both continuous flow and agile Supply Chain Management to afford tailor-made solutions that do not compromise on the flow.


The main objectives of efficient Supply Chain Management are cost reduction and enhancement of productivity and thus the strategy is most appropriate for industries’ retail competition. It entails rationalization, elimination of unnecessary procedures, and gaining advantages of size. The primary objective of efficient SCM is to provide products at the least standard cost all while preserving the quality.

Key Considerations while choosing a supply chain type:

Several factors play into choosing the ideal supply chain to prevent potential trouble from coming up. Some of these factors include:

Cost Efficiency:

Cost-effectiveness is one of the primary determinants of deciding on a type of Supply Chain Management. This means that companies need to look into the all-round cost implication at the manufacturing level, the cost of transporting and storing the inventory. Purchasing types of SCM are commonly used when the major objective is to find ways that enable cutting costs and improving the revenue rate.


Flexibility is more important to industries where demand varies or where the market environment changes often. Fast and dynamic Supply Chain Management types give the possibility to respond to new conditions and deliver the same or even higher service levels and customer satisfaction. A company needs to assess its capabilities of increasing or decreasing the scale of its operations.

A comprehensive guide to various types of Supply Chain Management | JEL

Customer Demand Responsiveness:

Catering to the customers’ needs is quite important for sustaining competitive advantage, especially when the market is constantly changing. SCM types such as the agile and the fast chain focus on a quick response to the customer needs for the product’s timely delivery. Managers need to assess whether the SCM strategy effectively fits into customer requirements and demand variability.

Importance of Supply Chain Management:

Supply Chain Management is indeed essential to define, control, and coordinate all the activities related to collections of goods and services arriving at a supplier’s place and going to the customer. Effectively managing the supply chain leads to the right cost being tackled, and increases efficiency of operation and customer satisfaction. Earlier the production and demand are synchronized and rejects and risks are avoided which leads to an advantage over competitors in the market.

Benefits of Supply Chain Management:

SCM presents many advantages, contributing to the effectiveness of companies and organizations. Strategic Supply Chain Management techniques assist a firm in achieving operational efficiency, which, in turn, results in the improvement of the firm’s performance and efficiency.

Increased Revenue:

Promoting Supply Chain Management can lead to an increase in the company’s revenues since the customer will not experience product unavailability. It ensures that goods are transported in the right place and at the right time to satisfy the customers’ needs. Global supply chain management also leads to minimizing expenses that might impact the company’s sales and reinvestment in business development and markets.

 Improved Quality Control:

Quality has a better chance of being managed through SCM since the firm sets strict standards and monitors them through the supply chain. This helps to achieve customer satisfaction and compliance with set standards. Enhanced quality assurance leads to lower cases of defects, returns, and recalls, hence, customers’ satisfaction and loyalty.

 Optimized Distribution:

Efficient Supply Chain Management includes the logic of coordination and planning of the distribution and transportation processes. It helps in the transport of goods from producers to consumers, hence saving them time and costs. This helps in cutting down the lead times and increasing the stock turn which in turn enhances effective distribution networks.

A comprehensive guide to various types of Supply Chain Management | JEL

Improved Customer Service:

It is also essential to note that SCM enhances better customer relations since the orders are swiftly and efficiently processed. Optimization of the tracking and flow of goods guarantees accountability and credibility. Happy customers are likely to be repeat customers and provide positive word-of-mouth communication, which is good for the firm.

Shipping Optimization:

Shipping optimization in supply chain management is therefore about the identification of the most appropriate means of shipping. It involves a process of determining the appropriate routes, types of shipments, and carriers that will enable efficient and economic delivery. Proper management of shipping helps in cutting down the costs of logistics and increasing the time taken in delivery.

Advancements in Supply Chain Management:

The development of SCM spearheads the breakthroughs and skills applied to technology and consumer needs. As for the currently emerging trends, these are IoT, AI, blockchain, and big data analysis as the principles of Supply Chain Management are increasing. The following advancements act to increase the level of transparency, allow the real-time decision-making process, and also increase efficiency.


1) What are the types of supply chain management?

Supply Chain Management types are Continuous flow SCM for producing standard goods, agile SCM for uncertain markets, fast chain for products with short life, flexible SCM for fluctuating demand, custom configured SCM for custom products, and efficient Supply Chain Management for cost-oriented products.

2) What are the benefits of Supply Chain Management?

As for SCM, it enhances the performance of an organization by improving the availability of products and their quality thus increasing the overall revenue. It facilitates distribution, enhances customer relations, decreases logistics expenses by managing shipping methods effectively, and increases efficiency and satisfaction levels.

3) What are the principles of Supply Chain Management?

The principles/strategies of Supply Chain Management involve one or many of the following; customer segmentation, logistics network to match with the customers, demand planning, degree of product differentiation, cooperation of the supply chain members, acceptable technology usage, and performance measurement.

4) What is the importance of Supply Chain Management?

Supply Chain Management increases goods flow, lowers costs, increases revenue, customer satisfaction, and supply chain robustness, and compensates for market fluctuations and disturbances, sustaining supply chain success.

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