Integrated Supply Chain (ISC) management refers to an enterprise resource planning approach to supply chain management. Here a business facilitates relationships with all of its suppliers and manages all distribution and logistics activities through a centralized system rather than having multiple systems within the organization. This integrated approach offers better efficiency, control and cost advantages to the business entity, making it stronger vis-à-vis its competitors in medium / long run.

Basically there are 5 broad areas in a supply chain scenario.

  1. Primary Transportation: Transportation / Collection from the point of procurement
  2. Pre-manufacturing Warehousing: Storage
  3. Manufacturing: Processing/Packaging/Packing/Other value-addition services
  4. Post-manufacturing Warehousing: Storage
  5. Secondary Transportation: Transportation/ Distribution to the Point of Sales.

Mostly, the business entities use different specialized service providers for each of these areas of activities. For example, the Primary Transportation relates well with bulk hauler operators, whereas the Secondary Transportation is catered by mid-capacity LCV operators. Such operator organizations have their varied processes and modus-operandi, not necessarily compatible with others with similar/different trade specialization. Thus, the business entity has to deploy huge amount of time and resources to manage the varied set of operators and their activities, which is a waste keeping in mind the core competencies of the business entity.

All these can be avoided by planning and implementing the Integrated Supply Chain Model, where the business entity needs to interact with one single ISC operator, who in turn controls the entire backward and forward supply chain activities and reports back to the business entity management. Such ISC operators have their expertise and in-house specialists to control all types of external service providers to derive additional benefits through process synchronization. Generally, such additional benefits are saving of Procurement-to-POS cycle time, better efficiency, higher control and significant saving on earlier end-to-end supply chain costs. On the other hand, after the implementation of ISC model, the principal business entity can focus on its core competencies, i.e. manufacturing and selling.

Identifying a true and competent ISC operator (also referred to as 4PL operators) is a fairly technical subject and requires thorough due diligence.

Rainger Logistics has all that is expected out of a professional ISC operator – designing an optimum ISC model for the principal business entity, strategic engagement/deployment/termination of service operators, controlled execution, monitoring/supervision, ensuring appropriate delivery of services vis—vis pre-defined SLAs, etc.

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