Supply Chain – A Changed Perspective

“Penetration” – element indicates, management’s wiliness to extend itself in reaching out to the target group of consumers in a stipulated timeframe.

Typically supply chain is looked upon the backbone of “need fulfillment” mechanism across various sectors of society/industry. Looking at past several decades of evolution of this discipline, it has managed (struggled most of the times will be more appropriate here) to grab modern trends and practices thrown upon it from various sections of intellectual research, consulting and advisory groups/ community members. But the group of people managing this vital organ of value chain often bears the brunt of “lacking behind all the time” syndrome and needs serious introspection.

In my opinion, the whole “value chain” needs to be refocused from the concept of “CRP Positioning” for any industry/sector, it plans to support. Let me explain in brief, “CRP” mechanism of excellence.

“CRP” – means “Content- Reach – Penetration” (for ease of understanding you may like to compare it with TRP rating mechanism). For ease of understanding, like TRP mechanism, which constantly evaluates “viewers” ( consumers from Industrial perspective) favour and inclination – often indicating socio-economic-religious balance of society – CRP model of evaluation constantly challenges existing set practices and relevant tools/technics planned or used to maintain or improve Supply Chain’s relevance for the industry. Let us see how each C-Content, R- Reach & P-Penetration, helps to achieve above objective.

“Content” element of approach should constantly focus on the essentials of any supply chain element, which is contributing to its desired goal. Often supply elements are “established” practices used in a particular sector/industry and often fails to revitalize itself vis-à-vis challenges coming up from the market/consumer groups. Significant management energy must be allocated for revalidation of these element parameters.

“Reach” element – indicates various challenges/routes/programs/plans/mechanisms used by Supply Chain elements to finally reach out to the target group of consumers. In today’s increasing mobile/”one-click away” world of preferences, it is extremely critical to constantly challenge existing routes used by supply chain professionals in managing their value chain. Often the process elements in transforming “content” to “result” are managed in “Traditional” way and lack innovation in tapping changing needs to time.

“Penetration” – element indicates, management’s wiliness to extend itself in reaching out to the target group of consumers in a stipulated timeframe. This element also includes “effectiveness” and “efficiency” of tools & techniques used in the supply chain for delivering its planned results. Most of the time, supply chain professionals lose steam in monitoring this element resulting in poor acceptability or adaptability of solutions designed by them. This may lead to gradual fallout of marketplace and may result into an end of business leadership.

Another challenge, typically faced is how to balance various elements in order to achieve top of the line performance. In my opinion, if management adopts “CRP” model into its bottom and middle management layers & promotes strong support for change, this will lead in the direction of creating the sustainable speed of supply chain solutions vis-à-vis market demands and often frees unwanted deployment of resources which only drains but not delivers the result.

But, I must state here that, implementation of CRP model needs high management courage and commitment, as often, it leads to the scrapping of an old & established concept of managing wonderful “Supply Chain” function.

By – Atul Karmarkar
      GM Indirect Purchase
      Sandvik Asia Pvt Ltd.